Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    nyggus is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,086

    In what would mark the farthest

    Hi,

    I read such a sentence in one of the news:

    "SpaceX recently announced that two private citizens have paid money to be sent around the Moon in what would mark the farthest humans have ever traveled to deep space since the 1970s."

    I have two problems:

    1. Could you please explain the meaning of the phrase "in what would mark the farthest"? I think I can get the message, but I am not 100% sure I can. Even if I can, I feel this fragment of the sentence is clumsy. BUT I can be wrong and the sentence can be OK. Is the phrase OK here?

    2. Is the choice of tenses OK? Should it be "two private citizens had paid money to be sent..."

    Thanks,
    Nyggus

  2. #2
    nyggus is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,086

    Re: In what would mark the farthest

    Thanks Robert!

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post
    "in what would mark the farthest" = "and THAT would be the farthest".
    Got it. I suppose many non-natives like me will find this phrase difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post
    There are zero reasons to use the past perfect here.
    Here, I'd like to ask for explanation. The sentence is a kind od indirect speech, isn't it? If so, Shouldn't we apply the rule of sequence of tenses?

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    61,335

    Re: In what would mark the farthest

    The tense involved refers to those people going round the moon. That hasn't happened yet so it's in the future. They've paid but they haven't been to space yet.

    If it happens, it would mark the furthest humans have traveled into deep space since the 1970s.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #4
    nyggus is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,086

    Re: In what would mark the farthest

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    The tense involved refers to those people going round the moon. That hasn't happened yet so it's in the future. They've paid but they haven't been to space yet.

    If it happens, it would mark the furthest humans have traveled into deep space since the 1970s.
    Thanks. But sorry, I'm still not getting it. I will simplify the sentence to explain what I mean:

    SpaceX recently announced that two private citizens have paid money to do something.


    In direct speech, the sentence would be

    SpaceX recently announced, "Two private citizens have paid money to do something."


    So, shouldn't we make the sentence in indirect speech read as below?

    SpaceX recently announced that two private citizens had paid money to do something.

  5. #5
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    22,257

    Re: In what would mark the farthest

    You could add a bit to clarify the tense: SpaceX recently announced that it is now true that two private citizens have paid money to do something.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    nyggus is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,086

    Re: In what would mark the farthest

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    You could add a bit to clarify the tense: SpaceX recently announced that it is now true that two private citizens have paid money to do something.
    Thanks again. But again, a next question, still about the rule of sequence of tenses. In indirect speech, shouldn't this be as follows?

    SpaceX recently announced that it was then true that two private citizens had paid money to do something.

    (On the one hand, the rule seems pretty straightforward; on the other hand, as you can see, it's killing me and maybe not only me, but also my NNES brothers and sisters?)

  7. #7
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    14,945

    Re: In what would mark the farthest

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    SpaceX recently announced that it was then true that two private citizens had paid money to do something.
    This is correct grammatically but it doesn't work as a news item. By backshifting the tense, you've achieved the effect of sequencing the events, i.e., you're now emphasising that the payment occurred before the announcement. There's no reason to do this. In fact, you're now raising the possibility that it is no longer true, or no longer relevant.

    News items use the present perfect to make a present relevance. That is, to say what has happened or what is true now.

  8. #8
    nyggus is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,086

    Re: In what would mark the farthest

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    News items use the present perfect to make a present relevance. That is, to say what has happened or what is true now.
    Now I get it, though I must admit I didn't know the indirect speech was used differently in news items than in other scenarios. Thank you!

  9. #9
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    11,455

    Re: In what would mark the farthest

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    I read such a the following sentence in one of the on a news website:
    .

Posting Permissions

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