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Thread: Tense Agreement

  1. #1
    sky3120's Avatar
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    Default Tense Agreement

    I have learned that we do not have to to follow the rule of tense agreement with the truth like

    "He said that the Sun rises in the east."

    But I also have learned that verbs such as think, know, hope, etc must follow the rule of tense agreement like

    "I thought you were here."

    And then, if we want to say about the truth with the verb, thought, which rule should we follow?


    1) I already thought that the earth moves around the Sun.

    2) I already thought that the earth moved around the Sun.

    I think both are possible and they mean the same. Do you experts agree with me? Thank you so much as always and have a good and safe day.

  2. #2
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Tense Agreement

    Only (2) is acceptable standard usage.
    If you wish to avoid grammatical errors, ALWAYS observe tense concord rules!!

    The issues that you raise here illustrate precisely why teachers should think twice about offering up to learners these supposed 'dispensations' from their application...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tense Agreement

    Thank you so much, but "The theory showed that the earth was round." is wrong and against tense agreement, right?

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    Jadoon 84 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Tense Agreement

    I am an ESL student and learn via internet.
    tense concord rules!!

    I didn't know about this topic in English grammar before. Having read your post I searched these rules in the internet and found a very precious link. Here is the link for other students. GRAMMAR Part 2: Subject-Verb Agreement (Concord) | Faith Brown

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tense Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post
    Thank you so much, but "The theory showed that the earth was round." is wrong and against tense agreement, right?
    "Showed" and "was" agree perfectly. The sentence is not wrong. You can also say "The theory showed that the earth is round". Sometimes tense agreement is obligatory and sometimes it's not.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    Default Re: Tense Agreement

    Thank you and what I would like to know is whether there is a meaning difference between "The theory showed that the earth was round." and "The theory showed that the earth is round." or not? Please give me your precious opinion.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tense Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post
    Thank you and what I would like to know is whether there is a meaning difference between "The theory showed that the earth was round." and "The theory showed that the earth is round." or not? Please give me your precious opinion.
    No, there is no difference in meaning.

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    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Tense Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post
    Thank you so much, but "The theory showed that the earth was round." is wrong and against tense agreement, right?
    No, perfectly correct.
    Whatever makes you think it is wrong??

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Tense Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post
    Thank you and what I would like to know is whether there is a meaning difference between "The theory showed that the earth was round." and "The theory showed that the earth is round." or not? Please give me your precious opinion.
    Not much, but the present tense means that it is definitely still round. The past tense doesn't make this so clear, though logically we can assume that it is still true today. With facts, we often use the present tense to show that they are facts and still true.

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