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Thread: tense

  1. #1
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default tense

    Which is correct? Or are they all fine but semantically a bit different from each other?

    When we experience things we don't know, we may be able to broaden our minds.
    When we experience things we haven't known, we may be able to broaden our minds.
    When we experience things we didn't know, we may be able to broaden our minds.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka View Post
    Which is correct? Or are they all fine but semantically a bit different from each other?

    When we experience things we don't know, we may be able to broaden our minds.
    When we experience things we haven't known, we may be able to broaden our minds.
    When we experience things we didn't know, we may be able to broaden our minds.
    The first and the third are both OK and mean the same. The second is not wrong exactly but it's not natural.

  3. #3
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: tense

    Isn't the first one logically improbable?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka View Post
    Isn't the first one logically improbable?
    Why?

  5. #5
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: tense

    Because when you experience something, I guess you know it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka View Post
    Because when you experience something, I guess you know it.
    If you have a new experience, it's something that you hadn't experienced before.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: tense

    I mean you are not in the state of not knowing it at the time you experience it

  8. #8
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    Default Re: tense

    The time of not knowing it does end as you BEGIN to experience it, yes, but we say it that wall all the time. As I land at Heathrow, I can say "I've never been to England before."

    In fact, I can say that throughout my entire two-week vacation there. "This is a marvelous trip. I can't believe I've never visited England before!"

    It's understood that the "I haven't" refers to prior to the start of this experience.
    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.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    The time of not knowing it does end as you BEGIN to experience it, yes, but we say it that wall all the time. As I land at Heathrow, I can say "I've never been to England before."

    In fact, I can say that throughout my entire two-week vacation there. "This is a marvelous trip. I can't believe I've never visited England before!"

    It's understood that the "I haven't" refers to prior to the start of this experience.
    OK. So the second one with the present perfect sounds fine.

    What about the first one with the present tense, Barb?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: tense

    Well, I think I find the first one illogical, while Bhai finds the second one the least natural, so it just goes to show you that it simply depends on what your perspective is at the time you say it, think about it, or experience it.

    Are you looking at yourself then, but thinking about a time before? Are you thinking about yourself now, after having had the experience, so that your time of not knowing and your time of experiencing are both past? Tenses are more flexible than many people might expect them to be, and which one(s) you use will depend on where you mind is at the time you utter those words.
    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.

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