# Thread: What tense should I use?

1. Member
Join Date
Sep 2009
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188

## What tense should I use?

Dear teacher,

I am trying to create one sentence about my puppy's habit, but I am confused about what tense I should use in main clause. Could you please help me?

1 If left at home, she will chew wires and play with trash can to show her discontent.

2 If left at home, she chews wires and plays with trash can to show her discontent.

LQZ

2. ## Re: What tense should I use?

Originally Posted by LQZ
Dear teacher,

I am trying to create one sentence about my puppy's habit, but I am confused about what tense I should use in main clause. Could you please help me?

1 If left at home, she will chew wires and play with trash can to show her discontent.

2 If left at home, she chews wires and plays with trash can to show her discontent. ("correct" in your scenario)

LQZ
===Not a teacher===

The word, "if", explores possibilities.
The word "will", implies the most likely possibility.
Last edited by 2010; 22-Jun-2010 at 08:39. Reason: typo

3. Banned
Join Date
Jun 2010
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70

## Re: What tense should I use?

The sentence you want is simple future tense.

"If left at home, she will chew wires and play with trash to show her discontent."

Remove can in your first sentence.

4. Member
Join Date
Sep 2009
Posts
188

## Re: What tense should I use?

Thank you. I've got it.

5. ## Re: What tense should I use?

Originally Posted by Editors4Writers
The sentence you want is simple future tense.

"If left at home, she will chew wires and play with trash to show her discontent."

Remove can in your first sentence.
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Hello Editors4Writers,

1. Is it correct to use "If" with a present tense.

2. Can we not use the simple present tense in the above scenario. As LQZ has mentioned, S\he wants to write about the puppy's habit.

3. What if the puppy plays with the "trash can" itself and not the trash. (Is the word "can" still not required)

If you could throw some light on it, I would appreciate that!

6. ## Re: What tense should I use?

Originally Posted by 2010
Hello Editors4Writers,

1. Is it correct to use "If" with a present tense.

2. Can we not use the simple present tense in the above scenario. As LQZ has mentioned, S\he wants to write about the puppy's habit.

3. What if the puppy plays with the "trash can" itself and not the trash. (Is the word "can" still not required)

If you could throw some light on it, I would appreciate that!
If it's the trashcan, not the trash, then the word can is required, as is the definite article.

As far as the rest is concerned, I think both tenses are acceptable. Personally, I would go for the present simple to show a habit, though I would probably start the sentence with "When" not "If".

7. Banned
Join Date
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## Re: What tense should I use?

Trashcan is fine if you intend to make it a compound.

"If" is suitable for this scenario because it acts as a correlative conjunction that indicates an "if...then" conditional statement.

"If I do this, then..."

If you want a sentence that shows definitive certainty about the outcome of a situation, "when" is also appropriate:

"When I leave my dog at home, she chews on the wires and plays with the trashcan to show her discontent." [Present Tense]

"If left at home [correlative conjunction past participle left], then she will chew the wires and play with the trash to show her discontent."

They are both fine. [correlative conjunction past participle] indicates that the action has already happened within the conditional statement, but the speaker wants to emphasize the outcome. "Will," in this case, is a verb that declares an inevitable event.

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