English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a table and the description of the table as followed:

enter image description here

Table 7 presents the likelihood of OPT occurrences from the time annotated sentences; V-RB refers to the sentences which contain post-verbal adverbs and RB-V refers to the sentences which contain pre-verbal adverbs. The OPT phenomenon manifested 68.18% of the time when an already or yesterday adverb was present in the sentence in the ICE-SIN.

Within the paragraphs, my tenses were inconsistent. When i present the table and how to read the table I used present tense. But when I wanted to described the phenomenon that was recorded in the data, I used the past tense.

Is the inconsistent tenses grammatical? Or should I use the past tense when I present the table and how to read the table?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

When you are presenting the table, you are doing it now, i.e. in the present time. The clue is in the word PRESENTing. But the table itself contains data that has already been collected - in the past.

So you are correct in presenting the table in the present tense, but discussing the previously collected data in the past tense.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.