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    #1

    recommend and tense sequence

    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to ask about the proper tense sequence in the sentences introduced by the verb "recommend", as in the following examples:

    1."So it was recommended to wait until equilibrium has been established."

    2. "They recommended waiting until I return."

    3. "My son's pediatrician recommended to wait until he is 2 or 3 before seeing an allergist."

    I often see similar cases where the verb introducing some sentence is in the past tense but the verb in the dependent clause doesn't agree in the tense with it. That is, I would expect "was established" in the first sentence above, "returned" in the second sentence and "was" in the third sentence instead of the verbs in present tenses used in these sentences.
    I wonder if the use of the verbs in present tenses in the above sentence can be explained by the fact that the actions in the clauses after "until" are still actual, i.e they haven't occured yet, and since the present tense of the verb is used. For example, "is" in the third sentence is to be explained by the fact that "son" haven't turned 2 or 3 years yet, and using "was" would have situated the entire context in the past and would have meant that he's older than three now?

    Thank you for the help

  1. opa6x57's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: recommend and tense sequence

    I'm not a teacher ... native American English speaker ...

    Quote Originally Posted by velimir View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to ask about the proper tense sequence in the sentences introduced by the verb "recommend", as in the following examples:

    1."So it was recommended to wait until equilibrium has been established."

    2. "They recommended waiting until I return."

    3. "My son's pediatrician recommended to wait until he is 2 or 3 before seeing an allergist."

    I often see similar cases where the verb introducing some sentence is in the past tense but the verb in the dependent clause doesn't agree in the tense with it. That is, I would expect "was established" in the first sentence above, "returned" in the second sentence and "was" in the third sentence instead of the verbs in present tenses used in these sentences.
    I wonder if the use of the verbs in present tenses in the above sentence can be explained by the fact that the actions in the clauses after "until" are still actual, i.e they haven't occured yet, and since the present tense of the verb is used. For example, "is" in the third sentence is to be explained by the fact that "son" haven't turned 2 or 3 years yet, and using "was" would have situated the entire context in the past and would have meant that he's older than three now?

    Thank you for the help
    In this sentence: "They recommended waiting until I return."

    "They" is the subject.
    "recommended" is the verb.
    "waiting" is a noun - created by the gerund of the verb 'to wait'.
    "until I return" is an adjectival clause describing the noun 'waiting'.

    As a dependent clause, it can have a different tense from the main subject/verb.

    The other two examples - I would consider non-standard. The main clause of the sentence has two verbs: "recommended" and "to wait". I would probably use this construction instead:

    So, it was recommended we (or I) wait until equilibrium has been established.

    My son's pediatrician recommended waiting until he is 2 or 3 before seeing an allergist.

    And, yes ... the use of 'is' or 'was' would depend on whether the speaker was explaining why something is being delayed now - as opposed to something that was delayed in the past.

    If the son is only a year old, then: My son's pediatrician recommended waiting until he is 2 or 3 before seeing an allergist.

    But, if the son is 10 years old - then this obviously happened in the past - so the proper sentence would be: My son's pediatrician recommended waiting until he was 2 or 3 before he saw an allergist.

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    #3

    Re: recommend and tense sequence

    Hello opa6x57,

    Thank you for the answer, its helpful.

    I understand that in the sentence:

    1. "So, it was recommended we wait until equilibrium has been established."

    our "waiting" of the equilibrium is yet to happen, and with :

    2. "So,it was recommended we wait until equilibrium was established"

    our "waiting" already took place some time in the past.


    I'd like to ask also if I can replace "has been established" with "is established" in the first sentence above without the change in the meaning?

    Thank you for the help

  2. opa6x57's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: recommend and tense sequence

    I'm not a teacher....

    Quote Originally Posted by velimir View Post
    Hello opa6x57,

    Thank you for the answer, its helpful.

    I understand that in the sentence:

    1. "So, it was recommended we wait until equilibrium has been established."

    our "waiting" of the equilibrium is yet to happen, and with :

    2. "So,it was recommended we wait until equilibrium was established"

    our "waiting" already took place some time in the past.
    Yes.

    I'd like to ask also if I can replace "has been established" with "is established" in the first sentence above without the change in the meaning?

    Thank you for the help
    I believe that 'has been established' and 'is established' are interchangeable in this context. 'has been' is more passive-voice whereas 'is' would be more active-voice - but these choices are a matter of style more than one of grammatical requirement.

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    #5

    Re: recommend and tense sequence

    Thank you very much for the answer opa6x57 :)

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