-1

What if a sentence was specific to a time frame in the past, but still applies today as well. How should I go about it in formal academic writing?

Between December 2016 and September 2017, the people of XXX were amongst the most friendly towards ZZZ.

Between December 2016 and September 2017, the people of XXX were (and still remain) amongst the most friendly towards ZZZ.

In another context:

Between December 2016 and September 2017, the parties in power were conservative in orientation. (note: the parties are no longer in power, but they remain conservative? I guess that's where my confusion over the right tense to use.)

  • 1
    'Between December 2016 and September 2017, the people of XXX were (and still remain) amongst the most friendly towards ZZZ.' is unwieldy. 'Between December 2016 and September 2017, the people of XXX were amongst the most friendly towards ZZZ. In fact, they still are.' – Edwin Ashworth Mar 12 '18 at 22:17
  • Why do you specify an end date (September 2017) for the situation, if you also assert that it is still ongoing? Why not just "Since December 2016, the people of XXX have been amongst the most friendly..."? – The Photon Mar 12 '18 at 22:59
  • If you have specific evidence that only covers some date range, then you need to separate that from your unsupported claim about the present situation: "A survey by ZZZ showed that between Dec 2016 and Sept 2017, <something was true>. And my experience is that it still is today." – The Photon Mar 12 '18 at 23:01
  • Hi, thank you for responding to all! @ThePhoton, my paper examines how two particular governments and the people responded to a particular scheme that lasted for two years, a period that has since lapsed. – Gav Mar 13 '18 at 20:13
0

I'm not sure there is a specific word for this, since such a word could be ambiguous. In one case, they've been friendly since 2016:

(1) Since December 2016, the people of XXX were amongst the most friendly towards ZZZ.

In another case, we need at least two time frames:

(2) Between December 2016 and September 2017 the people of XXX were amongst the most friendly towards ZZZ, which has again been the case from February 2018 to present.

Style (1) fixes the last example:

Since December 2016, the parties in power have been conservative in orientation.

But I think this works as well:

Between December 2016 and September 2017, the parties in power were and remain conservative in orientation.

  • Is the fact that the situation still applies today relevant to what you want to say, or is it just the reason why you are in doubt about what tense to use? I read the question as referring to the latter situation, and the answer I give is that whatever the situation today, the past tense should be used to refer to a distinct period in the past. If you want to talk about today as well, then the comments above show you how to do that. – JeremyC Mar 12 '18 at 23:07
  • Well you want tense to match your clause. In the second example I give, for instance, I use past ("were") in the first clause, but a perfect progressive ("has been") in the second clause. You match tense with words, not meanings. – CalendarJ Mar 12 '18 at 23:10
  • Hi, thanks for taking time to respond to this! @JeremyC, I'd think it's the latter as well. I'm examining how governments responded to a particular two-year long scheme, a period that has since lapsed. Thanks for your specific guideline! – Gav Mar 13 '18 at 20:22
0

Between December 2016 and September 2017, the people of XXX were shown to be amongst the most friendly towards ZZZ.

Shown is the past participle of show, meaning (verb, with object): Demonstrate or prove.

The synonyms for shown (demonstrated, proven) may be used interchangeably to indicate that an event that happened in the past is also currently valid.

Between December 2016 and September 2017, the parties in power were shown to be conservative in orientation. (note: the parties are no longer in power, but they remain conservative? I guess that's where my confusion over the right tense to use.)

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.