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Thread: tense agreement

  1. #1
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default tense agreement

    Hello everyone,

    Would you please tell me at which tense should I put the verb "to be" in the following sentence?
    "Iíve been told there was/is a new product against boldness."
    Are the simple past and the simple present both possible?

    All the best

  2. #2
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: tense agreement

    That depends on what you mean.

    Remember that the present perfect tense is a "present" tense: it indicates that the action is complete now. (And so the information that the action took place in the past is implied.)

    Therefore:

    I’ve been told [as of now] ---- there is [today] a new product against boldness.
    I’ve been told [as of now] ---- there was a new product against boldness advertised [yesterday] on Channel Three.

    I had been told [as of yesterday; no later than yesterday] ---- there was [then, yesterday] a new product against boldness.
    I had been told [as of yesterday; no later than yesterday] ---- there is [then and now, still] a new product against boldness.
    I was told [yesterday] ---- there was [then] a new product against boldness.
    I was told [yesterday] ---- there is [then and now, still] a new product against boldness.

    PS. I think you mean "baldness", hair loss, but a product against "boldness", audacity, is just too funny!
    Last edited by abaka; 02-Feb-2009 at 16:48. Reason: Inserted the long dashes, to clarify.

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