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  1. #1
    ansonguy is offline Junior Member
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    Is it grammatically wrong to have two different tenses in the same sentence?

    I have written two similar sentences below.

    (1) Yesterday, my friend, Jack, sent our other friends and me a message about where we would be meeting next month when we traveled to Europe.

    (2) Yesterday, my friend, Jack, sent our other friends and me a message about where we will be meeting next month when we travel to Europe.

    Some of my friends think (1) is grammatically correct because the tense you use has to be consistent in the entire sentence. My other friends and I argue that we have not met Jack or traveled to Europe yet. For this reason, it's OK to use the future tense in (2).

    What is your opinion? Thanks a lot.
    Last edited by teechar; 25-Sep-2017 at 20:53. Reason: corrected post title as pointed out by OP

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Is it grammatically wrong to have two different tenses in the same sentence?

    Sentence 2 is correct. Sentence 1 is dubious at best.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: Is it grammatically wrong to have two different tenses in the same sentence?

    To me, sentence 1 sounds like the trip is quite tentative. It may or may not happen.
    If we traveled there... here's where we would meet.
    (I'd probably say "If we were to travel there" rather than "If we traveled there" but I do love the subjunctive.)

    I quite agree with Goes that #2 is correct.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: Is it grammatically wrong to have two different tenses in the same sentence?

    The answer to your title question is a big fat resounding NO. I'll shout it even louder for emphasis:NO.
    I'm horrified that a lot of students still seem to be taught this.

    Is it grammatically wrong in your own language?.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 26-Sep-2017 at 14:07.

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