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  1. #1
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    Dec 2007
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    Smile sequence of tenses

    I don’t see how to handle sequence of tenses.

    He knows that the earth is round.
    He knew that the earth is round.

    I can understand the above two sentences. How about the following two sentences?

    (a) I know he is fine.
    (b) I knew that he is fine.

    Generally speaking, I think that sentence (b) should be amended into “I knew that he was fine”, because tenses (knew and is) don’t match; however, If he is fine now, can I say “I knew that he is fine” to express that he is fine even now?

    I want to know more about exceptional cases of sequence of tenses.

  2. #2
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: sequence of tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by groopy7777 View Post
    I don’t see how to handle sequence of tenses.

    He knows that the earth is round.
    He knew that the earth is round.

    I can understand the above two sentences. How about the following two sentences?

    (a) I know he is fine.
    (b) I knew that he is fine.

    Generally speaking, I think that sentence (b) should be amended into “I knew that he was fine”, because tenses (knew and is) don’t match; however, If he is fine now, can I say “I knew that he is fine” to express that he is fine even now?

    I want to know more about exceptional cases of sequence of tenses.
    First, Groopy, there is no "sequence of tenses". The change in tense is only a change in FORM and that change in form is only done to signal reported speech.

    We know this is true because we can actually report the speech with a direct quotation. We choose according to what we want to say, not according to fictitious rules.

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