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  1. #1
    terryko is offline Newbie
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    Default Present tense vs Past tense

    Present tense vs Past tense

    Hi all, I have read a lot of threads about Present tense vs Past tense.

    I am still confused, so I would like you guys help me with that.

    Below are some examples that made me confused.


    1: The grade I received (isn’t/wasn’t) correct. ( It is still not correct, and I want to let the instructor knows.)


    Why either one is correct in this case?

    Is there any difference between them?

    I thought the sentence “The grade I received wasn’t correct” didn’t tell us anything about correctness of the grade now.

    So is it better to use “isn’t” if I want to let my instructor knows that my grade is still not correct?

    If “isn’t” is better, does it violate the rule “if the first verb is past tense, the second one should be past as well”?

    2:The paper he wrote in 1990 (has /had )a lot of mistakes. ( It still has a lot of mistakes, and I wanna tell people about that right now.)

    3: The notice he posted on the door (is /was) confusing. ( it’s still confusing. )

    Please explain and let me know which option I have to choose for the sentences above.

    Please also let me know if my message is confusing. If so, I will try my best to rephrase it.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Present tense vs Past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by terryko View Post
    1: The grade I received (isn’t/wasn’t) correct.
    If we say that the grade isn't correct, we are considering its present correctness; we could follow this with, "so I am going to ask for it to be changed". If we say it wasn't correct, we are talking about its correctness at the time; we can follow this with, "so I asked for it to be changed".
    ... does it violate the rule “if the first verb is past tense, the second one should be past as well”?
    There is no such general rule. This is fine:

    Emma left yesterday, so I am on my own.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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