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    #1

    He has never been honest with me./ He was never honest with me.

    He .................(be/never) honest with me.

    I am wondering what tense would be used in the above sentence. I know that for this question to answer one must have a sufficient context. Here it is - all we were given.

    He was clever as a fox. He .................(be/never) honest with me.

    I would say that both alternatives are possible.
    The past simple needs no justification.

    Now the present perfect. The first sentence is in past, but in my opinion, that does not necessarily have to imply that we cannot state that he has never been honest with me, i.e. he was clever as a fox (implication of slyness) in the past and then I don't see anything incorrect on saying 'never been honest', which would probably last up to now.

    It's perhaps too complicated, so I am probably bound to be wrong, but I'm just curious.

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by tom3m; 03-Jun-2013 at 20:08.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He has never been honest with me./ He was never honest with me.

    In my opinion, you could use either. With the present perfect, the dishonesty continues to the present. With the simple past version, the condition was completed in the past (for example, the clever person's death).

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