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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    sequence of tenses

    Hi. I have a question about the sequence of tenses in this little paragraph. The person speaking is a man whos been recently fired and, out of desperation, volunteers for a scientific experiment. Hes in a special facility where hes being constantly monitored. It starts with the present simple:

    I wake up in a good mood. Which is strange, because Im broke, Im jobless and Im a guinea pig for some crazy experiment.

    Then it goes on with the present simple but at some point it switches to past simple:

    But these sheets smell so good, this quilt is warm and cozy and the temperature of the room is just right that for a night (and most of the day: its 18.30) I forgot all my problems and I slept like a baby.
    But as soon as I opened my eyes, the reason why I am here came to me. Oh wellit was nice while it lasted.


    And then returns to present simple:

    I go to the bathroom to take a shower. Ive never felt so relaxed.


    My question is: is the sequence of tenses correct? Can I go from the present to the past simple? Does this paragraph make sense?

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    #2

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Welcome to the forum, Sarahking.

    Always tell us the source and author of any text you quote, please.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Thank you. The text is mine.

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    #4

    Re: sequence of tenses

    The use of the past tense in the middle sounds incongruous.

  5. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: sequence of tenses

    I know, it sounds weird to me too. But he’s remembering the good night's sleep that he had; how can I rephrase it?

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    #6

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Write it in the present tense.

  7. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Like this?

    I wake up in a good mood. Which is strange, because I’m broke, I’m jobless and I’m a guinea pig for some crazy experiment. But these sheets smell so good, this quilt is warm and cozy and the temperature of the room is just right that for a night (and most of the day: it’s 18.30) I forget all my problems and I sleep like a baby.
    But as soon as I open my eyes, the reason why I am here comes to me. Oh well…it was nice while it lasted.


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    #8

    Re: sequence of tenses

    … it’s 18.30 6:30 PM ….

    … the reason why I am here ….
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: sequence of tenses

    Your present is your waking up. Your oblivion and sleep have already happened. So I think it's better to say ...I've forgotten all my problems and slept like a baby. --- It's still present, that is, present perfect.
    Last edited by abaka; 10-Aug-2019 at 05:00.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

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