haha, that is what I was going to say, then I figure someone would have already thought that line. Dang!

context: I am surveying Quora home feed and saw an interesting comment. The above sentence is my response. Well, then I start to have the feeling that I used the wrong tense of "think". I am not sure what is the grammatically correct way to say the above sentence. thanks in advance.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Chenmunka, Ellie Kesselman, Dan Bron, Centaurus, anongoodnurse May 12 '15 at 11:16

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  • Anything that is true is automatically something that could be true; necessarily true entails possibly true. Everything about your sentence is grammatically OK, except: (a) that is => that's; (b) figure => figured; (c) thought that line => thought of that line. No tense problems at all. – John Lawler Apr 23 '15 at 14:11
  • @JohnLawler: Why's there the need to contract "that is" to "that's"? – user21820 Apr 25 '15 at 6:04
  • Because in English speech it normally is. It's optional but almost inevitable at normal conversational speeds, and its absence will likely be interpreted as emphasis, hesitation, foreignness, stiffness, or some other potentially distracting perception. When in Rome, talk like the Romans do. – John Lawler Apr 25 '15 at 14:17

Since you did the figuring in the past (at about the same time as you were going to say something), you should use the past tense:

That is what I was going to say, then I figured someone would have already thought that line.


Perhaps, shorter:

Ha, ha. I was going to say that, and wouldn't be the first [either].

Removing "think/figure" makes the sentence more direct.

Tenses, as Professor Lawler says, are fine.

  • I don't think that's answering the question. – DJClayworth Apr 23 '15 at 14:28
  • 1
    There's a lack of connection between the title and the body of the OP message. That's the best I was able to do under the circumstances. – Marius Hancu Apr 23 '15 at 14:33

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