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Esperar with past actions

 

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Old December 02, 2012, 11:37 PM
rparmst rparmst is offline
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Esperar with past actions

(I was going to post this in the ojala with past actions thread, but my question is slightly different.)

My question refers to using esperar (used as I wish) when referring to past actions.
I understand that if i were trying to say, "I hope you had a good time at the party," I would say, "Espero que lo hayas pasado bien en la fiesta."

However, the other day I was speaking with my Dominican friend who asked why I hadn't come to a party (which I didn't know about). I replied, "Espero que me hubieras dicho que habia una fiesta." He told me that I needed to say "Esperaba que me hubieras dicho que habia una fiesta." He said that it is not possible to say esperar in present when speaking about what you wish would have happened in the past. But to me using esperaba implies that in the PAST I was wishing for (or sitting around waiting for) an invite to the party, which would be impossible because I didn't know about it. I could only be wishing in the present because I just found out about it. How should I have said what I was trying to say?
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Old December 02, 2012, 11:55 PM
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You said it right. It's OK to use the present tense in the main clause and the imperfect subjunctive in the secondary clause, but most would probably not use the 'espero' clause.

This would be more common:
Si me hubieras dicho que había una fiesta ... (habría ido).
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Old December 03, 2012, 08:43 AM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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I agree with Rusty and with your Dominican friend.


If you say "espero que me hubieras dicho...", it might imply a very strange situation: if there had been a situation when there was a party and I wasn't told, I expect that any time it would happen you would tell me about it.

If you say "esperaba que me hubieras dicho", then you expected in the past that you were told about the party.


Another kind of constructions would have been needed to express you wish now that you had been told before that there was a party:

- Ojalá me hubieras dicho que había una fiesta.
- Me habría gustado que me dijeras...
- Desearía que me hubieras dicho... (this one sounds a little dramatic for me.)
...

...also simply just Rusty's option or...
- ¿Por qué no me dijiste que había una fiesta?
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