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I saw this in my school's newspaper--what are the tense changes?

"Starting Thursday February 6th, sports fans around the world had been on the edge on the edge of their seats as the Winter Olympics went underway"

  • I think that the construction "went underway" is even worse than the mishmash of tenses in this sentence. This is what happens when you tell people "Don't use got!" – Peter Shor Mar 1 '14 at 20:01
  • I thoroughly concur with WS2 while wishing to add that I was rather very tense while reading the sentence which had some rather tense~ changes~ – user67452 Mar 1 '14 at 21:44
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Whilst not disagreeing in the least with Peter Shor, the whole sentence simply doesn't make sense.

To begin with the use of 'Starting...' suggests that what followed was a repeat occurrence over several days. But the Winter Olympics only 'got' underway once (presumably).

As if that wasn't enough confusion, the writer then slaps a pluperfect on us (had been on the edge of our seats), in a context where a simple past is all that is needed.

Perhaps what the writer meant to say was: 'On Thursday February 6th, sports fans around the world were on the edge of their seats as the Winter Olympics got underway'. I am afraid that 'Starting' just has to go. Though it must have been an important word in the mind of the writer, it is not clear from the context why it is needed.

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