2

I am a bit confused about the proper tense for the following situation. I try to make an example:

A couple of weeks ago I talked to someone. We have not talked or communicated in any way again since then. So this action is completed and lies in the past.

This talk lead to an action that takes place right now. So it is ongoing and in the present. Which form is grammatically correct:

  1. After a talk with Y, I write this sentence.
  2. After having a talk with Y, I write this sentence.
  3. After a talk with Y, I am writing this sentence.
  4. After having a talk with Y, I am writing this sentence.

or even

  1. After having had a talk with Y, I write / am writing this sentence.
  2. After I had a talk with Y, I write / am writing this sentence.

Thank you very much in advance for your answer!

  • Talking with Y last week led me to writing this sentence today. Or My talk with Y last week led to me writing this sentence today. – Jim Jan 6 at 20:57
3

That unqualified use of after will always make people think it means directly after, so all of those are more confusing than things that are more explicit:

  • I talked with X a few weeks back, but am only just now writing about it.
  • Having talked with X a couple weeks ago, I’m now writing about what I learned then.

You can also use had in many narrative styles:

  • I had talked with X about all this two week ago; now I’m finally getting around to writing about what I learned during our talk.
  • Thank you very much for thinking a bit out-of-the-box! What about the combination of after and a more explicit "time-stamp", such as "After an talk with X last month, I write"? – kalle Jan 6 at 15:39
  • @kalle That's not too bad, although the simple present should in most circumstances be written as a progressive like am writing. Not always though. – tchrist Jan 6 at 16:01
  • "Not always though." would refer to which circumstances? Thank you very much for your elaboration! – kalle Jan 6 at 16:33
0

I see no difference between "After a talk with" and "After having a talk with"! Also, when you are writing about an ongoing action in the present, you need to use present continuous. Therefore, I would choose number 3 and 4.

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.