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    #1

    correct tense 2

    Dear teachers,

    I would be extremely grateful if you could help with this text. Would you please tell me which form of the verb I should use in the parts in bold face and why?

    Adaptation of James Joyce's Eveline

    "I received your letter yesterday and I must explain to you what happened and why I didnít leave with you. I remember the day I first met you. I immediately fell in love with you: I was so happy. I 1) a) could be / b) was able to be myself at last and forget my terrible life at home, where I was afraid of my father's violence... Besides, I had to take care of my brothers and sisters and it wasn't easy.
    Then you told me that you wanted to marry me and go to Argentina. 2) You a) hoped find / b) hoped TO find / c) hoped you COULD find a better job thereÖ And you asked me to follow you. I didn't know what to do: on the one hand it was wonderful because it meant freedom and love. But on the other hand,

    3a) I didn't know what to do: on the one hand, it was wonderful because it meant freedom and love; but on the other hand, if I left [unreal future] Dublin, I would abandon my brothers and sisters. No, I really couldnít do that [present conditional ?]

    3b) But is it also possible to say: If I had left [unreal past = 3rd type conditional] would have abandoned [past conditional] my brothers and sisters. No, I really couldn't have done[past conditional] OR couldn't do [simple past OR present conditional, how should I know?] that.

    4a) Moreover, my roots are [present = permanent situation that can't be changed] in Dublin my life is very hard, but I know I can't (?) / couldnít (?)leave [simple past OR present conditional? Can it work with both the present and the past forms of the verb "to know"?] .

    Or should I say:

    4b) Moreover,my roots were [past = tense agreement ?] in Dublin my life was very hard, but I knew I couldnít leave [simple past OR present conditional?] / couldnít have left [past conditional ? = past inability ?].

    I even asked God to 5a) help me find / b) help me TO find (?) a solution, because I was torn between my love for you and my duty to my family... When I was at the station with you, I was scared: there were SO (is TOO possible here?) MANY people... I could only think of my family. Thatís why I ran] away at the last minute.
    I know that I'm always in love with you, but I think we 6) a) must / b) have to accept our fate. I will never forget you.


    I don't know if my questions are clear, if not I'll try again.
    Thank you for your patience.
    Hela
    Last edited by hela; 23-Apr-2006 at 05:32.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: correct tense 2



    Hela, these work for me:

    1) I 1) a) could be / b) was able to be myself at last

    2) Then you told me that you wanted to marry me and go to Argentina. 2) You b) hoped TO find / c) hoped you COULD find a better job thereÖ


    3a) I didn't know what to do: on the one hand, it was wonderful because it meant freedom and love; but on the other hand, if I left Dublin, I would [be] abandon[ing] my brothers and sisters. No, (on second thought) I really couldnít do that - abandon them.


    4a) Moreover, my roots are in Dublin, my life is very hard, but I know couldnít leave



    I even asked God 5a) to help me find / b) to help me TO find a solution,

    When I was at the station with you, I was scared: there were SO MANY (a great number of) people... (note the difference with, way too many people, and that e.g., made me feel sick, shy, embarrassed)

    I know that I [will] always [be] in love with you, but I think we 6) a) must (personal obligation) b) have to accept (obligation to someone/something else)

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    #3

    Re: correct tense 2

    It's late and I have just got back from a long journey, so I'll start and add more tomorrow.
    1- I think either could be used, but 'was able to' sounds better to me because it is linked to a specific occasion- the first meeting.

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    #4

    Re: correct tense 2

    Thank you very much Casiopea; and I look forward to your answers Tdol.

    Would you please tell me why in 3a) we have to use the second conditional and not the third?

    Kind regards,
    Hela

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    #5

    Re: correct tense 2

    I hope this explanation won't be a cause of trouble to you as I'm not a teacher - my suggestion concerning 3a) is that the whole situation didn't take place actually, hence the use of 2nd Conditional instead of 3rd Conditional. If it did - then you would be supposed to use 3rd Conditional.
    Hoping I'm right.

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: correct tense 2

    Welcome, engee.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: correct tense 2

    Hela, the 3rd conditional is used to talk about things that did not happen in the past.

    Here's an example of the 2nd conditional,

    If I left, my family would be sad.
    Meaning: I have no intention of leaving -- that's not going to happen.

    Hope that helps.

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    #8

    Re: correct tense 2

    Good morning Casiopea,
    But didn't she mean just that since she didn't go with him and so leave Dublin? And if she did, she would have abandonned her simblings?
    "I received your letter yesterday and I must explain to you what happened and why I didnít leave with you.
    By the way, which form of the verb would be best in the last line of the paragraph?
    "I know that I'm always or will always be with you, but I think we 6) a) must / b) have to accept our fate. I will never forget you.
    Hope to hear from you soon,
    Hela
    Last edited by hela; 24-Apr-2006 at 09:26.

  5. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #9

    Re: correct tense 2

    (i) The last part ("I really couldn’t do that") is the key.
    (ii) I know that I will always be . . .

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    #10

    Re: correct tense 2

    Sorry to insist, but I'd like to understand something

    meaning of tenses:

    "I didn't know what to do: on the one hand, it was wonderful because it meant freedom and love; but on the other hand, if I left Dublin, I would [be] abandon[ing] (=2d type conditional = unreality or improbability in the present or future) my brothers and sisters. No, (on second thought) I really couldnít do (is this a simple past or a present conditional ? How to make the difference?) that - abandon them.

    Thank you for your patience and help.
    Have nice day,
    Hela


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