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  1. #1
    Will17 is offline Senior Member
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    Cool sequence of tenses

    Hello!

    Is this sentence correct? :

    He's had a chance to change (changing?) his life but he didn't catch it.

    Thank you.
    W

  2. #2
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: sequence of tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Will17 View Post
    Hello!

    Is this sentence correct? :

    He's had a chance to change (changing?) his life but he didn't catch it.
    Use infinitive 'to change'
    Thank you.
    W
    Skp

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: sequence of tenses

    You take a chance or act on an opportunity -- don't catch them.

    You can say
    He HAD a chance but he didn't take it.

    This sounds like the chance is in the past and he missed it.

    If you use "He HAS HAD" a chance, there is still some applicability to the present.

    That man has had a million chances to change his ways and has ignored everyone one of them!

    In this case, the present perfect works better for me.
    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.

  4. #4
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    Re: sequence of tenses

    I would use the simple past, actually.
    He had a chance to change his life, but he didn't take it.
    This indicates that he no longer has the opportunity. If you want to indicate that the opportunity is still available, use the present perfect in the second part of the sentence:
    He's had a chance to change his life, but he hasn't taken it (yet.)

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: sequence of tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Will17 View Post
    Hello!

    Is this sentence correct? :

    He's had a chance to change (changing?) his life but he didn't catch it.

    Thank you.
    W
    Without other context, I'd also use the simple past.

    In the following case though, I'd use the present perfect:
    A: "Let's give him a chance."
    B: "He's had a chance!"

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