verb tense :

verb tense

If the situation being described is an ongoing or current one, thepresent tense is needed, even in a past-tense context: “Last week sheadmitted that she is really a brunette” (not “was”).Pairs of verbs that go together logically have to be kept in the sametense. “Patricia described her trip to China and writes that the GreatWall really impressed her.” Since “described” is in the past tense, andthe writing contains her descriptions, “writes”should be “wrote."Lots of people get into trouble with sentences that describe a hypothetical situation in the past: “If he wouldhave packed his own suitcase, he would have noticed that the cat was init.” That first “would have”should be a simple “had”: “If he had packedhis own suitcase he would have noticed that the cat was in it.” Also“The game would have been more fun if we had [not “would have”] won.”This sort of construction consists of two parts: a hypothetical cause inthe past and its logical effect. The hypothetical cause needs to be putinto the past tense: “had.” O

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