I'm writing to enquire whether there is a need for ...  
Wishing to be a part of your team thought the best way to go about it
was to ask you directly.

My background is mostly with ... but my interests lie with ...

My question is about the second and third sentences - I don't know how, or if at all, they can be rewritten to match the tense of the first one.

  • @TimLymington - Apologies. Sometimes the things that are under your nose are hardest to see.
    – Rook
    Nov 12 '13 at 18:13

The tenses are fine: You are writing now because you thought something in the past. It would be grammatical to say I think the best way... but this is not very idiomatic, and sounds rather pushy.

There are other problems with your prose, though. The first sentence is missing a subject. At a minimum, you need to insert a comma and I before thought, but it would be better to split up the sentence, perhaps "I would like to be a part of your team; I thought the best way was to ask directly" (assuming the first lacuna is the name or description of a job).

And the prepositions in your second paragraph depend on what exactly fills the blanks. Your background may be with IBM, in electronics or possibly at Harvard; too general a question misses out the context needed to give a good answer.

  • Tim, thank you for a very clear answer. You're right about the second part - I intentionally omitted some parts fearing this might be closed as too localised. If you'll permit, in the whole they go "I'm writing to enquire whether there is a need for naval architects at ... Wishing to be a part of your team, thought the best way was to ask directly. My background is mostly with hydromechanical aspects in initial / basic design, but my interests lie with the complete building process, and your company is where I feel they could be put to a good use." Can you see anything inherrently
    – Rook
    Nov 12 '13 at 18:53
  • wrong with them?
    – Rook
    Nov 12 '13 at 18:54

You actually shouldn't try to standardize the tenses here, at least based on what you've provided. Your first sentance is in the present progressive. You are currently writing.

Wish is a very odd verb, but the expression is I wish to -------, where the blank is an infinitive verb. So here, it would be I wish to join or I wish to be (part of)... . That being said, wish is an unusually formal word choice there. You'd probably be better off with I would like to... (better) or I want to... (worse).

  • 1
    I've been looking for a [link] like that, thank you.
    – Rook
    Nov 12 '13 at 19:01

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