I was reading the book Intermediate English Grammar by Raymond Murphy, and I found these two examples in the same unit.

  1. The film was disappointing. I expected it to be much better.
  2. The film wasn't as good as we had expected.

I know the difference between simple past and past perfect but these two examples are difficult for me because in the first example it's past tense in both the sentences but in the second example it's simple past and past perfect. How is that possible?

1 Answer 1


The past perfect is really in the first sentence as well but slips by. The film was disappointing.

I had expected it to be much better.

You did not expect it to be better after you saw it but before. Both sentence pairs are past and past perfect.

  • I understood the second one. Could you explain the first one, please? I still can't get it. The book I have is second edition so it can't be a typo.
    – user308838
    Jul 16, 2019 at 3:12
  • Learning about typos can be a fatal mistake. You always hope you have found another. "The film was disappointing" is in the past. "I (had) expected it to be much better" is also in the past but refers to before the first sentence's past, when you were watching the film. So that is already past perfect.
    – Elliot
    Jul 16, 2019 at 3:48

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