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  1. Banned
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    #1

    Question pseudo past tense

    I heard a teacher said:
    A fight that starts innocently has often ended violently.

    What is the first verb in present tense and the second verb is in pseudo-past tense? Did the teacher speak too fast, causing the error?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: pseudo past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyA View Post
    I heard a teacher said:



    What is the first verb in present tense and the second verb is in pseudo-past tense? Did the teacher speak too fast, causing the error?
    Unless there was something particular about the context, I would say this is an error. I would expect to hear:

    A fight that starts innocently often ends violently.

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    #3

    Re: pseudo past tense

    Suppose the teacher was talking about teen violence....

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: pseudo past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyA View Post
    Suppose the teacher was talking about teen violence....
    That would not make any difference.

    With teen violence, a fight which starts innocently often ends violently.
    On the subject of teen violence, a fight on Tuesday which had started innocently, ended violently.

    I think with the present tense, the tenses need to agree and with the past, the usual shift would occur. However, I would not mix the present and the past.

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    #5

    Re: pseudo past tense

    '. . .has ended' is the present perfect tense.

    What makes you think we have a pseudo-past tense?

    Rover

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    #6

    Re: pseudo past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyA View Post
    What is the first verb in present tense and the second verb is in pseudo-past tense? Did the teacher speak too fast, causing the error?
    What do you mean by the pseudo-past tense? The example you give in the present perfect, which is the perfect aspect of the present tense.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: pseudo past tense

    I think what has happened here is something I've often referred to in previous posts.A speaker starts out to say one thing one way, and changes grammar in mid-stream. He started out to say 'A fight that starts innocently often ends violently,' and then decided it would have been more persuasive to say something like 'Over the years, I have often found that a fight that started innocently has ended violently'.

    The two parts of the original sentence are both there in the two versions of the 'ideal' sentence, but the sequence of tenses in the spoken sentence is wrong. Mid-stream edits like this are very common in spoken language.

    b

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