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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #1

    Sequence of tenses

    Hello!
    I'm currently stadying english. And yesterday teacher asked our class to make a resume of an article. This article was about a boy who was an autist. He couldn't speak, but he could express himself by playing the piano. So, i wrote my resume, and there were one sentence, that wasn't correct, according to my teacher. Could somebody help me with it, please!
    They found a boy, who didn't speak, but he could express himself by playing the piano.
    or as my teacher proposed:
    who doesn't speak, but can express himself...
    The boy is still alive, and he still doesn't speak. But we don't have this information in the text. The article was written in 2005.
    Thank you!
    Last edited by 2vlada; 19-Jul-2007 at 01:08.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: Sequence of tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by 2vlada View Post
    Hello!
    I'm currently stadying english. And yesterday teacher asked our class to make a resume of an article. This article was about a boy who was an autist autistic. He couldn't speak, but he could express himself by playing the piano. So, I wrote my resume, and there were was one sentence that wasn't correct according to my teacher. Could somebody help me with it, please!
    They found a boy, who didn't speak, but he could express himself by playing the piano.
    or as my teacher proposed:
    who doesn't speak, but can express himself...
    The boy is still alive, and he still doesn't speak. The article was written in 2005.
    Thank you!
    If you are doing a resume of an article, the tense should follow that of the article, even if it is an old one.

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    #3

    Re: Sequence of tenses

    Hi Anglika

    I need your help regarding the thread :next vs.the next, please!

    Thank you very much.

  2. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #4

    Re: Sequence of tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    If you are doing a resume of an article, the tense should follow that of the article, even if it is an old one.
    Thank you for your message and for the error correction!

  3. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: Sequence of tenses

    Nobody answers to my quastion...

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    #6

    Re: Sequence of tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by 2vlada View Post
    Hello!
    I'm currently stadying english. And yesterday teacher asked our class to make a resume of an article. This article was about a boy who was an autist. He couldn't speak, but he could express himself by playing the piano. So, i wrote my resume, and there were one sentence, that wasn't correct, according to my teacher. Could somebody help me with it, please!
    They found a boy, who didn't speak, but he could express himself by playing the piano.
    or as my teacher proposed:
    who doesn't speak, but can express himself...
    The boy is still alive, and he still doesn't speak. But we don't have this information in the text. The article was written in 2005.
    Thank you!

    Anglika has already answered your question. Your teacher is right. Although the article was written in 2005, the fact that the boy doesn`t speak but he can express himself by playing the piano is still true or valid. Your sentence should sound:
    "They found a boy, who doesn`t speak, but he can express himself by playing the piano." -correct [ the boy didn`t ever speak and he will most probably never do it because of the disorder he suffers from]
    It is not necessary that you have the information in the text ; it is well-known [a GENERAL TRUTH ]that autism is a serious disorder that involves lack of communication, social interactions and other specific problems, so you have to use the present tense in your sentence.

    Moreover, if you used past tense in your sentence , that would mean that the boy didn`t speak at the time when the article was written [i.e. in 2005] BUT , today he might speak , interract and so on , which is not true - it is a general truth that autism is a disorder to which medical researchers never found a cure.

    Sequence of tenses : Rule :To state a general truth, use the present tense
    e.g.

    Columbus somehow knew that the world is round.
    Slaveowners widely understood that literacy among oppressed people is a dangerous thing.[source:
    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/sequence.htm]

    Does it help?
    Last edited by Teia; 19-Jul-2007 at 21:43.

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