English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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

Possible Duplicate:
‘Had’ or ‘has’ to describe a past condition which is still present?
Tense change: previous actions on something that's currently true

The employee was injured while at work, and the court decided that employees are able to sue.

Can you check the grammar and style, and tell me how you'd revise this, if at all?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Cameron, MετάEd, Noah, RegDwigнt Oct 24 '12 at 9:33

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Seems a bit disjointed without an idea linking the two. How did that particular injury event cause a rethink about employer obligations. Grammatically pretty good.

share|improve this answer

In this kind of sentence, it's possible to use both the present and past tense. The simple present "... that employees are able to sue" means the court decided that employees are always able to sue the employer for work-related accidents. The simple past "... that employees were able to sue" means that employees were able to sue the employer for work-related accidents when the lawsuit was filed. The law might have changed since then, however.

I'd develop the sentence a bit by adding "the employer for work-related accidents" after "sue", unless that's already been discussed in a prior sentence.

Whether the sentence content is adequate depends on the context, i.e., what the rest of the discourse says. The grammar is no problem.

share|improve this answer

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