[would expect] in 3rd and 2nd mixed conditionals

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JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Sample sentences:


1. If I had insulted my boss yesterday, I would expect to be fired by tomorrow.

2. If we hadn't gotten a flat tire 10 minutes ago, we would expect to arrive in London before 6:00.

Interpretaion:

Sentence #1: But I didn't insult my boss yesterday, so I don't expect to be fired by tomorrow.

Sentence #2: But we got a flat tire 10 minutes ago, so we don't expect to arrive in London before 6:00

Question:

Can "would expect" be used in my sentences? If so, is my interpretation of the tenses correct?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Your interpretation is correct inasmuch as the conditions you've come up with follow the standard pattern of reversing what actually happened. But the consequence of that in your scenarios according to my logic, is that the expectation is all in the past - you're not getting fired nor arriving in London before 6.00. So I think you should've used "would have expected" in both sentences.

    The way I see it, you're tying yourself in logical knots pursuing this line of thought that by tacking a future time expression like "tomorrow" on to the end, you're somehow altering the possibility of the condition coming true.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    <-----Threads have been merged at this point by moderator (Florentia52)----->

    Context:


    Sentence #1:
    The boss was in a bad mood yesterday and threatened to fire a couple of the speaker's co-workers, but fortunately the speaker had a day-off and wasn't present. The speaker is an ill-tempered person and could easily have insulted the boss. He/she says sentence #1 before tomorrow.

    Sentence #2:
    The speaker and his/her companion had expected to arrive in London before 6:00, but unfortunately they got a flat tire. The speaker says sentence #2 at 5:00 (6:00 is in the future).

    Sample sentences:

    1. If I had insulted my boss yesterday, I would expect to be fired by tomorrow. But I didn't insult my boss yesterday, so I don't expect to be fired by tomorrow.

    2. If we hadn't gotten a flat tire 10 minutes ago, we would have expected to arrive in London before 6:00. But we got a flat tire 10 minutes ago, so we don't expect to arrive in London before 6:00.

    Reasoning:

    In sentence #1, "would expect" should be used because the expectation hasn't changed: the speaker didn't expect to be fired, and they still don't expect to be fired.

    In sentence #2, "would have expected" should be used because something changed in the past, so the expectation the speaker has now has changed as a result: the speaker expected to arrive in London before 6:00 before he/she got a flat tire; the speaker stopped expecting to arrive in London before 6:00 after he/she got a flat tire.

    Question:

    Does my reasoning make sense?

    Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections, or suggestions!

    Regards,
    JJXR
     
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