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    #1

    correct sentence

    We believe there was an accident at the corner 2 days ago.

    We believe there has been an accident at the corner 2 days ago.

    Is sentence 2 correct when time is mentioned?


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335
    #2

    Re: correct sentence

    No, I think it isn't.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #3

    Re: correct sentence

    Rather depends on the question asked.

    Has anything happened on the corner recently? could elicit the response "We believe there has been an accident at the corner two days ago",


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #4

    Re: correct sentence

    Yes, but then I'd put a comma after corner.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #5

    Re: correct sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Yes, but then I'd put a comma after corner.
    Why?


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #6

    Re: correct sentence

    Because IMHO it's in another logical dimension and can be treated as additional info.
    Actually, I'd answer
    Yes, we believe there was an accident there 2 days ago.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #7

    Re: correct sentence

    What is another logical dimension in this question? It is straightforward - asking had anything happened on that corner recently. If you speak the sentence, there is no need for the comma, which is an indication of a pause. It isn't incorrect either with or without a comma, but it seems to be unnecessary to have one.


    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 289
    #8

    Re: correct sentence

    I see eye to eye with Humble in that it's better to have a comma in the sentense in question. Here is my reason:

    We believe there has been an accident at the corner, (which happened) two days ago.

    If there is no commar, we'd better use simple past tense in that context.

    We believe there was an accident at the corner two days ago.

    The above is what my grammar books taught me, and hopefully my memoy doesn't betray me.
    Last edited by piousoul; 07-Feb-2007 at 09:09.

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    #9

    Re: correct sentence

    My own opinion is that since time is mentioned, we should not use the present perfect tense. I also believe that a comma is unnecessary because it doesn't make the sentence logical or correct.

    In other words, I think "We believe there was an accident at the corner two days ago" is correct since time is mentioned.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #10

    Re: correct sentence

    If that's what you want, fine. As I say, either is correct, but it is not how I would handle the sentence if editing a piece of text. My objection is to over-punctuation of a simple question or sentence.

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