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Thread: Grammar

  1. #1
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    Default Grammar

    I have a question pertaining to grammar. I'm taking French classes and the other day I got into an argument with my French teacher over the translation of the following sentence: "J'ai vu que tu m'avais inscrit". In French, one has to use the plus-que-parfait for the second part of the sentence (tu m'AVAIS inscrit). Saying "J'ai vu que tu m'AS inscrit" would be wrong. I think that saying "I saw that u signed me up" is grammatically correct and that one doesn't have to use the plus-que-parfait in English (I saw that u HAD signed me up). Am I right or wrong?
    Thanks for the effort.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Grammar

    "I saw"= past tense
    signed= past tense.
    But for me to 'see' that you had done so, you must have done the actual 'signing me up' before I saw/found out about it, at some point earlier in the time frame.The 'had signed' construction places it further back in time.
    I see (present tense) that you signed (past tense)me up then, even though I asked you not to.
    I saw that you had signed me up, (so it saved me the trouble)
    Part of the problem is that in speech, with the contraction, "I saw that you'd signed me up", the 'd of you'd gets so "swallowed", that sometimes we lapse into saying, I saw that you signed me up.
    Last edited by David L.; 22-Dec-2007 at 13:41.

  3. #3
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I have a question pertaining to grammar.
    I think that saying "I saw that u signed me up" is grammatically correct and that one doesn't have to use the plus-que-parfait in English (I saw that u HAD signed me up). Am I right or wrong? You are right.
    2006

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Grammar

    The previous two answers neatly demonstrate one of the differences between British and North American English.

    Both tenses are possible. The difference in meaning is very technical, though, and not noticeable even to native speakers.

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