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  1. #1
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default present tense or past tense

    I heard the following dialogues from a moive called "The Terminal":

    A: I guess you missed your flight again. Or may be you have a bad travel agent.

    The word in bold i.e "have" is a present tense. I wonder is it correct to use "had" in the above context.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: present tense or past tense

    Both are possible, but they mean different things - as you'd expect with different tenses.

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    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: present tense or past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Both are possible, but they mean different things - as you'd expect with different tenses.
    Thanks, 5jj.

    In the following context, do we use "Maybe you have a bad travel agent.", the present tense?

    (You cannot get on the plane due to the bad arrangement of the travel agent and you are still waiting at the airport.)

    A passenger talked to you: Maybe you have a bad travel agent.
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 07-Apr-2013 at 16:36.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: present tense or past tense

    We could also use 'had'. It depends whether we are thinking of the person addressed as having a regular travel agent, or as merely having used one for purchasing the ticket for this flight.

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: present tense or past tense

    Exactly. I have a travel agent. It's the same lady I use for all my business travel.

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