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    #1

    present or past tense?

    Teacher, which sentence is correct? I choose (b)


    (a) The teacher has been advised by Mary that she does not keep a diary.

    (b) The teacher has been advised by Mary that she did not keep a diary.

  1. a_vee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: present or past tense?

    These sentences are not exactly clear. Both of them are confusing. The question of correctness isn't about past or present.

    They are both written in the passive voice. That means that the subject isn't responsible for the main action. Try to use the active voice most of the time.

    I would say "Mary told the teacher that she did/does not keep a diary," or "Mary has told the teacher that she did/does not keep a diary. If you want Mary to be talking about her past, use "did". If you want Mary to be talking about her customs or habits, use "does".

    "Advise" means "to inform", but the most popular meaning is more like "to give instructions". "Informed" would be a more formal option than "told".

  2. BrunaBC's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: present or past tense?

    And what about these sentences I've just made. Are they correct?

    I was told not to use the company's line for personal calls.

    They were asked to leave the private area.

    I've been warned not to bath in that beach.

    Thank you.
    Not a teacher.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: present or past tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrunaBC View Post
    And what about these sentences I've just made. Are they correct?

    I was told not to use the company's line for personal calls.

    They were asked to leave the private area.

    I've been warned not to bathe on that beach.

    Thank you.
    They're all fine with my slight alteration to your third sentence.

  4. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: present or past tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrunaBC View Post

    I was told not to use the company's line for personal calls.
    Is using the word "line" natural here? For me, (phone) line is something abstract. It's the wire or the actual connection made between two phones, something you can't use directly. Therefore I would use the "the company's (tele)phone" instead of "the company's line". What do you think?
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: present or past tense?

    Line is fine.

    Carlos, all too often you ask questions unrelated to the original question. All questions are welcome but PLEASE start new threads to ask those unrelated questions. You can even link back to the original thread to give context but try to imagine your frustration if you asked a question about a tense and came back to find that the thread was now talking about a natural way to express that it's raining.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: present or past tense?

    Ups, I did it again. I'm sorry. I'll try to keep that in mind next time.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

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