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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    ... we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers ...

    (In the PlayStation official twitter)

    We want to thank gamers everywhere for making the PS5 launch our biggest console launch ever. Demand for PS5 is unprecedented, so we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers before the end of the year - please stay in touch with your local retailers.
    -------

    Why is the 'want' in the past tense? Why not just use it in the present tense?

    I assume it means:

    The official wanted to do it before and either they may now still want to do so, or they no longer want to. In this case the former makes sense.

    What do you think?

    -------

    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  2. Member
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    #2

    Re: ... we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers ...

    I think that the writer just make a mistake.
    Retired magazine editor and native British English speaker - not a teacher

  3. Moderator
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    #3

    Re: ... we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers ...

    It looks natural to me. We often use the past tense in this kind of announcement.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Key Member
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    #4

    Re: ... we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers ...

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    [...] We often use the past tense in this kind of announcement.
    But what does that mean? Why not just the present tense? What do you think about my thoughts in post #1?
    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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    #5

    Re: ... we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    But what does that mean? Why not just the present tense? What do you think about my thoughts in post #1?
    Is it not obvious that the person still wants to express the thought?
    I am not a teacher.

  6. Key Member
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    #6

    Re: ... we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers ...

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Is it not obvious that the person still wants to express the thought?
    But why do they use the past tense? What effect does the tense have?
    Last edited by kadioguy; 26-Nov-2020 at 15:27. Reason: Improved the contents. Thanks, G.S.
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: ... we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers ...

    In sentences like that, you'll hear native speakers use both the present and past simple tenses, with no particular reason for either. Someone might pop their head round the door of a shop and say "Hiya! I just want to ask if you stock bread" or "Hiya! I just wanted to ask if you stock bread." There is absolutely no difference in meaning or intention behind them.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #8

    Re: ... we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    But why does they use the past tense? What effects does the tense have?
    To my ear, it softens and distances the statement a little.
    I am not a teacher.

  9. VIP Member
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    #9

    Re: ... we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers ...

    This is a use of the past tense intended to distance the message from the more direct present tense. It is often used as a tentative request : I wondered if you had a moment to spare.

    It has been referred to as the preterite for polite distance (Berge), preterite of modesty (Kruisinga), the attitudinal past.(Quir et al).
    Last edited by GoesStation; 26-Nov-2020 at 15:59. Reason: Fix typos.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  10. Key Member
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    #10

    Re: ... we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    [...] so we wanted to confirm that more PS5 inventory will be coming to retailers before the end of the year - please stay in touch with your local retailers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    This is a use of the past tense intended to distance the message from the more direct present tense. It is often used as a tentative request : I wondered if you had a moment to spare.

    It has been referred to as the preterite for polite distance (Berge), preterite of modesty (Kruisinga), the attitudinal past.(Quirk et al).
    However, in this case who is requested politely? The PS5 manufacturers?
    Last edited by GoesStation; 26-Nov-2020 at 15:58. Reason: Apply corrections to quoted post.
    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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