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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Why hypothetical?

    Now that the entire population has been housed, is there still a role for the Housing & Development Board (HDB)?

    "Yes," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as the HDB is till responsible for providing good public housing and fostering social integration.

    "Only when Singaporeans owned their own homes and so had a valuable asset which was theirs, would they be prepared to fight to defend the young nation," Mr Lee said as he took his audience back to the HDB's early days.

    I would like to know why the third paragraph contain verbs in the past tense when the first paragraph say that "... the entire population has been housed..."
    Why is the third paragraph hypothetical? I think the Prime Minister should have used present tense verbs in his speech. Am I right?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 27-Jan-2010 at 18:21. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Why hypothetical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Now that the entire population has been housed, is there still a role for the Housing & Development Board (HDB)?

    "Yes," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as the HDB is till responsible for providing good public housing and fostering social integration.

    "Only when Singaporeabs owned their own homes and so had a valuable asset which was theirs, would they be prepared to fight to defend the young nation," Mr Lee said as he took his audience back to the HDB's early days.

    I would like to know why the third paragraph contain verbs in the past tense when the first paragraph say that "... the entire population has been housed..."
    Why is the third paragraph hypothetical? I think the Prime Minister should have used present tense verbs in his speech. Am I right?

    Thanks in advance.
    The Prime Minister is making a prediction about what would be the attitude of Singaporeans if they owned their own homes. The tense used is correct.

  3. #3
    dheknesn is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Why hypothetical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Now that the entire population has been housed, is there still a role for the Housing & Development Board (HDB)?

    "Yes," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as the HDB is till responsible for providing good public housing and fostering social integration.

    "Only when Singaporeans owned their own homes and so had a valuable asset which was theirs, would they be prepared to fight to defend the young nation," Mr Lee said as he took his audience back to the HDB's early days.

    I would like to know why the third paragraph contain verbs in the past tense when the first paragraph say that "... the entire population has been housed..."

    Why is the third paragraph hypothetical? I think the Prime Minister should have used present tense verbs in his speech. Am I right?

    Thanks in advance.
    "I believe that the auxiliary verb 'to have' is deemed to have been (silently) employed before each verb apparently used in past tense.

    Besides, the three situations (of owning, of having a valuable asset, and being theirs) had to precede (and hence in past tense) as related to Singaporeans' 'being prepared to fight'.

    'Would' is chosen, presumably, as 'will' is more definitive, assertive.

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Why hypothetical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Now that the entire population has been housed, is there still a role for the Housing & Development Board (HDB)?

    "Yes," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as the HDB is till responsible for providing good public housing and fostering social integration.

    "Only when Singaporeabs owned their own homes and so had a valuable asset which was theirs, would they be prepared to fight to defend the young nation," Mr Lee said as he took his audience back to the HDB's early days.

    I would like to know why the third paragraph contain verbs in the past tense when the first paragraph say that "... the entire population has been housed..."
    Why is the third paragraph hypothetical? I think the Prime Minister should have used present tense verbs in his speech. Am I right?

    Thanks in advance.
    ***NOT A TEACHER***Maybe the answer can be found in these words from the article: he took his audience back to the HDB's early days (when most people did NOT own their own homes). He was putting us back in that time frame and predicting what WOULD happen once people OWNED their own homes. Thank you.

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