Results 1 to 4 of 4

    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 319
    #1

    tense

    I would like to ask native speakers of English.

    This is a summary of a story that there are many kinds of intelligence.
    There is an auto repair man. One day he tried to tease a smart guy and he was able to catch him. and said …

    The repair man: I knew for sure I’d catch you.
    The smart guy: Why is that?
    The repair man: Because you are so goddamned educated, do, I knew you couldn’t be very smart.

    #1 I knew for sure I’d catch you.
    I think the reason why the past tense is used is when he thought of a puzzle to catch him, he thought he would catch him. It is the sequence of tense, not subjunctive mood.

    #2 I knew you couldn’t be very smart.
    knew is italic. Is it for emphasis?
    I think the reason why the past tense is used is, in this case, by using subjunctive mood the repairman tried to be polite.

    What do you think about that?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: tense

    Because you are so goddamned educated, do (omit this), I knew you couldn’t be very smart.
    Because you are so goddamned educated, I knew you couldn’t be very smart.
    Yes, it is in italics to emphasize how certain he was, as if education automatically means the person can't be smart.
    This idea comes from the idea that people who have a lot of education, reading many, many books, have their minds full of ideas and theories, but are completely stumped when they are required to do something practical (like change a washer on a tap).

    Subjunctive tense is not being used here.
    I knew I'd (I would) catch him:knew is past tense.
    He knew that if (introduces the conditional tense) he teased him, that he would be able to catch him.


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 319
    #3

    Re: tense

    Thank you very much, David L.

    How about "Because you are so goddamned educated, I knew you couldn’t be very smart?"

    Knew and couln't be are not for a polite or/and low-possibility expression using the subjunctive mood?


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 319
    #4

    Re: tense

    I would like to ask native speakers of English the above question,

Similar Threads

  1. present perfect tense & present perfect continuous tense
    By *zaizai~love* in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 30-Oct-2008, 23:06
  2. Specific question about Present Continuous/Simple Tense
    By learner2007 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-Aug-2007, 18:43
  3. present perfect tense
    By svartnik in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 15-Dec-2006, 13:16
  4. IF
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2004, 01:49
  5. Do we have future tense?
    By shun in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Oct-2003, 17:06

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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