Hi. I thought negative opinions were followed by the subjunctive and translated the above sentence thus: Je ne pensais pas que ce soit si intéressant. Is that incorrect?
Freeform Writing Exercise B2
In the solutions, the subjunctive as well as the conditional are given as possibilities.
I think the meaning you're implying is kind of precluded by the imperfect tense.
You are correct, the subjunctive is perfectly in order here. But the conditional is also an option carrying a slightly different flavor, both putting the statement in a doubtful mood. The way I feel it is that the doubt is even stronger with the conditional. Maybe a native could shed some more light on this?
Isn't there a danger that the subjunctive might be interpreted as "I didn't think it was that interesting" ? (i.e. it wasn't interesting)
I think the conditional is being used here (as in reported speech) as a future tense in the past. So it distinguishes between the time of the original thought, and the later time of the interesting event.
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