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Which one is correct?

  1. Centuries ago, people weren't aware that the planets revolved around the sun.

  2. Centuries ago, people weren't aware that the planets revolve around the sun.

In my grammar book it has mentioned the first one as "grammatical correct sentence", but it has not done such a comparison.

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This is a duplicate of many, many questions. Please search the site before posting. Thank you. –  RegDwigнt Jun 5 '13 at 14:15
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@RegDwighт: I agree with you that each poster should do a little digging before asking a question. As an "elderly" computer user, I can't help but empathize with folks who don't even know how to search for duplicate answers. I, for example, don't really know what a "tag" is, let alone how to use it. I'm willing to learn, however. Perhaps someone could come up with an article on how to look for duplicate answers and how to add tags to a posting. A link to the article could be added to the little boxes on the right of this page. I'm a little fuzzy on "tags" and "links." –  rhetorician Jun 5 '13 at 15:27
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marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Jun 5 '13 at 14:13

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2 Answers

Grammatically it seems both are correct, but reading it, the second one makes more sense to me, since planets still revolve around the sun.

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The first one is correct.

The grammar in the first suggests the people's awareness related to the planets at their time. You could rephrase this sentence for clarity: "Centuries ago, people weren't aware that the planets that they viewed in the night sky revolved around the sun.

The grammar in the second suggests the people's awareness related to the planets in our time. Depending on how you dissect the second, it could mean: "Even though planets didn't revolve around the sun then, centuries ago, people weren't ware that the planets revolve around the sun now."

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