Cheryl's birthday math puzzle

I understand it's possible to use narrating in present tense in some texts, particularly in essays. In this picture, though, what seems odd to me is sentences like "Albert and Bernard just become friends" or "At first I don't know when Cheryl's birthday is but I know now". Should the author have changed those to past tense or it is fine as it is?

  • We don't do general proof-reading here, but specifically in re: "At first I don't know" should more appropriately by "At first I didn't know". Similar comments apply to "just become". – Dan Bron Apr 14 '15 at 15:04
  • it's not proof reading, it's not mine. I have just seen some people arguing over the grammar in here. – Matumizuro Apr 14 '15 at 15:14
  • The question of whether it is proof-reading is orthogonal (independent) of whether it is yours. We can address any specific points of grammar you ask about, but not review the entire text and offer a general analysis. – Dan Bron Apr 14 '15 at 15:16
  • I understand. I'm going to edit my question. – Matumizuro Apr 14 '15 at 15:19
  • One can find the same question written with correct grammar. It was apparently written originally for an Asian math competition, presumably by non-native English speakers who knew math better than English. – Peter Shor Jun 13 '15 at 20:48

I don't believe this text is particularly well written.

"Albert and Bernard just become friends"

This should be: "Albert and Bernard have just become friends"

"At first I don't know when Cheryl's birthday is but I know now".

In my opinion, this should be: "At first I didn't know when Cheryl's birthday was but I know now" or better still: "At first I didn't know when Cheryl celebrates her birthday, but now I know".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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