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    #1

    tense

    Hi

    Which is better:

    I knew him some time ago and from that time we are writing emails to each other from time to time.

    Maybe it's better to use: ....we write emails to each other....


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    #2

    Smile Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi

    Which is better:

    I knew him some time ago and from that time we are writing emails to each other from time to time.

    Maybe it's better to use: ....we write emails to each other....

    I met him some time ago and ever since we have been writing emails to each other from time to time.



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    #3

    Re: tense

    I knew him some time ago and from that time we are writing emails to each other from time to time.

    'I knew him some time ago' : This sentence, with its Simple Past tense, tells the reader about a completed action/state/situation in the past. It implies that you no longer have any kind of relationship, that you have lost contact...

    ...yet the sentence goes on to talk about an ongoing contact.

    Can you have a go at writing this so the two ideas are not in conflict? What tense would you use?

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    #4

    Re: tense

    OK, how about this:

    I know one guy from Australia. We're writing emails to each other from time to time.

    Is it better to use the present continuous or maybe the present simple tense, i.e. we write emails to each other from time to time.

    thanks


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    #5

    Re: tense

    I know one guy from Australia. We're writing emails to each other from time to time.

    Let me clarify what your sentence tells me, and compare that to your intended meaning:

    I know one guy from Australia...
    The relationship could be current, ongoing; or you are stating a kind of 'fact' - you met, and even though you are not currently in contact, if need be, you could contact him for some local information about Sydney before you went on holiday there - 'you know of his name and his address'.
    'from Australia' : this could mean, he is an Australian but is now living in another country...'but is from Australia originally'.
    If you mean, he is living in Australia, then:
    I know one/this guy in Australia.
    If the important part is, that he is an Australian, and whether he is living in Australia or overseas is not so important, then:
    I know one/this Australian guy...

    We're writing emails to each other from time to time.
    That is,
    'We are writing': Present Continuous, suggesting a currently ongoing activity' but then you say, this only happens from time to time. You therefore need just the Simple Present to express the fact, 'we write emails to each other from time to time'.
    Last edited by David L.; 18-Aug-2008 at 22:11.

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    #6

    Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    I know one guy from Australia. We're writing emails to each other from time to time.

    Let me clarify what your sentence tells me, and compare that to your intended meaning:

    I know one guy from Australia...
    The relationship is current, ongoing.
    'from Australia' : this could mean, he is an Australian but is now living in another country...'but is from Australia originally'.
    If you mean, he is living in Australia, then:
    I know one (this) guy in Australia.
    If the important part is, that he is an Australian, and whether he is living in Australia or overseas is not so important, then:
    I know one (this) Australian guy...

    We're writing emails to each other from time to time.
    That is:
    We were writing emails to each other from time to time.
    This is Simple Past tense, telling me that the email writing is a thing of the past, completed over.
    So- You know this guy who is an Australian (=from Australia) and that at one time in the past, you exchanged emails; but no more - you now (1) both log into a chat room and talk in real time; or (2) you have lost contact, but still regard him as an acquaintance, or a friend.
    Thank you for your thorough explanations David.

    I'll try one more time.
    somebody asks me: How do you know these words? Who learnt you them?

    Then I say: I know one Australian guy. We are writing to each other from time to time and this is how I know some of these words.

    I want to say that we still write to each other, e.g. once a month.
    I'm just not sure if it's better to say: we're writing to each other from time to time OR we write to each other from time to time.
    Which tense is better here?

    Thanks


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    #7

    Re: tense

    I'm afraid my mind is completely elsewhere, and for the life of me, We were' swam before my eyes when I saw 'we're'.

    Fortunately, in proofreading....

    You came in while it was still a work in progress.

    But shows I should let it go for the night till I'm fresh, tomorrow.

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    #8

    Re: tense

    OK, so when you're fresh tomorrow just tell me if it's better to say: we're writing to each other from time to time OR we write to each other from time to time.
    Which tense is better here?

    take care

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    #9

    Re: tense

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    OK, so when you're fresh tomorrow just tell me if it's better to say: we're writing to each other from time to time OR we write to each other from time to time.
    Which tense is better here?

    take care
    I'll save David some effort. This is from his post #5
    "You therefore need just the Simple Present to express the fact, 'we write emails to each other from time to time'."
    (You can take out "emails" if you like)

    I, also, think you should "we write..."

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