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    #1

    the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    (On the Facebook page of Hong Kong Police)

    To de-escalate the situation, the Police and CUHK have reached a consensus in search for a peaceful solution. However, the situation in the CUHK continues to intensify. As Police officers were retreating, rioters threw bricks, petrol bombs, launched arrows and even fired a signal flare at Police officers. Such violence has reached a deadly level, posing a serious threat to everyone at the scene. The rioters threw hard objects and petrol bombs onto Tolo Highway, endangering road users’ safety. The rioters also hampered emergency services including ambulance services.


    Having given repeated warning in vain, the Police have no choice but to deploy the minimum necessary force, including a Specialised Crowd Management Vehicle, to facilitate retreat.

    The Police warn all protestors to stop all illegal and violent acts, and to leave immediately. The Police express regret over the fact that the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    ------------
    I am wondering why the past perfect is used in the blue part. I think it is more logical that the agreement was made, and then the
    rioters defied it. So I would say:

    ... the rioters defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.
    or
    ... the rioters defied an agreement having made between the Police and the University.
    or
    ... the rioters have defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    What do you think?
    -----------
    (Source)
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

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    #2

    Re: the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    I think the present perfect tense is more appropriate than the simple past to refer to an event which happened in the recent past.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    ... the rioters have defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.
    This one is better.

    The writer has slightly confused tenses in other parts of the passage. Look at this:

    Having given repeated warning in vain, the Police have no choice but to deploy the minimum necessary force, including a Specialised Crowd Management Vehicle, to facilitate retreat.

    That have should be had. Also, warning should be warnings.

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    #4

    Re: the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    The writer has slightly confused tenses in other parts of the passage.
    Take another look:

    ----------
    To de-escalate the situation, the Police and CUHK have reached a consensus in search for a peaceful solution. However, the situation in the CUHK continues to intensify. As Police officers were retreating, rioters threw bricks, petrol bombs, launched arrows and even fired a signal flare at Police officers.

    ----------
    I think the blue parts should be had reached and continued.
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  5. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    No, they're fine.

    The writer has decided to try to mix past and present tenses in the same paragraph. The present tense sentences refer to the present situation and the past tense sentences refer to the reported riots.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 13-Nov-2019 at 13:36. Reason: error

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    #6

    Re: the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    No, they're fine.
    I think about it this way:

    1. To de-escalate the situation, the Police and CUHK had reached a consensus.

    2. However, the situation in the CUHK continued to intensify.

    3. As Police officers were retreating, rioters threw bricks, petrol bombs, launched arrows and even fired a signal flare at Police officers.

    Is my thought logical?

    [I cross-posted with jutfrank]
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

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    #7

    Re: the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    The writer has slightly confused tenses in other parts of the passage.

    Hi, jutfrank.

    You said in other parts of the passage. Are you suggesting there are at least two more places in which the writer has slightly confused tenses? If so, could you show me that?
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

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    #8

    Re: the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    Using had defied gives the police some distance from the event- the past tense is logical, the present perfect brings it nearer to now, which the police don't want, and the past perfect buries it in the past. We can use verb forms to express meanings, so different intentions may result in different choices.

  9. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    You said in other parts of the passage. Are you suggesting there are at least two more places in which the writer has slightly confused tenses? If so, could you show me that?
    I was thinking about two things, really. The first thing was the problematic use of the police have no choice part. The second thing was the odd interspersing of present and past tense narrative. Below, I've highlighted sentences about the present in red and sentences about the past in blue.

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    To de-escalate the situation, the Police and CUHK have reached a consensus in search for a peaceful solution. However, the situation in the CUHK continues to intensify. As Police officers were retreating, rioters threw bricks, petrol bombs, launched arrows and even fired a signal flare at Police officers. Such violence has reached a deadly level, posing a serious threat to everyone at the scene. The rioters threw hard objects and petrol bombs onto Tolo Highway, endangering road users’ safety. The rioters also hampered emergency services including ambulance services.

    Having given repeated warning in vain, the Police have no choice but to deploy the minimum necessary force, including a Specialised Crowd Management Vehicle, to facilitate retreat.

    The Police warn all protestors to stop all illegal and violent acts, and to leave immediately. The Police express regret over the fact that the rioters had defied an agreement made between the Police and the University.
    It's unusual and rather confusing to mix tenses like that.

    I've left the bolded sentence uncoloured because I can't decide whether it's talking about the present or the past. It feels like it's about the past, but now I'm not completely sure. It is at least possible that the writer did actually mean to use the present tense, and that the deployment is meant to in the future, not the past. Whichever the case, the sentence is incorrect because it's not clear, and the odd mixture of tenses in the preceding sentences doesn't help the reader to know how to read it. If I had to choose, I'd guess that the deployment is part of the past narrative.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 13-Nov-2019 at 19:55.

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