for questions about the agreement between the tenses of verbs in related clauses or sentences.

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-2
votes
0answers
23 views

optional backshifting confusion [duplicate]

In reported speech tenses are generally back shifted. But if what was said is still true at the time of reporting then back shifting of tenses is optional. My question is if someone doesn't back ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

How do you indicate a past from the perspective of a future, when that past is in a “when”-clause?

Question Which of the following is grammatical (maybe more than one), and which colloquial? (a) I won't do it when you tell me not to. (b) I won't do it when you have told me not to. ...
0
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0answers
36 views

optional backshifting [duplicate]

I have been asking a lot about optional back shifting. I understand that if what is said is still true at the time of reporting then back shifting of tense is optional. I just have one doubt. If what ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

“We are requesting that all deaths be recorded.” vs 'We are requesting that all deaths will be recorded." [duplicate]

"We are requesting that all deaths be recorded." vs 'We are requesting that all deaths will be recorded." I've corrected this sentence by taking out the 'will' but can't articulate exactly why a want ...
0
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0answers
15 views

How is the rule with the ending comma in sequences in a sentence? [duplicate]

Saying an English sentence with a listing or sequence of several terms, there will always be a comma in between each term and it will end with an "and" before the last term. My question is, should ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

present/past tense in a subordinate clause

A few days back I asked a question about whether a present tense verb in a subordinate clause can be followed by a past tense verb in the main clause. A veteran grammarian (Andrew Leach) says yes, it ...
-1
votes
1answer
46 views

…is/was in debt

I'm really sorry to put the same question through. Let's say I'm narrating a past incident in which one of the sentence is -- "There was a rumor that Citibank is in debt." I'm aware that here 'is' ...
0
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2answers
58 views

asked + lived/lives

I asked where he lives/lived. I'm confused between lives or lived. Some say only lived can be used while others say both lived and lives can be used.
0
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1answer
53 views

what is time reference of a verb

In indirect speech if the time reference has not changed then the tenses are not back shifted. Randolph Quirk, in A Comprehensive Grammar of The English Language states Backshift is optional when ...
-2
votes
1answer
54 views

optional backshifting criterion in non reported speech [duplicate]

In an indirect speech back shifting of tense is optional if what is said is still true. For example -- Kate said that she is not well. ( Here non change in tense because Kate is still not well at the ...
0
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0answers
67 views

backshifting of tenses (optional back shifting) [duplicate]

Let's first talk about simple present tense. John : "I have a fever." John said that he has a fever. Here no change in tense because John still has a fever. Now take an example of present perfect ...
1
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2answers
97 views

When to use the present or the past perfect tense?

A few days back, I asked a question - why in reported speech is the present perfect tense sometimes not back shifted to the past perfect tense ? For example: He said that he has painted the door. ...
-1
votes
1answer
90 views

sentence structure and sequence of tense

In sentence structure of indirect speech like - (He said +........... , He informed +....... , He claimed + .......... ), I am aware that if the situation is still relevant then back shifting of ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

sequence of tenses (optional and obligatory back shifting )

Consider a sentence: 1) The president learned that the earthquake has caused havoc all across the country. Here present perfect tense is used. First tell me is it correct to use 'has caused' ? ...
1
vote
3answers
118 views

present perfect vs past perfect [closed]

What's the difference between the following examples: I noticed that the clock had stopped. I noticed that the clock has stopped.
2
votes
2answers
144 views

It was unclear that she has/had painted the door

The grammar rule says that if the verb in the main clause is in the past tense then the verbs in the subordinate clauses will also be in the corresponding past tense. According to the grammar rule ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

back shifting of tenses

Today I happen to visit Sarah's home. To my horror I see her lying on bed. I ask : "How are you ?" She replies : "I am not feeling well." After I come back home 3-4 hours later, I write a letter to ...
2
votes
1answer
296 views

I asked if he speaks/spoke English

I asked if he speaks English I asked if he spoke English Speak or spoke? Colloquially, is it correct to say speaks?
1
vote
2answers
119 views

He found + present/past tense

Please advise me on this - Imagine, A and B are two friends. A says to B : "You go to Sam's room and see if Sam's sleeping." B : ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Optional tense back shifting

While changing direct to indirect speech, we generally back shift the tense. Example - "I have finished my work." (Direct speech) He said that he had finished his work. (Indirect ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Optional vs obligatory back shifting [duplicate]

Consider two sentences - 1) I didn't know that X is a Russian. 2) I didn't know that X was a Russian. My question is, under the condition that X is still Russian, can sentence 1) be used ? Thanks.
0
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0answers
17 views

Optional back shifting vs obligatory back shifting [duplicate]

Consider two sentences - 1) I didn't know that X is a tall man. 2) I didn't know that X was a tall man. My question is, under the condition that X is still a tall man, can sentence 1) be used ? ...
0
votes
2answers
145 views

should have done vs should had done (sequence of tenses) [closed]

imagine you want to use "should have done" in a subordinate clause when there's some past tense in the main clause. e.g.: "He said I should have(had?) done it." which one is correct? or should i ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Although + Past Simple + Present Perfect [closed]

Is the variant "Although the test was easy, I've failed" possible if it's just happened?
0
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0answers
82 views

