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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Past Tense/ Present Tense

    1) If I saw someone at church who told me that he had stopped going to church, should I ask: "I thought you said you DIDN'T go to church anymore?" or "I thought you said you DON'T go to church anymore?"

    2) On Monday, Julie told me she had not received the package. Then if I saw Mark the next day(the person who was supposed to send Julie the package), should I say: "Julie told me she HAD not received the package: or should I say: "Julie told me she HAS not received the package?"

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Past Tense/ Present Tense

    1) If I saw someone at church who told me that he had stopped going to church, should I ask: "I thought you said you DIDN'T go to church anymore?" or "I thought you said you DON'T go to church anymore?"
    Either is good.

    2) On Monday, Julie told me she had not received the package. Then if I saw Mark the next day(the person who was supposed to send Julie the package), should I say: "Julie told me she HAD not received the package: or should I say: "Julie told me she HAS not received the package?"
    Use has. She has not received the package. (Present tense.)

  3. #3
    ESL101 Guest

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    So which one would you use? In question #1, would you use "DIDN'T" or "DON't"?

    Thanks,

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Moving the tense backwards is the normal prcedure, but if something remains true, like a fact, or will continue into the future, then it is possible to keep the verb in the present. Both could be possible. I'd use the past if the person was attending church again and the present if not. This usage is more widespread, seemingly, in British English than American.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ESL101
    So which one would you use? In question #1, would you use "DIDN'T" or "DON't"?

    Thanks,
    I would say don't (present tense).

    Mine is, of course, only one opinion, but then I am an expert. (At least, that's what Red says.)

    :wink:

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