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    #1

    went

    Dear teachers:
    I read a sentence:
    "I would never do anything that went against my conscience." he said.
    Is it good English? Please.
    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: went

    as this is my habit/regular practice, so instead of 'went' it should be 'goes', however, I would like to hear something from the Natives - What do you say? Is 'went' used/acceptable anyway?

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    #3

    Re: went

    Quote Originally Posted by norwolf View Post
    Dear teachers:
    I read a sentence:
    "I would never do anything that went against my conscience." he said.
    Is it good English? Please.
    Thank you.
    "goes against my concience" seems most logical, and is correct.
    But native speakers often say "went against my conscience", and I wouldn't say that "went" is wrong.

    Natives also say things like 'I would never do anything that (isn't)(wasn't) legal.'
    Last edited by 2006; 06-Apr-2009 at 01:57.

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    #4

    Re: went

    Thanks


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    #5

    Re: went

    "I would never do anything that went against my conscience", he said.

    BRIT. ENG:
    This is correct. Perfect Brit. Eng. Contrast it with the construction:
    "I will not / I won't do anything that goes against my conscience."

    Anybody like to have a go at why the original sentence is correct?
    Last edited by David L.; 06-Apr-2009 at 02:10.

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    #6

    Re: went

    I think you could replace the went with that would go.

    Would go is a conditional. So maybe went is acting as a subjunctive, which is also a form of conditional.
    The subjunctives are all but dead in English, but there are some vestiges left.
    Compare No hago nada que fuera en contra de mi conciencia.

    Fuera being the past tense subjunctive of ir = to go.

    Only a guess!


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    #7

    Re: went

    Hmm. So, we would have something like:
    "I would never do anything that would go against my conscience if I did?/would do? it, but I would never do anything that..."

    I don't want to give the game away too early by using specific labels, so let's just say that gets us into something rather odd, like, 'he might go if I might go'.

    Thanks for taking a turn at bat, Pedroski.

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    #8

    Re: went

    Quote Originally Posted by norwolf View Post
    Dear teachers:
    I read a sentence:
    "I would never do anything that went against my conscience." he said.
    Is it good English? Please.
    Thank you.
    Yes. The phrase that went against is short for that would go against:

    would = past
    go = infinitive
    merger = went (past of 'go')

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    #9

    Re: went

    Quote Originally Posted by soup View Post
    yes. The phrase that went against is short for that would go against: how do you figure that?

    would = past how is "would" past here?
    go = infinitive
    merger = went (past of 'go')
    2006


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    #10

    Re: went

    Soup: The phrase 'that went against' is short for 'that would go against'

    That still doesn't explain why 'went' is correct and 'goes' is not!

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