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    #1

    began/had begun

    Hello everyone,

    I have a couple of doubts on tense in a chapter I am working on.

    Here are the passages:

    1. Also during the second decade of the twentieth century, the federal income tax was instituted, allowing personal contributions to philanthropy to become tax deductible. On the heels of this major legislation came World War I. This changed philanthropy immeasurably by expanding the role of government. For example, by 1920 states began to initiate programs for needy children, the elderly, and some individuals with disabilities, such as the blind. New York offered unemployment relief. These groundbreaking events moved the nation to increased dependency upon the federal government in providing relief.

    Should the verb here be had begun?

    2. Before the war ended, about 15,000 societies had been established to provide soldiers and their families with aid. In 1861, ....
    Additional associations formed to help escaped or freed slaves, but this job became too difficult and complex, and the U.S. government stepped in. This is an early and fine illustration of how the nonprofit sector in the United States provided the initial steps for the resolution of a social problem, which is then carried out and maintained by government.

    Should the sentence in the second passage be thus: Additional associations were formed to help escaped or freed slaves, but this job became too difficult and complex, and the U.S. government had to step in.

    As always, I would appreciate your help.

    (I hope it is OK to post 2 doubts in one thread. I am very new to the forum!)

    Thank you!
    Last edited by LaMelange; 27-Oct-2015 at 09:31. Reason: correct font size

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: began/had begun

    1. use "had" begun".
    2. either would work.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #3

    Re: began/had begun

    Mr. bhaisahab, I don't understand the second one.

    Just as "15,000 societies had been established", shouldn't "Additional associations formed" be "Additional associations were formed"?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: began/had begun

    Not necessarily. We often talk about associations forming.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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