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    #1

    tense, then

    There _____ several books on the desk then.
    (A) will be (B) are (C) were (D) is
    The answer is opption C. Since there is no context, is option A also acceptable?

  1. PlacidRan's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: tense, then

    Yes. B and C are also correct. However, D is wrong.

    C - past tense
    B - present tense
    A - future tense

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    #3

    Re: tense, then

    Not a teacher.

    I think they meant "then" to refer to a time in the past. Hence "were" is the correct option.

    But people do use "then" to refer to a state of affairs, in which case A, B or C could work.

    (e.g. When the Steelers win the Super Bowl there will be 7 trophies then.)

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    #4

    Re: tense, then

    I think the placement of the word "then" gives a clue. At the end of the sentence, I think it suggests the past:

    There were three books on the table then.

    If it's placed at the beginning of the sentence, it suggests the future:

    Then there will be three books on the table.

    As a statement of time, I don't think "then" can suggest the present tense.

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    #5

    Re: tense, then

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    There _____ several books on the desk then.
    (A) will be (B) are (C) were (D) is
    The answer is opption C. Since there is no context, is option A also acceptable?
    "Come back at three. The doctor will be here then." A is certainly right.
    For smarter students, I think the clue to answering this type of question correctly in an exam (where there is more than one correct answer) is not to ask "What would a teacher who knows more about English choose?", but "What would a non-native teacher who knows less than me choose?"
    This would lead you to remember that "then" is usually learnt first in relation to the past. And you'd put C.

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