I had never expected you'd come here vs I never I expected you'd come here

Hi,

You have my two sentences, but I recently read that in AmE the perfect tenses aren’t used so much any more. Now my question is: do they both mean the same meaning or not, or is there an enormous difference in meaning between those two?
@Torsten; @Alan, @Anglophile

Thank you.

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I really am not able to answer questions about American English. In your sentences there is clearly a difference between ‘I expected (past simple)’ and ‘I had expected (past perfect)’. In the past simple you simply state the expectation referring to one time in the past. In the past perfect you are referring to the expectation a second time as the conversation has been discussed before. More subtly you are hinting at a disappointment and you would have expected a better result

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Thank you Alan for your wise reply.

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@Masme
That’s a good question. The aspect of BrE or AmE being apart, I’d try to explain the difference this way:

I had never expected you’d come here: I had never expected that you’d come here until you came at last.
I never expected you’d come here: I never expected that you would come here but I’m happy that you have come now.
(I’m not pretty sure of my own interpretation though! Let’s see what Torsten has to say now.)

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Thank you for your reply Anglophile. I really appreciate it.

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This one is tricky. I can’t answer it entirely with any confidence.

“I had never” refers to some time in the past. In other words, at that specific time. The time being referred to is not specified. The context may provide that information, such as your last birthday, your wedding day, the day you started your job, etc.

“I never expected” is more inclusive. It’s not a specific time in the past, but rather all time in the past.

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