Could you cancel my first order, please? Since I thought my order hadn't gone through the first time, I tried again. However, I now realize it did work the first time. In other words, I accidentally ordered the same item twice

Imagine someone needed a glass of water but I brought him a glass of tea by mistake.

He said: I didn't want to drink tea.

I replied : sorry I thought you wanted to drink tea but now I realise I was wrong .

I don't understand why the first one is not past simple " did not get through". The meaning is in both sentences:" I thought something happened or did not happen and in fact I realise I was wrong" . Both actions are almost simultaneous and in chronological order :

The payment,the thinking of the non payment and in fact perhaps the payment

Client wants water,the thinking of tea for the client and the mistake (I realise he did not want tea )


1 Answer 1


The order 'going through' is a single action which either has or has not happened.

The person wanting either tea or water is an ongoing situation. You could say to him "I thought you had asked for a cup of tea" (a single action).

  • I think I don't see the difference in the second example when the waiter brought a cup of tea, the customer still wanted a glass of water so it is also an ongoing situation . In the first case we can not used past perfect because the verb is want and the desire to drink is still here even if it is not the right beverage
    – Yves Lefol
    Aug 10, 2023 at 13:45
  • That's what I said - the fact that the customer wanted a particular drink is an ongoing situation. But asking for tea or water is an action which is in the past by the time the waiter brings the wrong drink. Aug 10, 2023 at 15:29

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