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  1. mamen's Avatar
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    #1

    Post tense

    Is this sentence correct?
    I thought she loves you.

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    #2

    Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by mamen View Post
    Is this sentence correct?
    I thought she loves you.
    It depends. In general you cannot say that, the correct is:
    1) I think she loves you
    or
    2) I thought she loved you.
    or even
    3) I thought she would love you.

    But in a SciFi context, if one has a time machine and comes from the past,
    exceptionally he may say: "Some time ago, in the past, I predicted the future, and then I thought she loves you now." Oh, but this is a mess, even in this context it is difficult to save it, it would be better to say "Some time ago, in the past, I predicted the future, I thought she would love you now." I can't think of a situation to use your original sentence.

    PS Not a native speaker

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    #3

    Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by mamen View Post
    Is this sentence correct?
    I thought she loves you.
    (NOT A TEACHER) Yes, your sentence would be correct in a situation such as this: YOU: My girlfriend was rude to me yesterday. YOUR BEST FRIEND: I'm surprised! I thought that she loves you. ("Thought" because your best friend WAS sure about your girlfriend's feelings and "loves" because your best friend thinks she STILL loves you at the present time.)

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    (NOT A TEACHER) Yes, your sentence would be correct in a situation such as this: YOU: My girlfriend was rude to me yesterday. YOUR BEST FRIEND: I'm surprised! I thought that she loves you. ("Thought" because your best friend WAS sure about your girlfriend's feelings and "loves" because your best friend thinks she STILL loves you at the present time.)
    Sorry, I don't agree. "I thought that she loved you" is correct.

  3. syku's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: tense

    Purists would insist on the agreement of tense at all cost, but I perfer "I thought she loves you."

    I thought, but I think otherwise now, the fact or the state that she loves you. "I thought she loved you" means regardless of what I think, her love was in the past tense. She doesn't love you anymore.

    "I thought Pluto was a planet." It was, but not anymore.
    "I thought that the number 1 is a prime". (It isn't as a fact. It is never a prime.)

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    #6

    Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by syku View Post
    I thought, but I think otherwise now, the fact or the state that she loves you. "I thought she loved you" means regardless of what I think, her love was in the past tense. She doesn't love you anymore.
    I do not agree that implies her love was in the past. For instance:
    YOU: My girlfriend was rude to me yesterday.
    YOUR BEST FRIEND: I'm surprised! I thought that she loved you.
    YOU: Yes, she does. But she read so many posts regarding verb tenses in UsingEnglish that she became confused and started yelling at everyone.

    I agree with TheParser regarding a colloquial English dialog. Even so it would sound at least a little different to my ears (I thought she loves you). Regarding formal English I am still inclined to agree with bhaisahab. But, as I stated before, I am not a native English speaker. I am here to read your opinions and try to learn something. I am interested in both colloquial English and formal English.

    Quote Originally Posted by syku View Post
    "I thought that the number 1 is a prime". (It isn't as a fact. It is never a prime.)
    Here I would say "was prime".

  4. syku's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: tense

    OK, I see your point. I'm here to learn also. "I thought she loved me" is equivalent to "I thought, 'she loves me.'". How do I best express that her love is now gone?

    How does the sentence "I was trying to convince people that Creationism was the Truth" sound to you? Doesn't "I was trying to convince people that Creationism IS the Truth" sound more convincing?

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    #8

    Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by syku View Post
    OK, I see your point. I'm here to learn also. "I thought she loved me" is equivalent to "I thought, 'she loves me.'".
    Agreed.
    Quote Originally Posted by syku View Post
    How do I best express that her love is now gone?
    With another natural sentence.
    Quote Originally Posted by syku View Post
    How does the sentence "I was trying to convince people that Creationism was the Truth" sound to you? Doesn't "I was trying to convince people that Creationism IS the Truth" sound more convincing?
    OK, here I agree - it is kind of a language trick or technique, both are correct, but the second one really emphasizes that the speaker belives in his own thesis. Let us work another similar example:

    M: Yesterday I told E that although two was/is (A) prime, one was/is not.
    P: Really? You told him that? I don't believe it.
    M: Why are you so surprised?
    P: Because I thought that one was (B) prime.
    M: Oh, I always knew one is/was (C) not prime, but I must confess I had to study harder before talking to E because I thought that two, as an even number, was (D) not prime.
    P: What was E's reaction?
    M: He immersed himself in deep thought to decide whether three/four is/was (E) prime.

    In (A) and (C), related respectively to the verbs tell and know, one can use past or present forms. If one uses the past form, one is stressing the fact that the action happened in the past, that is, it leads the listener to a past situarion. Rather, if one uses the present form, one is stressing that the fact is true even at present time (two was prime and continues to be so, that is a true fact).
    However, in (B) and (D), related to the verb to think, one cannot use the present form, rather only the past.
    Finally observe that in (E) both present and past forms can be used, irrespectively of the fact to be true or not (three is prime while four is not).

    I told you she is (was) beautiful. Both forms OK.
    I knew she was beautiful. Here I cannot say "I knew she is beautiful".

    I guess that in these situations the grammar rules allow us to mix present and past forms, but some combinations simply will not do (mainly with the verb to think).

    PS Not a native speaker

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    #9

    Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by mamen View Post
    Is this sentence correct?
    I thought she loves you.
    No - standard usage requires the preterite (loved) in this sentence-position.

    You may encounter cases, usually involving the verbs 'say' or 'tell', in which natives will informally tolerate suspension of tense-concord rules, but the above is not one of them!!
    Last edited by philo2009; 21-Dec-2009 at 07:11.

  5. syku's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: tense

    Thanks for clarifying the tense-concord rules. Are these examples breaking the rules?

    "I never know what I'll do tomorrow."
    "In the conference, most experts agreed that global warming will get worse in the future."
    "Galileo first proposed that the Earth circles around the Sun."

    How would I make them more "formally tolerable" to native speakers of English?
    Last edited by syku; 19-Dec-2009 at 13:43.

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