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  1. #1
    sebayanpendam is offline Member
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    A confusing caption

    Hi,

    This is the caption I extracted from a local newspaper. It says 'Minister Yong Hoon Seng talks to a man who had been given a free prosthetic leg.'. Should it better write ... 'who was a given a free prosthetic leg'. as there is no further details given.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: A confusing caption

    No. The original sentence is correct.

    Rover

  3. #3
    sebayanpendam is offline Member
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    Re: A confusing caption

    Can you please explain why?

    thanks

  4. #4
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: A confusing caption

    Usually you would expect something else in the past when you use the past perfect. However, in the caption, it could look like he was given the leg right then and there, or shortly before they were talking. Using the past perfect shows that the giving of the leg happened further in the past than the conversation.

    Captions are odd in that they often use the present tense, where in simple narrative we would use the past.

    Yesterday, he talked to a man who (sometime further in the past) had been given ...

    Compared to:
    Yesterday he talked to a woman who (just before the conversation) was awarded first prize in the cake decorating contest.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    sebayanpendam is offline Member
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    Re: A confusing caption

    Hi,

    Thanks for the explanation. I was confused because the simple present and the past perfect tense are used together.
    e.g. 'He talks to the man who had been given a prosthetic leg.
    I thought ... it should be .. was given. Would 'has been' should be okay in that sentence?

    Thanks

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