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  1. #1
    Mr.Lucky_One is offline Member
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    Default Sequence of Tenses

    "I heard them say they are going home and getting numb."

    Is the sentence above right?
    Shoudn't there be "were" in the sentence?

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    Default Re: Sequence of Tenses

    'Were' is correct.

    If the fact that they are going home is still true at the moment of reporting, 'are' is also possible.

    What do you mean by 'getting numb'?

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    Mr.Lucky_One is offline Member
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    Default Re: Sequence of Tenses

    To get numb is to get so drunk you can't feel your arms, legs, face, etc.
    Do you think it's possible to use this phrase to describe such a state?

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    Default Re: Sequence of Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Lucky_One View Post
    To get numb is to get so drunk you can't feel your arms, legs, face, etc.
    Do you think it's possible to use this phrase to describe such a state?
    I've not heard it used this way.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sequence of Tenses

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I've not heard it used this way.
    Neither have I, but the Urban Dictionary has an entry for this phrase.

    I don't think that it's a well-established phrase (only three thumbs up). Most people would say 'Let's get wasted!' or 'Let's get hammered!' rather than 'Let's get numb!'

    As an aside, there is a related phrase. I was feeling no pain after my first drink.

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    Mr.Lucky_One is offline Member
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    Default Re: Sequence of Tenses

    There is the context in the urban dictionary.

    -Hey girl, what are the guys doing tonight?
    -Oh those a******s, I heard them say they are going home and getting numb.

    So is it right that there is "are" rather than "were"? Or maybe it is non-standart English.
    Here is the question that interests me much more than phrase "getting numb".

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    Default Re: Sequence of Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    'Were' is correct.

    If the fact that they are going home is still true at the moment of reporting, 'are' is also possible.

    What do you mean by 'getting numb'?
    Yes, but is "were" correct in all possible cases, even if they are going home at the moment of reporting?

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    Mr.Lucky_One is offline Member
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    Default Re: Sequence of Tenses

    Well, I find it rather hard for me.

    Could you give a link or advise me any book where I could find any informaton about using a present tense in subordinate clause, while main clause was in a past tense?

    Because the only thing I've found is that we can use a presen tense in subordinate clause when
    subordinate clause expresses some universal truth. But I guess it's not our case.

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    Default Re: Sequence of Tenses

    When the thing reported is introduced by a past-tense verb of speech, backshifting is always correct. However, if the situation reported is still true, then backshifting is not essential.

    On Monday, John says to Peter, "I am going to France on Wednesday",
    On Tuesday, Peter reports: John told me he was/is going to France tomorrow/on Wednesday.
    On Thursday, Peter reports: John told me he was/is going to France yesterday/on Weednesday.

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    Mr.Lucky_One is offline Member
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    Default Re: Sequence of Tenses

    Thank you very much.
    I hope that there are no other cases of using present tense in subordinate clauses when using past tense in main clauses, exept in the case of universal truth and the case of which you've told me.

    I just wonder why the things you've just explained me are not written anywhere. At least I couldn't have found them.

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