I'm curious about why the verb of the subject clause isn't using past tense.

closed as off-topic by JJJ, Cascabel, Chappo, jimm101, Mitch Jun 12 at 18:40

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 6
    Because when it was noticed it was not "past", but rather was on-going. – Hot Licks May 28 at 2:27

"Give" in that sentence is not a finite verb; it is an infinitive. So it doesn't inflect in the "primary tense system", and can be used with a main verb in the past tense just as well as it can be used with a main verb in the present tense.

The verb notice can take an infinitive clause as a complement. This construction doesn't seem to be recorded very well in the major online dictionaries; Collins has a small note mentioning this usage ("[Also V n inf]"), although it doesn't include any illustrative example sentence.

You could also say "I noticed (that) the shop owner gave the two women some cash." The meanings are similar, but to me, the construction with an infinitive has a more immediate feel, implying that the noticing occurred exactly at the point in time when the shop owner gave the cash.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.