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Thread: tense question

  1. #1
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    tense question

    By November 1914 the government ---- to acknowledge that its policy ----.

    A) is forced / has failed
    B) had been forced / failed
    C) was forced / has failed
    D) would have been forced / failed
    E) was forced / had failed

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: tense question

    Hello Curious

    Did you want to suggest an answer yourself first?

    MrP

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    Re: tense question

    Hi, MrP,
    I think E is correct but I wonder whether the others, especially B, are correct or not.

    And can we use "did you want..." to mean "do you want...?" ?

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    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: tense question

    Hello Curious

    Yes, E is correct. For B to be correct, it would have to be "had been forced"/"had failed".

    A is correct if you're using the "historic present". This is a special use of the present tense, and gives a sense of immediacy to a narrative.

    "Did you want...?" is a more polite way of saying "do you want...?", e.g.

    1. Did you want another drink?
    2. Did you want to go and see a film tonight?

    The past tense distances the "wanting" from the addressee.

    See you,
    MrP

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    Re: tense question

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    "Did you want...?" is a more polite way of saying "do you want...?", e.g.
    1. Did you want another drink?
    2. Did you want to go and see a film tonight?
    The past tense distances the "wanting" from the addressee.
    See you,
    MrP
    Thank you, MrP. "I didn't know this" or should I say "I haven't known this."?

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    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: tense question

    Hello Curious

    You can say "I didn't know this"; but "I didn't know that" is probably more usual.

    See you,
    MrP

  7. #7
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    Re: tense question

    Thank you, MrP. Thank you ver much indeed.

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