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Thread: Mixing Tenses

  1. #1
    vpriest is offline Newbie
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    Mixing Tenses

    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Hi,[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]*Under the condition that Peter is alive and still loves painting. [/COLOR]
    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)](A) Peter loves painting so much that he worked as an art teacher at an elementary school.[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)](B) Peter loved painting so much that he worked as an art teacher at an elementary school.[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]
    [/COLOR]
    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]I learned that it's (A) if you are trying to convey the fact that he still does. However, I read somewhere that it's still best to keep both in past tense in formal writings because (B) does not mean that he doesn't love anymore.[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Is (A) the most correct answer if I want to be clear? [/COLOR]
    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]
    [/COLOR]
    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Thanks![/COLOR]

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Welcome to the forum, vpriest.

    Please re-submit your post without trying to change the colour and font size.

  3. #3
    vpriest is offline Newbie
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    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Welcome to the forum, vpriest.

    Please re-submit your post without trying to change the colour and font size.
    Hi,

    Under the condition that Peter is still alive and he still loves painting:

    (A)Peter loves painting so much that he even worked as a part time art teacher at an elementary school.
    (B)Peter loved painting so much that he even worked as a part time art teacher at an elementary school.

    If Peter is still alive and still loves painting, would (A) be more clear and suitable when writing academically/in formal writing?

    I know that if the information is still relevant today, you can mix tenses. However, I think I also read somewhere that it's best to keep both in past tense in formal writing.


    Thanks.

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    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by vpriest View Post
    Hi,

    Under the condition that
    Peter is still alive and he still loves painting. Which of the following two sentences would be appropriate?

    (A)Peter loves painting so much that he even worked as a part time art teacher at an elementary school.
    (B)Peter loved painting so much that he even worked as a part time art teacher at an elementary school.

    If Peter is still alive and still loves painting, would (A) be more clear and suitable when writing academically/in formal writing?

    I know that if the information is still relevant today, you can mix tenses. However, I think I also read somewhere that it's best to keep both in the past tense in formal writing.
    Formality is not the issue here. If Peter still loves painting, then the present simple (loves) is correct and appropriate.
    By the way, please go to your profile page and modify your details. I don't think what's there is correct.

  5. #5
    vpriest is offline Newbie
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    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Formality is not the issue here. If Peter still loves painting, then the present simple (loves) is correct and appropriate.
    By the way, please go to your profile page and modify your details. I don't think what's there is correct.
    (A)Peter loves painting so much that he even worked as a part time art teacher at an elementary school.


    So that's a perfectly fine, right?


    Or is it better to change it to the following?


    (C)Peter loves painting so much and he even worked as a part time art teacher at an elementary school.


    Thank you!

  6. #6
    teechar's Avatar
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    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by vpriest View Post
    (A)Peter loves painting so much that he even worked as a part time art teacher at an elementary school.
    So that's a perfectly fine, right?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by vpriest View Post
    Or is it better to change it to the following?
    (C)Peter loves painting so much and he even worked as a part time art teacher at an elementary school.
    That changes the meaning. In "A", Peter's intense love for painting was the direct reason behind his working as an arts teacher. In "C", you're just stating two (related) facts.

    I note that you've also asked the same question on at least one other forum.
    https://www.englishforums.com/Englis...phpbn/post.htm

    In future, please do not post the same question simultaneously to more than one forum. Doing so wastes our valuable time. Instead, post your question to one forum and wait for replies. If you're not satisfied with those replies, you can try another forum, but please indicate in your thread that you've already asked the same question elsewhere (provide a link), and outline why you were not satisfied with the answers you received already.

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    vpriest is offline Newbie
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    Re: Mixing Tenses

    If Peter worked as a part time art teacher like 7 years or so ago, should I still keep the first clause in present tense?

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    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Again, if Peter still loves painting, use the present simple.

  9. #9
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    Re: Mixing Tenses

    I'm trying to work out where vpriest's question is coming from.

    vpriest—I have a feeling that what you're asking about is to do with the fact that Peter's taking on the job as a teacher was a causally direct result of his loving painting. That's why you've rephrased the sentence from a resultative 'so ... that ...' sentence in post #5. Right?

    And since taking the job was a causal result of the love of painting, then it only makes sense that the verb loved should be past tense, right? Because it's the love of painting at that point in past time that was the cause. If the love was the cause, then the love must be temporally prior. Have I understood your question correctly? If so, then the past tense loved is what you mean. It doesn't actually matter whether Peter still loves painting now because we're talking exclusively about the past.

    As teechar usefully points out, this has nothing to do with formality. It's all about what you mean.

  10. #10
    vpriest is offline Newbie
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    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I'm trying to work out where vpriest's question is coming from.

    vpriest—I have a feeling that what you're asking about is to do with the fact that Peter's taking on the job as a teacher was a causally direct result of his loving painting. That's why you've rephrased the sentence from a resultative 'so ... that ...' sentence in post #5. Right?

    And since taking the job was a causal result of the love of painting, then it only makes sense that the verb loved should be past tense, right? Because it's the love of painting at that point in past time that was the cause. If the love was the cause, then the love must be temporally prior. Have I understood your question correctly? If so, then the past tense loved is what you mean. It doesn't actually matter whether Peter still loves painting now because we're talking exclusively about the past.

    As teechar usefully points out, this has nothing to do with formality. It's all about what you mean.
    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?
    Last edited by vpriest; 20-Jan-2021 at 02:15.

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