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Whey they do use *I thought* instead of *I think*

English translation: spontaneous reaction versus conclusion reached afterward

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:Why they do use *I thought* instead of *I think*
English translation:spontaneous reaction versus conclusion reached afterward
Entered by: Fuad Yahya
Options:
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16:39 Mar 29, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: Whey they do use *I thought* instead of *I think*
After a cricket match is over, a presentation ceremony is held. The commentator asks certain questions to the captain with regard to the match. The captain generally replies : I thought that the pitch was good enough/I thought he has bowled very well/I thought we should have fielded.

I personally feel that instead of using past tense, the present tense i.e. I think should be used in the above context. Could you inform me as to whether this is some sort of special way of expression or does this have some other connotations as well?

Thanks in advance.
chopra_2002
India
Local time: 05:58
spontaneous reaction versus conclusion reached afterward
Explanation:
You're right, it's a subtle difference. Basically, it has to do with an immediate response to the pitch versus coming to a conclusion after the pitch has been made. In other words, if he says "I thought the pitch WAS good enough," he is describing an immediate, spontaneous reaction he had at the time of the pitch, whereas if he says, "I think the pitch was good enough" it is a conclusion he reaches afterwards, as he thinks about the pitch in response to the commentator's question.
Selected response from:

Marion Burns
United States
Local time: 20:28
Grading comment
Thanks!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +9spontaneous reaction versus conclusion reached afterward
Marion Burns
4 +5You're right, but
Kim Metzger
4 +4he's referring to a past event
Sarah Ponting
4It's probably because it was what the player thought along the gamexxxEDLING


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
It's probably because it was what the player thought along the game


Explanation:
hth

xxxEDLING
PRO pts in pair: 14
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
You're right, but


Explanation:
Technically you're right. One would expect the present tense because the speaker is talking about how he feels at this moment. But one explanation of using the past tense is that he is referring to how he "felt" at the time the match was being played. Since he's the captain he is not just playing the game but thinking about how it's being played by his team members.



Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 19:28
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2249

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxIno66
1 hr

agree  Ramon Somoza
2 hrs

agree  Marie Scarano
6 hrs

agree  xxxntouzet
8 hrs

agree  Guy
17 hrs
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
he's referring to a past event


Explanation:
and uses the past tense. He also thought these things whilst playing the match.

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Note added at 2003-03-29 16:50:32 (GMT)
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It would sound strange if he were to use the present tense in this situation. He\'s not just referring to his thoughts at this moment, but above all to his impressions on the field, which took place in the past.

Sarah Ponting
Italy
Local time: 02:28
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 67

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxIno66
1 hr
  -> thanks

agree  Ramon Somoza
2 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  Herman Vilella: Simple as that!
3 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  Tanja Abramovic
12 hrs
  -> thanks
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +9
spontaneous reaction versus conclusion reached afterward


Explanation:
You're right, it's a subtle difference. Basically, it has to do with an immediate response to the pitch versus coming to a conclusion after the pitch has been made. In other words, if he says "I thought the pitch WAS good enough," he is describing an immediate, spontaneous reaction he had at the time of the pitch, whereas if he says, "I think the pitch was good enough" it is a conclusion he reaches afterwards, as he thinks about the pitch in response to the commentator's question.

Marion Burns
United States
Local time: 20:28
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 18
Grading comment
Thanks!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Fuad Yahya
33 mins

agree  Refugio
34 mins

agree  Arcoiris
47 mins

agree  xxxIno66
1 hr

agree  Antonio Camangi
2 hrs

agree  Jesús Marín Mateos
2 hrs

agree  Ramon Somoza
2 hrs

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
3 hrs

agree  Kardi Kho: well said, Marion.
7 hrs

neutral  Sarah Ponting: at the time of the pitch?????? The cricket pitch is the field upon which the game is played!
17 hrs
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