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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Tense usage

    Hello I have a question regarding the usage of tenses in this sentence:

    "Jim declines a job with CB Inc., which would have paid $300."

    It looks to me like the first part of the sentence is in present tense, but the second part is in past tense. Is the sentence correct? If not, what would be correct if the first part must remain in present tense?

    Thank you

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Tense usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Hello I have a question regarding the usage of tenses in this sentence:

    "Jim declines a job with CB Inc., which would have paid $300."

    It looks to me like the first part of the sentence is in present tense, but the second part is in past tense. Is the sentence correct? If not, what would be correct if the first part must remain in present tense?

    Thank you
    It could be correct, depending on the wider context.
    There's no rule saying the two halves of a sentence have to be in the same tense.
    It would be more common to use "Jim declined ...".

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    #3

    Re: Tense usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Hello I have a question regarding the usage of tenses in this sentence:

    "Jim declines a job with CB Inc., which would have paid $300."

    It looks to me like the first part of the sentence is in present tense, but the second part is in past tense. Is the sentence correct? If not, what would be correct if the first part must remain in present tense?

    Thank you
    The only context in which I could imagine such a sentence occurring is a synopsis of a book/play/film, in which the main narrative tense tends to be the present. Certain tenses, such as the conditional perfect, tend, however, to remain 'unshifted' in such texts, leading sometimes to the sort of 'uncomfortable' combination of verb forms that we have here.

    While a learner may understandably find this a little disorientating, natives will quickly make the necessary mental adjustment, knowing that the present is simply functioning as a substitute past tense, and interpret accordingly.

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