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I gave him what he wanted Options
navi
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 2:15:21 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/2014
Posts: 349
Neurons: 3,280
1) He said he had wanted what I gave him.
2) He said he wanted what I gave him.

3) He said he had wanted what I had given him.
4) He said he wanted what I had given him.


In which cases:
a) The wanting came before the giving (he wanted something and I gave it to him)
in which:
b) The wanting came after the giving (he wanted what I had given him again)
in which:
c) We had a period of time in which I provided him with what he wanted
and in which cases:
d) One cannot tell

Gratefully,
Navi
thar
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 4:35:05 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 17,853
Neurons: 72,397
It is not really natural to say any of these. If it was a simple statement, you would simplify it - I gave him what he wanted.

If you are more concerned with expressing what he wanted - These are not really distinctions you express. You don't want something only after you are given it. You might want it and not get it, and you might want it and get it (and you still want it, appreciate it) but you don't want something only after you get it.

'Wanted' is past - presumably at the time of giving, and before that. Wanting is a continual state, not a single action.

'Had wanted' is past before the past - presumably before the giving. If it lasted up to the giving, there is no need for it, because of the meaning of the simple past.

But if you meant that the feeling had gone away, you wouldn't express that by using a tense, you would express it by using a verb.
eg
I gave him spiderman pyjamas, but he said although he had wanted them when he was a child, he was now a thirty-year old man and didn't wear things like that any more.

(But he had to wear them because they were a gift. That was the only reason. Not because he loved wearing his spiderman pyjamas! Whistle )



You might only realise you needed something after you get it - "I never realised how useful this would be until I got one" but that is a particular instance and you would explain that.

The use of different tenses comes from the different ways you are looking at an event. But when you are saying something odd, you really have to say more to get that idea across. The tense on its own does not give you much detail about what happened.
renee talley 1
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 10:29:02 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 8/1/2018
Posts: 111
Neurons: 2,403
Shhh Shhh Think Anxious Think Speak to the hand I gave him what he wanted is being specific and can be relied upon. So therefore
you can rely on wisdom and common sense that all will tell you to be ready what to say to the other person
what in this case you'll be prepared that you are in charge of your financial assets . The person needs to be told you're gonna need either to make a purchase that's reasonable . Because you know the other person's spending habits. So therefore you need to know what to expect when you tell tat person You need a job.Applause Applause Applause Dancing Dancing Dancing Whistle Whistle Whistle Think Think Think Speak to the hand
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2018 1:26:48 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 30,140
Neurons: 176,780
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I agree with thar - they both seem to leave be thinking "What did they say?"

One fairly natural way to say what you mean would be (to me) - "When I gave him something, he said he'd wanted it for a while."

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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