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    #1

    Clarification about complex sentences

    Hi

    When the tense in the main clause is in present tense, is it possible for the tense in the subordinate clause being in past perfect tense?

    If itís possible, please give some examples.

    Thank you.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Clarification about complex sentences

    What is the point of such an exercise? Language is for communication, not for producing odd combinations of tenses.

  2. SirGod's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Clarification about complex sentences

    * Not a teacher

    You can use any tense in the subordinate clause if there's a present tense in the main clause. However, as 5jj stated, it is an odd combination of tenses. Nothing occurs to me at this moment but this scenario:

    "You didn't send me an SMS yesterday."
    "I did, just before I went to school."
    "You say that you had sent the SMS before you went to school, am I right? Just a moment, let me check my phone."


    Though, I don't think you will come across this kind of construction very often.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Clarification about complex sentences

    A good try, Sir God. I couldn't manage it.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Clarification about complex sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGod View Post
    * Not a teacher

    You can use any tense in the subordinate clause if there's a present tense in the main clause.
    This is possibly true. But it must be understood that it includes the proviso: as long as you have a context that calls for a specific tense in the subordinate clause.
    That should be obvious, but to many people it's not.

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