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  1. #1
    gorikaz is offline Member
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    Unhappy Sequence of tenses

    I have a question regarding the sequence of tenses. In the following sentences, don't the verbs "is" and "may" have to be changed to "was" and "might" according to the rules of the sequence of tenses? (I understand that "allows" should remain as it is since it deals with the general truth.)

    (Sentence Example)
    The panel noted that if no change is made to the Imperial House Law, which allows only male members of the imperial family to become emperor, there may be no way to maintain the imperial system under the current circumstances.

  2. #2
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Sequence of tenses

    The panel noted(this action happened in the past) that if no change is made (this is the present in relation to the time when the panel was doing the noting). The word may is a type of verb we call a modal auxilliary. Its tense does not tell the time of the occurence, but its liklihood.
    If something might happen, it is less likely that if it may happen.

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