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Thread: Were / Are

  1. #1
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    Default Were / Are

    Are these correct? If not, why? What do they mean?
    1. If you don't mind, I'm going to fax you something and then you can get back to what you were doing. (What you were doing before?)

    2. If you don't mind, I'm going to fax you something and then you can get back to what you are doing. (What you are doing right now? Present status?)

    Which one would you use? Does it matter?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Were / Are

    I'd use the second. I presume you are saying this down a phone, so the interruption is now. however, the first also seems OK, because they will have to stop to read your fax.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Were / Are

    Scenario: He's going to school tommorow but now he decides that he might not be going anymore.

    Are these okay? What do they mean?
    1. I thought you were going to school tommorow?
    2. I thought you are going to school tommorow?

    Is either one of these sentences fine?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Were / Are

    Jack - "I thought you were going to school tomorrow" looks good. In other words, "you said you would go". "Are going to" you can use for example if you say "Aren't you going to to school tomorrow? I thought you were. Have you changed your mind?" I don't think you can combine "thought" (past tense) with "are going" (future plan).

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Were / Are

    I agree- use 'were'.

  6. #6
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Were / Are

    Wouldn't it be nice if we had keyboard keys for certain words like 'tomorrow', 'grammar', and 'occurrence' that are consistently difficult to spell?

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Were / Are

    Auto-correct would be very useful in forums.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Were / Are

    The auto thing could work on the word "fine" too, and similar words that are tricky to use. "Rather" is another example.

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