Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • New Zealand

    • Join Date: Oct 2015
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    Question Help with switching tense mid sentence

    Hi There,

    I've read some info on this but still have problems understanding when it's OK to switch tense mid sentence. Here are a couple of examples:

    Example #1
    When ordering our first run of sheets, we learnt that you can't physically fit more than 500 visible threads into a square inch. So how can 1000 or even 2000 thread count sheets exist?
    Although we learnt this in the past, it's currently true that you can't physically fit more than 500 visible threads into a square inch. But I sometimes wonder if I'm supposed to use 'couldn't fit more than...' instead or 'can't fit more than...'?


    Example #2
    Still reeling from the shock that high thread count sheets are considered an industry joke, we tried to make sense of the conversation.
    Although we were shocked in the past, high thread count sheets are currently considered an industry joke (in certain circles). But again, I often wonder if I'm supposed to use 'were considered an industry joke...'


    Hope that makes sense, any help or pointers in the right direction would be much appreciated!

    Cheers

    Ben

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,845
    #2

    Re: Help with switching tense mid sentence

    You can switch tense whenever it is required. In your first example, you have the learning in the past and the current status of sheets with a high status. With can't physically fit, it would also work with could, but as you're talking about a fact, it is still true now, so the [resent makes sense to me.

  2. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • New Zealand

    • Join Date: Oct 2015
    • Posts: 2
    #3

    Re: Help with switching tense mid sentence

    Thanks heaps for the reply! It's put a stop to an endless argument in our office!

    Cheers

  3. Piscean's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 9,939
    #4

    Re: Help with switching tense mid sentence

    Some learners appear to think that only one tense can be used in a sentence. This was not true in the past, is not true now, and will almost certainly not be true in the future.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-Jun-2014, 09:39
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 13-Jan-2013, 18:55
  3. the mid 2000s / the mid 1900s
    By makiohashi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-Sep-2009, 16:10
  4. [Grammar] use of mid sentence note
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Jul-2009, 02:57
  5. Code-Switching
    By Tdol in forum UsingEnglish.com Content
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 27-Sep-2004, 15:30

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •