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  1. #1
    Snappy is offline Member
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    Default sequence of tenses

    I am writing a report on damage to a screw used for a machine.


    "The surface of the screw was remarkably oxidized by heat.
    Furthermore, thread damage is possible."


    My question is whether i should write the second sentence in the past tense "Furtherefore, thread damage was possible."


    I would have thought that it is okay to write it in the present tense because it means "the existence of thread damage is possible presently."


    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: sequence of tenses

    You're right. Oxidation is an event that happened in the past, and then ended, like a stroke of lightening. Damage is a condition that still exists; it is something like an injury caused by the lightening. The lightening (oxidation) struck then disappeared; the injury that it caused (thread damage) still exists.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: sequence of tenses

    "The surface of the screw was remarkably oxidized by heat.
    Furthermore, thread damage is possible."


    The oxidation and screw damage are both still in evidence - hence, one use of tenses might have been:
    "The surface of the screw is showing/manifesting oxidization from (exposure to extreme) heat.
    Furthermore, thread damage is possible."

    However, your sentence, using the Past Tense, is correct, because the event - when the screw was actually subjected to heat so causing the oxidation - occurred at some time in the past.

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