Pikachu strolled along the street blissfully unaware of what lay ahead.


Pikachu strolled along the street blissfully unaware of what lies ahead.

I feel like I should use the simple past here (correct me if I'm wrong), but I am curious if it is possible to use present simple here (and if yes, then in what situations).

Also, do I need a comma after the word street?


The first example would be correct for actions that were all completed in the past; except "lie" is irregular, and you need "lay" here, not "lied". If you say "what lies ahead", it's not an action completed in the past, nor the present. In fact it hasn't even happened yet, as you read this. Yes, a comma, probably.

  • Yes, of course, lay, not lied — my bad. So, can what lies ahead be used, for example, if a story being narrated, and the narrator sort of switches to the present simple (like, you can tell stories of past events in the present simple for better immersion)? – Siegfried Zaytsev Aug 8 '15 at 16:58
  • if you want to use the narrative present, you'd need the whole sentence to share it: "Pikachu strolls along the street blissfully unaware of what lies ahead. – Margana Aug 8 '15 at 17:02
  • So basically stick to one tense (either past or present) throughout the whole sentence? – Siegfried Zaytsev Aug 8 '15 at 17:08
  • @SiegfriedZaytsev - yes, for this kind of sentence. – aparente001 Aug 9 '15 at 4:09
  • I have another question. If I mention the word street here for the first time, should I use the indefinite article with it instead of the definite one: "along a street"? – Siegfried Zaytsev Aug 9 '15 at 15:46

When you use Present Simple in this sentenses, you say that second situation still up to now. But it's not true. It would be correct when the second part is a clear fact that ever is true. "Pikachu strolled along the street blissfully unaware that the Earth is round."

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