Results 1 to 7 of 7
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 10
    #1

    Cool which tense is better?

    Dear all,



    I have to write an annual report for 2009-2010. The report is expected to be issued by the end of August/early in September). The annual report actually mentions things happened and agenda discussed during the session between September 2009 and July 2010. Shall I use present tense or past tense?

    An example is given below:

    During the session, the board discusses/discussed various issues, including the business plan for 2009-10, salary adjustments, site visits, etc.


    • In this context, is present tense better than past tense or the other way around?


    • Is time a concern here? Given that it is still 2010, but the annual report is for 2009-2010.


    • Is the issue date or the time I put pen to paper that matters?


    • When some issues are ongoing and will continue discussing in the 2010-11 session, is it better to use present tense?


    Finally, what are the grammar points for the above questions?

    Thanks a lot.

    Yours truly,

    Benevolence

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 10
    #2

    Smile Re: which tense is better?

    Anyone dares to answer

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 10
    #3

    Re: which tense is better?

    During the session, the board discusses/discussed various issues, including the business plan for 2009-10, salary adjustments, site visits, etc.

    Concerning the meaning, what's the difference between discusses and discussed in the above sentence?

  1. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #4

    Re: which tense is better?

    I don't see the problem. The things took place in the past. Use the past.

    b

  2. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #5

    Re: which tense is better?

    PS Of course, that's not an inviolable rule. There is a thing called 'the historic present'. In some contexts, it's common. For example, a lot of jokes start 'A man walks into a bar...'; what it means is 'A man walked into a bar...'.

    But in a formal report for official consumption, use the simple past.

    b

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 10
    #6

    Smile Re: which tense is better?

    Dear Bobk

    I'm very much obliged to you for your comments.

    Nevertheless, I would like to seek for further clarification on the usage of present/past tense in report writing. And here is a real-life example:

    http://www.premierleague.com/staticF...6~94586,00.pdf

    Between page 7 and 9 is the Chairman's Report. One can see that the Chairman used present tense and past tense interchangeably. Does it constitute inconsistency?

    Best Regards,

    Benevolence

  3. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #7

    Re: which tense is better?

    When he's referring to the past he uses the simple past. Which specific sentences bother you? I see no inconsistency.

    b

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-May-2010, 08:55
  2. a strange situation! present tense? past tense?
    By nixgnoy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-Mar-2010, 18:22
  3. [Grammar] present perfect contiunous tense vs past continuous tense
    By dkyeung in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 23-Sep-2009, 11:00
  4. [Grammar] Past Tense and Present Tense Combination
    By ravikumarkargam in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-Sep-2008, 16:41
  5. integrating past-tense quotes into present-tense essay
    By djtizzlemaster in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-Sep-2007, 02:19

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •