This discussion is closed.
Jack
Badges:
#1
Report 17 years ago
#1
The Courtney Alexander trade is stupid What were they thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is the verb tense shift correct? Should the "is" be was instead? The reason is that the trade is
stupid, that's a fact. I was taught that when stating a fact , the tense should be present However,
changing "is" to was seems to be more appropriate in that syntax.
0
John Ramsay
Badges:
#2
Report 17 years ago
#2
The trade was made in the past but the effects continue into the present which justifies the
present tense.

It would not be wrong to use 'was' either. The 'is' is just more emphatic.

Jack wrote:

[q1]> The Courtney Alexander trade is stupid What were they thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Is the verb tense shift correct? Should the "is" be was instead? The reason is that the trade is[/q1]
[q1]> stupid, that's a fact. I was taught that when stating a fact , the tense should be present[/q1]
[q1]> However, changing "is" to was seems to be more appropriate in that syntax.[/q1]
0
Jack
Badges:
#3
Report 17 years ago
#3
Is there a "rule of thumb" on when to shift tenses, or is it just logic? "John Ramsay"
<[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
[q1]> The trade was made in the past but the effects continue into the present which justifies the[/q1]
[q1]> present tense.[/q1]

As long as the effects contine, then present tense is ok? What about "the trade has been stupid"?
(Sounds wrong to me though)

[q1]> It would not be wrong to use 'was' either. The 'is' is just more emphatic.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Jack wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]> > The Courtney Alexander trade is stupid What were they thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Is the verb tense shift correct? Should the "is" be was instead? The reason is that the trade is[/q2]
[q2]> > stupid, that's a fact. I was taught that when stating a fact , the tense should be present[/q2]
[q2]> > However, changing[/q2]
"is" to
[q2]> > was seems to be more appropriate in that syntax.[/q2]
0
Einde O'Callagh
Badges:
#4
Report 17 years ago
#4
Jack wrote:
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The Courtney Alexander trade is stupid What were they thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Is the verb tense shift correct? Should the "is" be was instead? The reason is that the trade is[/q1]
[q1]> stupid, that's a fact. I was taught that when stating a fact , the tense should be present[/q1]
[q1]> However, changing "is" to was seems to be more appropriate in that syntax.[/q1]

There's no reason for this. The speaker is emphasising that he still thinks the deal is stupid. I
don't know anything about the context but I assume it happened quite recently.

Regards, Einde O'Callaghan

Regards, Einde O'Callaghan
0
Cybercypher
Badges:
#5
Report 17 years ago
#5
"Jack" <[email protected]> burbled news:[email protected]:

[q1]> The Courtney Alexander trade is stupid What were they thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Is the verb tense shift correct?[/q1]

Grammatically, there is nothing wrong with these two sentences -- except that there is no period at
the end of the first and no question mark at the end of the second.

[q1]> Should the "is" be was instead?[/q1]

This is a matter of style. The trade is not still in the process of being finalized, because the
Wizards get two 1st-round draft picks tonight. The trade is a done deal. I would have said "The CA
trade was stupid! What were they thinking?"

[q1]> The reason is that the trade is stupid, that's a fact.[/q1]

Yes, but the trade was already decided upon and the rest is just a formality, so it could be in the
past tense.

[q1]> I was taught that when stating a fact, the tense should be present[/q1]

Sometimes that's true and sometimes it's not true. Language is flexible. You should be too.

[q1]> However, changing "is" to was seems to be more appropriate in that syntax.[/q1]

I agree with you here. The trade is over and done with. It's in the past. The sentence should be in
the past too.

--
Franke: "Life is simple: pain is good, pleasure is better, no pain is best. Death is even simpler."
Bodhisattva F. A. