Assume that there are two texts written in sequential order, Text B having awareness of Text A. In the context where we discuss Text B in the present tense, in what tense should we refer to Text A? In a sentence like, “B adresses this certain problem, which A fails/failed to do,” is it more conventional to emphasis the temporal relation between A and B by using the past tense “failed” or is it more so to treat both texts as if they exist on the different points of a vast plane of flat time by using the present tense for B as well?

Thank you for your help.

  • Either is acceptable. It's also dependent on context. (How the surrounding text is written.) – Jason Bassford Jan 24 at 18:45

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