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    #1

    verb tense--begins

    Officials said that no decision was expected from Mr. Obama on Wednesday, but that he would mull over the discussions at the meeting during a trip to Asia that begins Thursday. ---taken from The New York Times
    Hi, teacher,

    To my way of thinking, the "trip" refers to the "future" and is still valid at the time of the report, but why not "will begin" ? Thanks in advance.

    LQZ

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: verb tense--begins

    We often use the present to refer to an event in the future.

    Our vacation starts tomorrow.

    The store closes at 9.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.


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    #3

    Re: verb tense--begins

    The Present tense is used refer to a fact,and there are about 6 major ways in which the Present tense is used in this way.

    For example, "Wood floats on water." It would not make sense to say, "Wood floated on water", because as far back as I can remember, and history tells us, wood floated on water, does float on water, and will continue to float on water. We call these 'universal truths'.

    Similarly, plane and train timetables are regarded as 'universal truths' because (until the time-table changes!) they remain the same, are constant, for months and maybe years.

    The New York Times correspondent is referring to the President's schedule (like a timetable) of engagements. These meetings and times are fixed well in advance, and so are regarded as 'true': it's not as if they might or might not happen in the future.

    So - just as my travel agent says to me, "Your train for London leaves Oxford at 8.34 a.m. on Monday" - the correspondent writes, "Obama leaves for an Asian summit on Thursday."

    If this is still not clear, please say so.

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    #4

    Re: verb tense--begins

    Thank you, your detailed interpretations make it clearer to me. thank you so much.

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