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This is the original text I have:

October 31, 1906: "No, you had not told me that you did not expect to make any flights this year." (Source)

Does the sentence have the same meaning as:

1) No, you had not told me that you would not expect to make any flights this year.

or

2) No, you did not tell me that you would not expect to make any flights this year.

UPDATE

My grammar problem is like this:

  • You had told me that you expected to make a flight.

  • You had told me that you would expect to make a flight.

"you expected" sounds to me like a future in the past and I do not understand why it is like this and not "would expect".

Or simply the meaning of "You had told me that you expected to make a flight." is "You expected to make a flight, this is what you had told me."

3 Answers 3

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If you use the past perfect it's assumed you want to relate the timing of two events:

No you had not told me you were not going to go before you walked away.

Here I want to relate the timing of "telling me something" and "walking away". One comes before the other.

If you don't mean to do this, then the simple past is sufficient:

No you did not tell me you were not going to go.

In the letter it's not clear what the other event the writer wants to relate to -- probably in reference to the "deal with the French people" or other business, or maybe it goes along with "I have been waiting all summer ..."

Either way I'm curious what a supplier of bee keeping equipment has to do with the Wright Brothers. Now I have to do some research :)

Some history

More history

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  • I have added an update. Your explanation might be the right one but your example: "No you had not told me you were not going to go before you walked away." has a future in the past, "you were not going to go" while the October 31, 1906 text does not have it. Jan 30, 2017 at 20:07
  • @RobertWerner your question seems to focus on the past perfect vs. the past simple. Whatever I told you -- future action, past action, etc. -- isn't going to affect which you choose. All of that reported speech acts as an independent subclause. It's confusing because of the double negative -- "you had not told me you would not expect, etc." but that whole 'future in the past" question is only a distraction.
    – Andrew
    Jan 30, 2017 at 20:20
  • Possible I was not clear enough. My question is not about "you had not told me" (see the update). I understand why it is like this. The Wrights made Root understand they would fly during 1906 and on October 30, 1906 they denied that they had promised flights during that year. My question is about "you did not expect" which sounds like a "you would not expect". Jan 30, 2017 at 20:37
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    @RobertWerner Well, you bolded "had" and "did" so that's what I focused on. But anyway -- "you would not expect" is reported speech of what was actually said at that time. Even though the speech was in the past, you don't have to back-shift. I probably would have written, "you didn't tell me you were not expecting" which is back-shifted.
    – Andrew
    Jan 30, 2017 at 20:43
  • "I probably would have written, "you didn't tell me you were not expecting" which is back-shifted." OK. In the future I will say like you and avoid a construction like that used by A. I. Root. Jan 30, 2017 at 20:54
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To better understand the problem, try removing all those negatives: "You [had] told me that you expected to fly." or "You [had] told me that you would expect to fly."

You could also convert to reported speech: 'You [had] told me "We expect to fly."' or 'You [had] told me "We will expect to fly."'

'Will expect' is odd because 'expect' is already about the future, and the same applies to 'would expect'.

Pluperfect 'had told' shifts the telling farther into the past. Compare: "He sat down. He ate too much." and "He sat down. He had eaten too much." The 2nd scenario implies that he sat down because he ate too much, because the eating happened before the sitting.

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REPORTED SPEECH A) "do not expect" becomes "did not expect" October 1, 1906:

Person 1: "I do not expect to make any flights this year."

October 31, 1906:

Person 2: "I thought you had told me that you did not expect to make any flights this year."

B) will not expect becomes would not expect

Person 1: I expect I will make some flights this year.

Person 2: Yes, you told me that you thought you would make some flights this year.

In reported speech, do becomes did and will becomes would.

would here is not a conditional. It is the past tense of will.

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