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    #1

    sequence of tenses

    Is it OK to use the Present tense in Subordinate clause if a verb in the Principal clause is in the Past tense?

    For example:

    I thought that I was bound
    To do everything right,
    To find what it feels like,
    When dreams come to life,
    When one learns how to fly.

    Thanks.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Welcome to the forum.

    What is the source of your quote?

    Note that there was no reason to capitalise "present", "subordinate", "principal" or "past" in your post. They are not proper nouns.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Yes, there's no problem with that.
    "I thought I should find out what it feels like when dreams come true."
    "I thought about why the sun rises every day."
    This is quite easy when talking about 'eternal truths'. It's less common when the present tense is limited to a discrete event.
    "I thought about why I still go to college." This is often back shifted to "I thought about why I still went to college." But there's no rule against it.

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    #4

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Thank you!

    The source of my quote is me. Should I have pointed it out?

    I think I see what you mean, but in the grammar book I use it is the Subordinate Clause and the Principal Clause, so now I'm confused. Can it be that when I speak about clauses in general I should use capital letters and when I speak about clauses in a specific sentence I shouldn't?

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Are those capitalized terms used as titles or entries in your grammar book?

    Not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Are those capitalized terms used as titles or entries in your grammar book?

    Not a teacher.



    Mostly, but not always.

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    #7

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Some might regard them as names and use capital letters, but most people don't capitalise.

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    #8

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Some might regard them as names and use capital letters, but most people don't capitalise.


    What about names of tenses? Is it always say Present Simple or just in titles?

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: sequence of tenses

    What about the names of tenses? Is it Do/Should we always say capitalise Present Simple or just when the words are in titles?
    I would only capitalise them if they are part of a title, in which most words would be capitalised anyway.

    In titles
    Chapter 1: The Use of the Present Simple
    Chapter 2: Why the Past Perfect is Not Always Perfect
    Chapter 3: Using the Subjunctive Correctly

    In normal sentences
    One of the first things a student should learn is how to use the present simple.
    The past perfect is difficult to master.
    Some people say the subjunctive does not exist in English.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashid1 View Post
    What about the names of tenses? Do we always write it as always say Present Simple or just in titles?
    There is no need to capitalize the names of tenses.

    We ask the source for a few reasons.
    First, if it's from something written a hundred years ago, the use of language changes, and what may have been correct or natural then may not be so now. Likewise, if the writer is not a native speaker him/herself, that tells us something as well.
    Second, it could be a copyright violation to not acknowledge the source.
    Third, if it's yours, it tells us more about your understanding of English.
    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.

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