[General] Not too sure what Blanche is saying.

emp0608

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Hi folks,

I'm not too sure what Blanche is saying in one of her lines in the Golden Girls Season 2 Episode 24. Could you take a listen?
file:///Users/EMP/Desktop/Blanche's Line.m4a

She may be saying, "I think the McDowells were delightful." If so, Dorothy's and Rose's responses sound a bit strange to me because the tense is past.

Thanks,
emp0608
 
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Glizdka

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You've linked a file on your computer. You need to upload it to the internet first. We can't access it otherwise.
 

Skrej

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You heard correctly. Everything's in the past tense because they're referring to an event that is in the past.
 
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emp0608

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But "I think" is not the past tense. You don't have any problem with that?
 

Skrej

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No. She's talking about the present.

'Think' is the verb in the main clause, and is in the present tense because it's a general truth with indefinite time. 'Were' is the verb in the dependent clause referring to the past event. There's no time conflict, because the two verbs aren't referring to exactly the same event.
 

Tdol

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But "I think" is not the past tense. You don't have any problem with that?

You can have thoughts in the present about things in the past.
 

emp0608

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Thanks, but I still find myself unconvinced. When you use a pro-verb "do", the tense should agree with the tense of the main verb of the sentence you are responding to. So in this case, I think Dorothy should have said, "I do too", meaning "I also think they were delightful." If Blanche had said, "I thought the McDowells were delightful", I would have no problem with the Dorothy's and Rose's responses.
 

5jj

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When you use a pro-verb "do", the tense should agree with the tense of the main verb of the sentence you are responding to. So in this case, I think Dorothy should have said, "I do too", meaning "I also think they were delightful." If Blanche had said, "I thought the McDowells were delightful", I would have no problem with the Dorothy's and Rose's responses.
If you are doing an exercise on verb tenses, you are right.

In real life, we don't always do what the writers of exercises expect us to do.
 

probus

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I fully endorse what 5jj said, but I'd add that those who write dialog for movies and TV shows are absolute masters at faithfully rendering everyday colloquial usage. If you want to sound like a native speaker of AmE, it's good to emulate what you hear on TV.
 
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Tdol

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Thanks, but I still find myself unconvinced.

With the greatest respect, you might be placing too much importance on rules, which you could see more as guidelines that can be set aside at times as meaning matters more than conformity to rules.
 

emp0608

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I appreciate your kind advice, but I am fully aware of the fact that English is a crazy language that defies all sorts of rules, and that is the reason I’ve been studying the language over zillion years.
 

emsr2d2

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and that is the reason I’ve been studying the language for over a zillion years.

Note my additions above. You missed out two of the most commonly-omitted words (by learners) - a preposition and an article.

You've been studying English for only a zillion years? Lightweight! :lol:
 
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