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  1. angliholic's Avatar
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    #1

    Smile I was wondering if you would look after my dog while I was/am away.

    I was wondering if you would look after my dog while I was/am away.




    Would you use both was and am in the above or just one of them? Thanks.

  2. RonBee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I was wondering if you would look after my dog while I was/am away.

    Quote Originally Posted by angliholic View Post
    I was wondering if you would look after my dog while I was/am away.




    Would you use both was and am in the above or just one of them? Thanks.
    No, you can't use "was" there. "Was" is past tense and doesn't fit. Say:
    Would you look after my dog while I am away?

  3. angliholic's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I was wondering if you would look after my dog while I was/am away.

    Thanks, Ron.

    But at the beginning of the sample, it uses "I was wondering ..." Doesn't this affect the tense in the latter half?


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    #4

    Re: I was wondering if you would look after my dog while I was/am away.

    Dear angliholic,
    According to Practical English Usage ,Micheal Swan wrote:
    We can make requests and also questions, suggestions and statements less direct and so more polite by using verb forms that suggest distance from the immediate present reality. Past tenses are often used to do this
    Ex: I wondered if you were free this evening
    Progressive forms can be used in the same way. They sound more casual and less definite than simple forms, because they suggest something temporary and incomplete
    ex: I'm hoping you can lend me 10 pounds (less definite than I hope...)
    Past progressives give two levels of distancing
    ex: I was thinking- what about borrowing Jake's car?
    Hope that helps
    Belly


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    #5

    Re: I was wondering if you would look after my dog while I was/am away.

    I'm sorry, that must be " In Practical English Usage, Micheal wrote.."

  4. angliholic's Avatar
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    #6

    Smile Re: I was wondering if you would look after my dog while I was/am away.

    Quote Originally Posted by belly_ttt View Post
    I'm sorry, that must be " In Practical English Usage, Micheal wrote.."
    Thanks, belly.
    Roger!

  5. RonBee's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I was wondering if you would look after my dog while I was/am away.

    Quote Originally Posted by angliholic View Post
    Thanks, Ron.

    But at the beginning of the sample, it uses "I was wondering ..." Doesn't this affect the tense in the latter half?
    No, it is (as belly_ttt already explained using Michael Swan's words) it's an indirect question. (It is also a request.) Example:
    I was wondering if I could borrow the car to go to the store and get some groceries.
    It is easier to ignore such a request, but it also less of a blow should the person making the request get turned down. It's a way you might make a request without coming right out and saying what you want. Possibly the chances of a "yes" aren't very good, and when the responder does say "no" you can pretend that you weren't making a request after all. Such is language that we have all kinds of ways of saying what we want to say.


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