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    #1

    thought+object+present tense?

    In a study that looked at medical students' perceptions of ECT, more than half thought ECT causes pain, nearly a quarter thought it causes brain damage, and 40% felt it was misused by psychiatrists.

    Shouldn't it be "more than half thought ECT caused pain, nearly a quarter thought it caused brain damage"?

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    #2

    Re: thought+object+present tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    In a study that looked at medical students' perceptions of ECT, more than half thought ECT causes pain, nearly a quarter thought it causes brain damage, and 40% felt it was misused by psychiatrists.

    Shouldn't it be "more than half thought ECT caused pain, nearly a quarter thought it caused brain damage"?
    No, their thought may have been in the past, but the proposition that "ECT causes pain" in timeless.

    It's like saying 10% of people reported that the sun rises in the west (all the time). If the proposition is not fixed in time, then you can use the habitual present tense for it. "ECT pauses pain; The sun rises in the east."


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    #3

    Re: thought+object+present tense?

    It's kind of like indirect speech isn't it? It's like "thought" = "said" and there's no backshift in tense. But I do find such a usage rarer for "thought" than for indirect speeches with "said", "told" etc. I was told by another, that "caused" can also be used in this context. I mean we hardly say "I thought he is", "he thought she cares" but "I thought he was" and "he thought she cared".
    Last edited by lycen; 25-Oct-2009 at 18:32.

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    #4

    Re: thought+object+present tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    It's kind of like indirect speech isn't it? It's like "thought" = "said" and there's no backshift in tense. But I do find such a usage rarer for "thought" than for indirect speeches with "said", "told" etc. I was told by another, that "caused" can also be used in this context. I mean we hardly say "I thought he is", "he thought she cares" but "I thought he was" and "he thought she cared".
    I'm not saying you can't use 'caused', only that 'causes' is not wrong. You have a choice in this case.
    I can see your point, but in this case, "thought" is used differently from usual. It's the result of a poll of some type. They must have actually reported that they thought ECT caused pain. They reported their belief that ECT causes pain.
    You generally wouldn't say "I thought ECT causes pain".

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