Page 2 of 2 First 1 2
Results 11 to 20 of 20

Thread: Mixing Tenses

  1. #11
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    8,505

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by vpriest View Post
    The intended goal is to indicate how much he loves painting. So the whole taking the job part is to provide evidence to support how much he loves. So the emphasis is on the loving part.

    Is the past tense the only correct answer in this case?

    Would it be wrong to keep it in the present?
    I think that's been answered above.

    If he loves it now, that part should be in the present tense. If he taught it then, that part should be in the past tense.

    The present is now, the past was then.

    It's fine to have more than one tense in a sentence.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  2. #12
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,654

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    From what you've told us, it's clear that you need a present tense, not a past tense. The past tense would be wrong because the point of the sentence is to talk about his present love of painting.

    But there's a still the problem of the present-past causation to sort out, because, for me at least, it really doesn't work with the mixed tenses. One way to fix that is to bring both tenses into the present, like this:

    Peter loves painting so much that he has worked as an art teacher at an elementary school.

    Although this gets rid of the mixed tenses problem, I'd still prefer a rewrite, dispensing with the resultative 'so ... that' structure entirely.

  3. #13
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,654

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    vpriest, I'm writing this in anticipation of the post you're just about to submit, re the PM you sent me.

    As I understand, the aim of your sentence is to serve as (part of?) an introductory character profile for a website. Well, as I said before, I'd suggest a rewrite, dispensing with the resultative 'so that'. Here are a few ways, for example, that you could think about phrasing, all of which make clear that loving painting is both past cause and present factuality:

    Peter has a great love of painting, which has led him to work as an art teacher at an elementary school, as well as volunteering for...
    Peter has always loved painting, and has spent seven years working ...
    Peter's continued love of painting has found him working at an elementary school and doing voluntary work for ...


    There are countless ways of phrasing the sentence. The best way to do it depends of course on the context as much as anything else. If you can provide a bit more of the context, we'll be able to make more appropriate suggestions.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 21-Jan-2021 at 00:34. Reason: edit

  4. #14
    vpriest is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    29

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Peter's great love of painting led him to ~ and ~. Would that also work?

  5. #15
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,654

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Possibly, yes. But it's not clear why you want to use a past tense. Why don't you want to use present perfect?

    Can't you give us the wider context so we can see how you wish to actually use this sentence? Until you do, there isn't much use in our offering suggestions.

  6. #16
    vpriest is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    29

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    The context is just that one line to describe what he loves and show how much he loves it. No other sentence will support. It's a part of a brief description of who he is.

    Peter has been working with Neople's graphics design team since 2009. ~ Ever since he was a kid, he has loved to draw. His great love of painting led him to volunteer ~ and so on. ~ ~~

    Does that help?

  7. #17
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,654

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by vpriest View Post
    The context is just that one line to describe what he loves and show how much he loves it. No other sentence will support. It's a part of a brief description of who he is.

    Peter has been working with Neople's graphics design team since 2009. ~ Ever since he was a kid, he has loved to draw. His great love of painting led him to volunteer ~ and so on. ~ ~~

    Does that help?
    It helps a bit because we can see that you're writing in the present tense. So my question of why you want to transition to a past tense remains. Could you finish the sentence, please? Are you needing a past tense because you're focusing on a specific past time? It still isn't completely clear from the context.

  8. #18
    vpriest is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    29

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    It helps a bit because we can see that you're writing in the present tense. So my question of why you want to transition to a past tense remains. Could you finish the sentence, please? Are you needing a past tense because you're focusing on a specific past time? It still isn't completely clear from the context.
    Peter has been working with Neople's graphics design team since 2009. He always loved his art classes at school. His great love of painting led him to not only volunteer to teach poor children but also to work at an elementary school as an art teacher. He has been working with the team for the last 10 years, and he hopes to create more amazing games with the team.

    I modified it a bit.

    Something like that. so it's just one line only. I'll get rid of the even the "ever since the kid part." I just put it in there to help with the context. I just feel that the stuffs he did were done in the past and he no longer does them. So I felt that keeping it in the past sounds better flow wise. So he still loves painting but the volunteering and working as an art teacher were all in the past. Do I still have to use the present tense?
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 22-Jan-2021 at 16:57. Reason: Put opening paragraph and next line in the derault font and size

  9. #19
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,654

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Yes, that sounds good now. The tenses are all appropriate.

  10. #20
    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
    21,272

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    I'd write led him not only to volunteer … but also to work at an elementary school ….
    I am not a teacher.

Page 2 of 2 First 1 2

Posting Permissions

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