Good day, Friends. Could you help with a test question? The question is a ‘fill the gap’ type:
We had expected that they _______ fluent English, but in fact they didn’t.
a) were speaking b) would speak c) had spoken d) spoke
I’m going to take the IELTS exam quite soon, so I decided to go to a language school in order to get some help in preparation. As it usually happens in these cases, I was asked to undergo the school’s testing so they would be able to offer me a proper study course. Everything went fine, but I stumbled at one question (above). I told the teacher that it’s reported speech and went for the d)-option, having mentioned that the statement of the question isn’t quite clear so the b) and c) are also possible (depending on what the ‘speaker/thinker’ had in mind). The school said I gave a wrong answer, with which I disagreed and wanted to argue a bit out of pure interest, which ended up with a little bicker and conclusion that I know nothing about subjunctive mood. The school insists that this is a subjunctive mood/imaginary situation, because !!!!!, there is not a ‘say' verb :)) so the only right answer is b)-would speak. Could you please help and judge who’s right?