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    #1

    use of 'beg to differ'

    Hi.Is it possible to use 'beg to differ' in past tense or is it only used in Present Simple? Thanks.


    John told me that economy was growing but i wasnt beg to differ with him. Is this a correct use of 'beg to differ' or do i have to say 'i didnt agree with him'

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: use of 'beg to differ'

    I think such spoken English as 'I beg to differ', 'I beg your pardon' and 'I beg of you' should only be used in the simple present.

    Not a teacher.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: use of 'beg to differ'

    Well it's not ungrammatical to say 'I begged to differ', but I can't imagine anyone saying it. What it means, in the present, is 'my view isn't the same as yours, and I'm going to express it - if that's OK with you. The 'if that's OK with you' bit doesn't make much sense except in the present; though I suppose you could convey that sense of deference in a report - 'I begged to differ' meaning 'I expressed a contrary view with due deference'.

    'I begged his pardon' is quite OK Matthew - though 'I begged your pardon' is unlikely, for similar reasons - it doesn't make much sense in the past (except to remind someone of the fact that you did, once, say 'I beg your pardon'). And in that case you'd be more likely to say 'I did beg your pardon':

    'You shouldn't have interrupted me during that meeting yesterday.'
    'But it was very important, and I did beg your pardon.'


    b

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: use of 'beg to differ'

    "Beg to differ" can be used in the past. "John told me that the economy was growing, but I begged to differ."

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