I got this job because

subhajit123

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Hi everyone, is the following sentence correct?

'I got this job because I am a good driver.'

I found in my grammar book(Practical English Usage, Michael Swan) that the correct sentence is 'I got this job because I was a good driver.' But why will I use the past tense if I still am a good driver. I have seen many people use the present form too. Is the present form correct too? If someone has an aversion of backshifting, can they use the present tense?

Please explain it. :cool:
 

emsr2d2

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They're both correct. Using "was" simply takes the reader/listener back to the time when you got the job. You were taken on because you were a good driver. The fact that you are still a good driver is irrelevant to that situation. In fact, using "was" makes far more sense than saying "I got that job (in the past) because I am a good driver (now)". However, the use of the present tense is actually more common and it's what I would use.
 

Rover_KE

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However, the use of the present tense is actually more common and it's what I would use.
I agree. I wouldn't use 'was' lest people should infer that I'm no longer a good driver.
 

emsr2d2

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If you want to be absolutely sure that no one questioned your faultless driving abilities, you would have to say "I got that job because I was, and always have been, an excellent driver".

(Cue excerpt from Rain Man, with Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman) insisting he be allowed to drive the 1949 Buick Roadmaster because "I'm an excellent driver".)
 
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