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  1. B45
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    #1

    I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday? Ar

    I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday?

    Are both okay here. What's the difference?

  2. B45
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    #2

    Re: I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday?

    Feel free to help.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batman45 View Post
    Feel free to help.
    Or not, as the mood takes you.

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    #4

    Re: I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Batman:

    I do NOT have the confidence to answer your excellent question. I, too, want to know the answer.

    But I DO wish to make two little, rather unimportant points:

    1. I would definitely use hyphens: "out-of-towners."

    2. I do not think that your sentence is a question. Therefore, I would not use a question mark.



    James
    Last edited by TheParser; 02-Oct-2014 at 13:03. Reason: spacing

  4. lotus888's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batman45 View Post
    Feel free to help.
    Hi Batman,

    We are all guests in this forum, with the possible exception of Administrators and Moderators. We volunteer our time and energy to answer questions the best we can. As the definition below indicates, modesty and decorum goes a long way. You may not intend your message to be impolite or curt, but it simply comes off as that way.

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us...nglish/decorum

    Be patient, and someone will help you. Be appreciative, and someone will help you again.


    --lotus
    Last edited by lotus888; 02-Oct-2014 at 16:53.

  5. B45
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    #6

    Re: I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday?

    But I thought all verbs after the word thought is supposed to be in the past tense because thought is in the past tense. No?

  6. lotus888's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday?

    It appears that I cannot refute your logic. I have deleted my invalid post.

    Slightly edited:
    I thought most out-of-towners went back to their hometowns during holidays.



    --lotus
    Last edited by lotus888; 03-Oct-2014 at 10:32.

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    #8

    Re: I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batman45 View Post
    But I thought all verbs after the word thought is supposed to be in the past tense because thought is in the past tense. No?
    The rule seems to have been violated, doesn't it?

    Not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batman45 View Post
    No?


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Batman:

    After checking my books, consulting the Web, and reading Lotus's post (which, I notice, she has deleted), I now have a little more confidence that my ideas (not "answers") are reasonably accurate.

    I now believe that you are correct and incorrect.

    *****

    You are correct in saying that the general rule in English is: if the first verb is past, then make the second verb past.

    a. Thus, "I thought that out-of-towners went back to their hometowns during holidays" would probably be accepted as correct on a test by many teachers. And some people actually expect it in formal writing.

    BUT -- as you can imagine -- there is a big exception.

    My first source states it beautifully:

    "If the statement in the dependent clause ["that out-of-towners ___ back to their hometowns during holidays"] is unvaringly true [the information NEVER changes], the present tense should naturally be retained."

    So -- as Lotus taught us -- it would be very, very correct to say "I thought that out-of-towners go back to their hometowns during holidays" because it is "unvaringly true" that during holidays, they ALWAYS go home.

    *****

    My second source gives us some wonderful examples of how native speakers break the rule:

    a. He ASKED the guard what time the train usually STARTS. [It always startS at that time.]
    b. He TOLD me that Mary IS quite diligent. [She IS a diligent girl. That is a permanent characteristic.]
    c. He DIDn't know that nettles STING. [I don't know what "nettles" are, but apparently stinging is a permanent characteristic.]
    d. Columbus PROVED that the world IS round. [My books tell me that ALL teachers like "d." You know that the world is always going to stay round. As far as "a" - "c" are concerned, there are some people who would NOT break the rule. But if you do break the rule (as has been done in "a" - "c"), they are considered fine and many books actually prefer and recommend breaking the rule in such cases.]



    James


    First source: Eric M. Steel, Readable Writing (1950). I found it in the "books" section of Google.
    Second source: George O. Curme, A Grammar of the English Language (1931). Yes, 1931 was many years ago, but I have NO doubt that his examples are as relevant in 2014 as they were in 1931.
    Last edited by TheParser; 03-Oct-2014 at 10:59. Reason: misspelling

  7. lotus888's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: I thought most out of towners went/go back to their hometowns during the holiday?

    What an excellent post. I had thought about the time invariability, but had no reference to back it up. I even thought up of some examples using past, present and future. But they nagged at me about their validity, so I deleted the post.

    Your reference seems to validate what my ears (and mind) believe to be true. Parser, a big thumbs up for your diligence and acumen.


    --lotus

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