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  1. #1
    confused123 is offline Newbie
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    Default Past tense and present tense in a sentence

    I have a question about using different tenses in one sentence. Below are a few examples of such a sentence which I do not know if they are grammatically correct or not, in the way I use the tenses.

    1) She loves to cook and has always been so and even now, she still loves to cook and my question is what should the following sentence be:
    - I didn't know that she loves/loved to cook.

    2) He is a gay and so how should the following sentence be:
    - I didn't know he was/is gay.

    3) She speaks French. So what should the sentence be:
    - I didn't know she speaks/spoke French.

    4) This question here is about reported speech. Below is the example:
    She said: "I live in Frankfurt."
    She said she lived in Frankfurt.
    Alternatively, can the following sentence be correct too (as she still lives in Frankfurt now):
    She said that she lives in Frankfurt


    Please advise me on how I should go about using sentences consisting of a past tense in the front part of a sentence followed by a present tense, like the sentences that I mentioned above. How and when do I make such kind of a sentence? Usually what I learned in school tells me that a past tense should always be followed by another past tense in a sentence but that doesn't seem all correct now. I hope you could explain to me about this. Lastly, what do you call such a topic in English grammar? Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Past tense and present tense in a sentence

    There is no rule that a past tense must be followed by another past tense. We mix tenses all the time. However, in your examples:

    I didn't know she loved to cook.
    I didn't know he was gay.
    I didn't know she spoke French.

    ... are the most natural.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Past tense and present tense in a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    There is no rule that a past tense must be followed by another past tense. We mix tenses all the time. However, in your examples:

    I didn't know she loved to cook.
    I didn't know he was gay.
    I didn't know she spoke French.

    ... are the most natural.
    They are probably the most common but, if the situations reported are still true, then these are also acceptable:

    I didn't know she loves to cook.
    I didn't know he is gay.
    I didn't know she speaks French.
    She said that she lives in Frankfurt
    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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