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  1. #1
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    Default ungrammatical, unidiom,and missing.

    By the time he told his mom how badly his older brother had behaved, he almost forgot to tell her that there was a dog passed on the other night.

    By the time he told his mom how badly his younger behaved, he almost forgot to tell her that her brother died in combat the other night.

    Is there any problems with sequence of the tense ?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: ungrammatical, unidiom,and missing.

    I'd use 'had told'. Also, 'there was a dog passed on' doesn't work- try 'a dog had passed on'.

  3. #3
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: ungrammatical, unidiom,and missing.

    By the time he told his mom how badly his older brother had behaved, he almost forgot to tell her that there was a dog passed on the other night.
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'd use 'had told'. Also, 'there was a dog passed on' doesn't work- try 'a dog had passed on'.
    Shouldn't the verbs in bold be used in the past tense?
    My understanding is that the past tense is time-specific as in this case whereas the past perfect tense as you suggested is not time-specific.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: ungrammatical, unidiom,and missing.

    There a sequence here that I think that, together with the 'by the time' makes the past perfect run better. Hi didn't gorget- he almost forgot, so he told here after telling her about the brother's behaviour, which means that using the past perfect for the verbs in the beginning works better.

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