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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    some confusing tenses

    1. Why we must use present simple at the end of this sentence? "He sat in black boredom and discomfort until, after an hour, sleep came."
    Would it be ok to use past perfect instead of past simple? Why/why not? I've found this confusing as there are words like "until" and "after an hour".


    2. "Why we must..." or "Why must we" ?


    3. Why can't we use real condition in the 2nd sentence? They both look like real conditions to me..
    1)If you put a piece of paper over comb and hum into it, the paper vibrates.
    2)If you attach the diaphragm to a pen, the pen then will make marks on a piece of paper, according to the sounds that have been made.
    Last edited by Kitteeh; 30-May-2009 at 22:11.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: some confusing tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by kitteeh View Post
    1. Why we must use present simple at the end of this sentence? "he sat in black boredom and discomfort until, after an hour, sleep came."
    we don't. "came" is the past tense of "come". The sentence ends as it begins, in the past tense.


    would it be ok to use past perfect instead of past simple? Why/why not?
    he had sat in black boredom and discomfort until, after an hour, sleep had come.
    you can use the past perfect if it is the appropriate tense for your meaning.

    i've found this confusing as there are words like "until" and "after an hour".
    you might be confusing this with the present perfect, which isn't used with some adverbs of time. But neither of the above is in the present perfect.


    2. "why we must..." or "why must we" ?
    "why must we ...?" is correct in the above context. Or, "why do we have to ...?" this is appropriate for questions. If it's a statement, the order order is different: "why we must change the order, i don't understand", i.e. "i don't understand why we must change the order". This is not a question.

    3. Why can't we use real condition in the 2nd sentence? They both look like real conditions to me..
    1)if you put a piece of paper over comb and hum into it, the paper vibrates.
    2)if you attach the diaphragm to a pen, the pen then will make marks on a piece of paper, according to the sounds that have been made.
    the second sentence uses "make" not "makes" because you've used the auxiliary verb "will". It has nothing to do with contrary-to-fact statements.
    if you hum onto the comb, the paper vibrates.
    If you hum onto the comb, the paper will vibrate.
    r.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: some confusing tenses

    "1. Why we must use present simple at the end of this sentence? "he sat in black boredom and discomfort until, after an hour, sleep came."

    we don't. "came" is the past tense of "come". The sentence ends as it begins, in the past tense. "

    oops, I meant "pats simple" here, not "present simple". I'm sorry.


    "3. Why can't we use real condition in the 2nd sentence? They both look like real conditions to me..
    1)if you put a piece of paper over comb and hum into it, the paper vibrates.
    2)if you attach the diaphragm to a pen, the pen then will make marks on a piece of paper, according to the sounds that have been made.
    the second sentence uses "make" not "makes" because you've used the auxiliary verb "will". It has nothing to do with contrary-to-fact statements.
    if you hum onto the comb, the paper vibrates.
    If you hum onto the comb, the paper will vibrate."

    I guess you didn't understand my question. I wanted to know, why we can't say : "
    if you attach the diaphragm to a pen, the pen then makes marks on a piece of paper, according to the sounds that have been made."

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: some confusing tenses

    A present condition requires the future rather than the conditional, but a past condition requires the conditional.

    If you hummed onto (into?) the comb, the paper would vibrate.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: some confusing tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitteeh View Post
    "3. Why can't we use real condition in the 2nd sentence? They both look like real conditions to me..
    1)if you put a piece of paper over comb and hum into it, the paper vibrates.
    2)if you attach the diaphragm to a pen, the pen then will make marks on a piece of paper, according to the sounds that have been made.
    the second sentence uses "make" not "makes" because you've used the auxiliary verb "will". It has nothing to do with contrary-to-fact statements.
    if you hum onto the comb, the paper vibrates.
    If you hum onto the comb, the paper will vibrate."

    I guess you didn't understand my question. I wanted to know, why we can't say : "
    if you attach the diaphragm to a pen, the pen then makes marks on a piece of paper, according to the sounds that have been made."
    It's expressed that way because the process is different.
    Humming onto the comb directly makes it vibrate. The vibrating is caused by the humming.
    Attaching a diaphragm to a pen does not, by itself, make marks on the paper. It will only do so when the sounds are made. The marks are not directly caused by the attaching of the pen, however marks will be made if a sound is added. So, attaching the pen sets up the system for something that will happen in the future.

    Having said all that, you could write "makes". I've only made this distinction since you asked.

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