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  1. #1
    Helped Wanted Guest

    Need advise on using present or past tense in answering, thx

    If a question ask:

    Would you like to be as clever as Leonardo da Vinci? Why or Why not?

    The answer to the first Q would be:

    Yes, I would/ No, I would not.

    The answer to the 2nd Q would be:

    This (is or was???) because I will know everything without trying.

    Should I answer the 2nd question in present tense or past tense, if I really need to begin it with "This....because.."?
    Thanks very very much for helping again, teachers! :"(

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Present tense- the reason is that 'would like' is not a true conditional- it is not dependent on an if- clause.

  3. #3
    Helped Wanted Guest
    Thanks for helping again, teacher Tdol but I sort of got a little confused here.
    So, referring to the Q above, I should use present tense in answering it as in:
    This is because I will know everything without trying.

    However, in one of the replies you posted earlier which suggested to use this sequence of tenses "This is because I would..." . Hence, should I change the will to would in the sentence above, quoted again here (... I will or would??? know everything without trying.)

    Similarly, you have agreed that the following ones are also correct.

    2. This is because if someone (did not or doesn't???) understand sth, I ( can or could???) help him or them.

    3. Yes, I would. This is because I (can or could???)get to know the names of all flowers and insects.

    Soooo sorry for troubling you again, teacher Tdol! Please advise again, thanks! :"(

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    If you are talking about an imaginary situation, use the past and would- you aren't Leondardo, so everything is imaginary. We show this by using the past and would.

  5. #5
    Helped Wanted Guest
    Hence, I should use "would" instead of "will" in:

    This is because I <WOULD> know everything without trying. ( AM I RIGHT?)

    The answer begins with "This is because" since the Q begins with 'Would you like...' which is not a true conditional & not dependent on an if- clause. ( AM I RIGHT?)

    The reason following "This is because...." should be in the past tense form (2nd conditional) if I mention that I was someone else as in:

    <This is because if I were as clever as Leonardo, my parents would be very happy. ( AM I RIGHT?)>

    What if I didn't mention " If I were...." in the reason but went straight to giving the reason as in:

    This is because I (can or could???)get to know the names of all flowers and insects.
    ( I should also choose the past tense form "COULD", shouldn't I?)

    Hope I did make myself clear to you here, teacher Tdol! PLEASE ADVISE AGAIN, soooooo sorry for keep bothering you all this time.Thanks! :"(

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    You're right about the tense. The use of 'this is because' is different, because it is present and true- the rest is your imagination.

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