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All dictionaries I consulted say that "nog" is not an English word. (self-made)

Will this kind of entanglement of tenses be acceptable for English? At first, I used past tense, then switched to present tense immediately. But I think it fits well into the reality,my action of consulting a dictionary has become the past, whereas the dictionaries themselves still remain the same, and say the same thing about that word.

marked as duplicate by MetaEd, RegDwigнt Oct 27 '13 at 14:04

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Firstly, your usage of 'says' is wrong. Since you've mentioned 'dictionaries', which is plural, you should use 'say'.

All dictionaries I consulted say that "nog" is not an English word.

This doesn't seem wrong to me.

However, I would rather use the perfect tense and say:

All dictionaries I've consulted say that "nog" is not an English word.

It also sounds better to my ear if I add 'the':

All the dictionaries I've consulted say that "nog" is not an English word.

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    You are right about 'say' and 'says'. But I am wondering why you talk of the 'past perfect'? What you have written here is the simple 'perfect'. By 'past perfect' I always assume that people mean what I would call the 'pluperfect', which in this instance would have been 'All dictionaries I had consulted...' But whether you use the present or the perfect depends on context anyway. It is not a question of preference. Finally I see no value in including 'the'. – WS2 Oct 27 '13 at 8:13
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    "have consulted" may be better. But "consulted" is permissible, right? Granted that, can "consulted" be used together with "say"? – benlogos Oct 27 '13 at 8:45
  • @WS2 I'm sorry, that was a genuine mistake. I meant present perfect. I'll edit it right away. And about the 'the', I've said, it just sounds better to me, and is what I would have said. :) – mikhailcazi Oct 27 '13 at 9:35
  • @user51369 I've mentioned it above, using 'consulted' doesn't seem wrong to me. You're right, that since the dictionaries still do say that, it's better to use the present tense. – mikhailcazi Oct 27 '13 at 9:38
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    All the dictionaries I consulted suggests that the process of consultation is over - it might have finished last year, last week, yesterday or this morning, but it is complete. All the dictionaries I have consulted implies that the consultation is continuing: not that I will necessarily look at another one, but that I am thinking of the process as continuing, perhaps with this very question. – Colin Fine Oct 27 '13 at 12:25

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