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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: May 2010
    • Posts: 212
    #1

    were or are?

    History has proved that most of the death penalties that have been carried out in China since 1949 are/were politically motivated and cannot withstand historical re-checking.

    Please double-check the sentence and see if there is room for impovement. Thanks.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #2

    Re: were or are?

    Quote Originally Posted by LiuJing View Post
    History has proved that most of the death penalties that have been carried out in China since 1949 are/were politically motivated and cannot withstand historical re-checking.

    Please double-check the sentence and see if there is room for impovement. Thanks.
    Were. The verb refers to death sentences that were/have been carried out in the past. I have underlined the other verbs leading up to it and you can see that they are all past tenses. The speaker is saying that that those sentences were politically motivated. He/she makes no statements about whether or not current death sentences are politically motivated.

    The only use of the present tense is "cannnot" which is correct, because that is the current situation.

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