sequence of past tenses

Berwedonzer

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Hello,
I got some serious doubts about sequence of tenses in a sentence below:

"Her husband was woken by a noise and had gone downstairs to discover thieves had broken into the house and stolen the keys."

The undeniable sequence of events is like this:

1. first he was woken up by the noise
2. Then he went downstairs
3. He discovered thieves had broken into the house and stolen the keys.

and in real order of events:

1. thieves stole the keys
2. Noise made by thieves woke him up
3. he went downstrairs
4. he discovered the keys were missing

So in my opinion the sentence should read:

"Her husband was woken by a noise and went downstairs to discover thieves had broken into the house and stolen the keys."

or

"Her husband had been woken by a noise and went downstairs to discover thieves had broken into the house and stolen the keys."

Does it make sense?

regards



 

GoesStation

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Hello,
I [STRIKE]got[/STRIKE] have [or 've got] some serious doubts about sequence of tenses in [STRIKE]a[/STRIKE] the following sentence [STRIKE]below[/STRIKE]:

0. "Her husband was woken by a noise and had gone downstairs to discover thieves had broken into the house and stolen the keys."

See corrections above. You're right; the tenses in sentence 0 are not natural.

1. "Her husband was woken by a noise and went downstairs to discover thieves had broken into the house and stolen the keys."

or

2. "Her husband had been woken by a noise. He [STRIKE]and[/STRIKE] went downstairs to discover thieves had broken into the house and stolen the keys."

Sentence 1 is correct. I split number 2 into two sentences because in this construction, the reader will tend to keep the "had been" in mind and expect a past participle after the conjunction, even though that wouldn't work. For example: He had been awakened by the earthquake and thrown out of bed.
 

Berwedonzer

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See corrections above. You're right; the tenses in sentence 0 are not natural.



Sentence 1 is correct. I split number 2 into two sentences because in this construction, the reader will tend to keep the "had been" in mind and expect a past participle after the conjunction, even though that wouldn't work. For example: He had been awakened by the earthquake and thrown out of bed.

Thank you,


It's so surprising this unnatural sequence of tenses was used in the article of one of UK's leading daily newspapers.

regards
 

GoesStation

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It's so surprising this unnatural sequence of tenses was used in the article of one of UK's leading daily newspapers.

Writing and editing errors happen. It's also possible that text before the quoted excerpt makes the choice of tenses logical.
 

Rover_KE

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It's so surprising this unnatural sequence of tenses was used in the article in one of the UK's leading daily newspapers.
Which newspaper, Berwedonzer?

In future posts, please give the source of any quoted text in post #1 rather than #3.
 

Berwedonzer

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Which newspaper, Berwedonzer?

In future posts, please give the source of any quoted text in post #1 rather than #3.

I'm not quite sure if I may post links but I'll try:

Original sentence in the article is as follows (in my erlier post I edited it a little bit):
"Her chartered engineer husband was woken by a noise and had gone downstairs to discover thieves had broken into the house and stolen the keys to his £35,000 Audi S3."
 

andrewg927

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I think it is better with "went downstairs to discover..."
 
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