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    #1

    Doubt in tense---would be/was

    Hello teachers,

    I have a question regarding tense. Here are a couple of examples:

    1. Mitchell had already published extensively on the topic of business cycles before the above-referenced book was published, and one of those influenced by his work would be [was] A.C. Pigou, whose Industrial Fluctuations was also first published in 1927.

    2. The Sherman Act, which sought to avoid the formation of monopolies that affected the public interest negatively, was approved in 1890, and Theodore Roosevelt, who took office in 1901, would rely [relied] on it to take action against various large companies. Later, some would argue [argued] that these actions may have undermined confidence in the stock market, helping to precipitate the panic of 1907.

    The book has several such instances. They all sound correct.

    Are these verb forms correct here? What type of tense are these and when are they used? Would simple past (in blue) be wrong here?

    I would appreciate your explanation. Thank you!

    Source: The Influence of Uncertainty in a Changing Financial Environment (by Ricardo A. Halperin, pre-press)

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Doubt in tense---would be/was

    The 'would' forms are here used as a future in the past.they are used to denote a past-time action that, at the past time originally referred to, was in the future. The simple past forms that you suggested are possible.

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    #3

    Re: Doubt in tense---would be/was

    Thanks a million for your explanation! The entire book is replete with such usage, and the person who has worked on it has consistently changed these tense forms into simple past. I was at a loss not knowing what to do.

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