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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    the past tense

    Hi there
    Why did the writer use the past tense in the following sentence?

    After an economic downturn has passed, there is often a debate over how well-aimed or how timely the measures turned out to be.

    Tks
    [pete

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    #2

    Re: the past tense

    not a teacher.
    generally, present perfect introduces a past happening as topic, and past tense is used to give more detailed information.

  2. Graver's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: the past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by peter123 View Post
    Hi there
    Why did the writer use the past tense in the following sentence?

    After an economic downturn has passed, there is often a debate over how well-aimed or how timely the measures turned out to be.

    Tks
    [pete
    In the first part of the sentence "has passed" is used since it's about an economic situation which has JUST ended (we're not interested when it happened but THAT it simply happened; "thank God it's gone now!" :D). Then, we add an additional piece of info (so to say) about the measures which were taken during the bad situation. We give more detailed information (as guzhao67 points out) concerning the PAST.

    Hope this helps
    I'm not a grammarian though...


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    #4

    Re: the past tense

    guzhao67generally, present perfect introduces a past happening as topic, and past tense is used to give more detailed information.

    This is not the uses of these tenses. A Search of previous threads will give some information about this.

    Call it economic downturn, call it recession, call it a Depression, but it involves a period of time during which measures are taken to turn the economy around. That it occurs over a period of time is reflected in a writer's use of the Present Perfect Tense. At some point, or points, particular measures are taken to reverse this (such as the Bank of England's recent cutting of the interest rate by 1.5%).
    Whether the Present Continuous tense is introduced, or Past Tense is used, depends on whether the economic downturn is over, or not.
    Your sentence is clear about this:
    "After an economic downturn has passed..."

    <.....period of time of the economic downturn..^meaures introduced^...........>|ends|<.........(debate is held)|decision|

    Hence, there is a point in time after measures had been taken, and after the economy recovered, when this debate is held, and these measures evaluated. Did they work/were they effective, or not? Yes or no. No time period involved, just a decision one way or the other. Hence, Past Simple tense.
    Last edited by David L.; 08-Nov-2008 at 14:59.

  3. Senior Member
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    #5

    Re: the past tense

    Hi there,
    After reading your arguments, I still don't understand why the past tense in 'the measure turned out ...' .
    Tks
    pete


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    #6

    Re: the past tense

    "...there is often a debate" and this debate is whether the measures were successful or not (in terms of the kind of measures taken, and how timely (quickly) they were put into effect).
    Answer this question:
    Is the economic downturn over, past, done, or still continuing?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: the past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by peter123 View Post
    Hi there,
    After reading your arguments, I still don't understand why the past tense in 'the measure turned out ...' .
    Tks
    pete
    What tense do you think it should be in? Perhaps you'd get a clearer answer if you gave an argument for it to be in a different tense. After all, we do not know what problem you are having in accepting the current form.

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