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  1. #1

    Noun clause with "whether...or not" as object

    With the structure "Noun clause with "whether...or not" as object", in a book in which has an example:
    We want/to know whether/assistance comes/times or not
    -> We wanted to know whether the assistance comes in time or not.

    But I have seen an another example:
    They questioned whether teachers' salaries/high/not
    -> They questioned whether teacher' salaries were high or not.

    So, between them, which is the best? Do we have to move a tense back with that structure?

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Noun clause with "whether...or not" as object

    Quote Originally Posted by Belly T View Post
    With the structure "Noun clause with "whether...or not" as object", in a book in which has an example:
    We want/to know whether/assistance comes/times or not
    -> We wanted to know whether the assistance comes in time or not.

    But I have seen an another example:
    They questioned whether teachers' salaries/high/not
    -> They questioned whether teacher' salaries were high or not.

    So, between them, which is the best? Do we have to move a tense back with that structure?
    That depends. In the first, it is clear that the people were concerned about the present timing or the habitual arrival time of the assistance.

    In the second, it is not clear whether they were concerned about past or present salaries. Context is need to answer that question.

    It is quite normal to state a subordinate clause in the past when the main clause is in the past, but it must be clear that the subordinate clause is not necessarily dealing with past time. The only time it is wrong to do that is when we are dealing with an unchangeable condition.

    In 1492, Columbus knew that the world is round (not was round).

    That said, a subordinate clause can be clearer in the present tense if it is referring to present time.

  3. #3

    Re: Noun clause with "whether...or not" as object

    But how we know that is clear or not?
    We wanted to know....... comes in time or not.....

    and
    They questioned...............were high or not.....

    How do we know that it really refers to the past?

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Noun clause with "whether...or not" as object

    Quote Originally Posted by Belly T View Post
    But how we know that is clear or not?
    We wanted to know....... comes in time or not.....

    and
    They questioned...............were high or not.....

    How do we know that it really refers to the past?
    Again the first is clear. The second depends on context/

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