“May have been” : sequence of tenses

Let us suppose we have such a sentence: John says Marry may have fallen ill. How should we change the sentence if we talk about the past? Is it correct? John said Marry might have fallen ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

sequence of tenses (was/were vs had been/have been)

Which is better? The protocol was signed last week after all punch list items were fixed up. or The protocol was signed last week after all punch list items had been fixed up.
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Dependent clause tense inheritance [duplicate]

Is it right to tell Five years ago he already knew that two plus two equals four. or Five years ago he already knew that two plus two equaled four. ? On English classes (I ...
0
votes
1answer
287 views

Past and Present Perfect tenses in a sentence. Sequence of events

I have a question concerning Past and Present Perfect tenses/the sequence of events. "As my school project, I have written a 44-pages-long research paper in which I had analysed the risk behaviours ...
0
votes
2answers
199 views

Past perfect and using before/after

My friend and I are having a debate about the following sentence and what to slot into the gap: ______ we had finished the course, we received certificates. (Before/After) To me it sounds correct to ...
2
votes
1answer
482 views

Can one use “may” and “might” in the same sentence?

Is it possible to use may and might in the same sentence to describe a potential outcome? For example: While Sara may recognise the car, Paul might not.
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Sequnce of tenses in the sentence

Is it okay to use different tenses in this way? Try to find an area where science isn't needed, where experiments weren't perfomed.
2
votes
1answer
127 views

Reported speech of future time clauses

How should we report sentences including "future time clause?" We will have dinner when your father gets home. Do we have to change the tense of 'future time clause' or leave it in the original ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Sequence of tenses question

What is the right tense of highlighted words in the sentence below? I feel that I'm writing it wrong. Perhaps you've been contacted before by a customer who screams that his site isn't working only ...
2
votes
4answers
488 views

Why “can” not “could” in “She was one of those people who can. . . .”?

The following sentence is from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, occurring in chapter 5 of part 2: She was one of those people who can go to sleep at any hour and in any position. Why is ...
1
vote
3answers
234 views

“I was to go to America at the end of the week. It would be the first time I had flown to America.” Is the second sentence correct?

I am using exactly the same sentence as the one used in a question already posted by someone else to ask whether one should not say and write "It will be the first time I fly to America." rather than ...
3
votes
3answers
392 views

Past Perfect - Right or Wrong?

I am in an English course, in Cambridge School, in Lisbon, Portugal, and I am learning Past Perfect. I am also in a Pastry course, and today we had our first English lesson. The teacher wrote some ...
3
votes
2answers
294 views

Sequence of tenses missing - not in Reported Speech

SITUATION: A year ago, my friend had some financial problems of which his relatives were aware. Why do we say: They believed he was in debt. but: He was believed to be in debt instead of: He was ...
1
vote
1answer
343 views

In “Who would have thought he could do it!”, is “could” “was able” or “would be able”?

In the sentence "Who would have thought he could do it!" does "could do" mean "was able to do" or "would be able to do"?
1
vote
3answers
562 views

Until you have confirmed + past or present?

Which one of these sentences is correct? The contract will not be signed until you have checked the manuscript and confirmed that everything is ok. The contract will not be signed until you ...
0
votes
2answers
336 views

Having or has? What is the best way to say that sentence

I have one question, what is the best way to say that sentence below? Are both grammatically correct? He has been working on mobile development for 4 years and has published more than 15 apps. ...
3
votes
2answers
187 views

Should “If I ever had a philosophy” be in the past perfect?

Excerpted from The Hills of Triumph: If I ever had a philosophy with which to govern my social life, even long after learning that social is often at the detriment of personal, it would have been ...
2
votes
2answers
265 views

Sequence of Tense [duplicate]

Which one is correct? Centuries ago, people weren't aware that the planets revolved around the sun. Centuries ago, people weren't aware that the planets revolve around the sun. In my ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

Is the sequence of tenses applied properly in this example?

I found this sentence in some book: When Mom asked Gramma why she hasn't been answering the telephone, Gramma said. . . . My question is about the sequence of tenses: shouldn't the past perfect ...
1
vote
3answers
227 views

Simple past sounds better but past perfect seems more accurate

I think it's grammatically more accurate to say,"The market was closed after a virus had been found." However, it sounds "better" to say,"The market was closed after a virus was found." Grammatically, ...
1
vote
2answers
447 views

Sequence of tenses?

Can you please help me with this thing called "sequence of verbs"? From what I'm understanding, if I use "would," I have to keep "would" throughout the sentence. Example: "I would go visit my cousin ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

Isn't this against tense agreement?

When I got home yesterday, John called and said he will arrive next week. (Wikipedia) Wikipedia says the sentence above is possible. Does it not break the tense agreement when there’s no ...
-2
votes
2answers
197 views

Can I use the 3rd conditional that way? [closed]

Is the sentence given below grammatically correct? Had you born two days later and it would have been difficult to celebrate your birthdays. Is it the only option to use the third conditional to ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

I suggested we go together / I suggested we went together. Which is the correct usage?

I am having trouble with something very specific and I found both in usage but one has to be better than the other. Right? He wanted to go back to Kazakhstan, so I suggested we go together. He ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the correct way to construct a conditional sentence with “would”?

I was told several times that a conditional sentence with the following structure is incorrect: If I would do this, then he would do that. Rather it should be: If I do this, then he will do ...