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'They have advised us that their findings are inconclusive and are unable to disassociate you from the record.' The sentence appears to mix past and future tenses. Perhaps there is a missing antecedent. This is not a proofreading question. I do not wish to write a sentence that is correct or which flows better. I wish to find the language to explain why there is a technical error that causes the statement to be ineffective.

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  • It's past and present, not past and future. To be unable is present tense.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 10 at 17:37
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    I think this is a duplicate, if it's asking about a construction like "They said Paris is the capital of France" which mixes past "said" with present "is". There are also a lot of identical questions on English Language Learners (but I don't recommend moving even if the OP seems not to be a native speaker - such basic confusions over tense are a common learner mistake).
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 10 at 17:51
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    The deletion makes the sentence sound clumsy, with 'are unable ...' seemingly having 'their findings' as the subject. Better would be 'They have advised us that their findings are inconclusive and that they are [consequently] unable to disassociate you from the record.' // The use of tense and temporal construction (have advised / are / are) are totally correct. 'Our teacher taught us that the Earth is about 90 million miles away from the Sun.' As Stuart says, this is a duplicate issue. Commented Jul 10 at 19:11
  • The technical error that causes the confusion is the connector and, which is too weak to set up the cause & effect: "They have advised us that because their findings are inconclusive, they are unable to disassociate you from the record." Similar to using 'consequently' suggested by @EdwinAshworth. Commented Jul 11 at 0:26
  • The problem I see is in this construction is that the and at the tenth word could bind "they have" to [they] are unable" or it could bind "findings are inclusive" to "[findings] are unable to disassociate." The result is avoidable ambiguity—avoidable by restructuring the sentence so that the intended connection is the only one that is syntactically possible.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jul 11 at 4:44

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