-He stopped to think about the future. -He stopped thinking about the future. Are both sentences using Simple Past?

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    Yes, the matrix (main) clauses with "stopped" are 'simple' past tense. Note though that the embedded subordinate clauses "to think about the future" and "thinking about the future" are non-finite, i.e. tenseless. – BillJ Nov 8 '17 at 9:49
  • Yes but their meanings are hugely different… almost opposite. Please, why did you show no research or even opinion? – Robbie Goodwin Nov 12 '17 at 21:10

Yes both the sentences are in "Simple Past Tense" because main verb in both the cases is "stopped" which is (simple) past form. But the two sentences do not mean the same. In the first sentence physical action is involved - 'he' actually stopped (while walking or talking) to think about the future. In the second sentence mental action is involved. Hope I have answered your question. Thanks!

  • Thank you so much! i thought the only different was the gerund in the second sentence, with the same meaning like the first! – jay.de Nov 8 '17 at 10:35

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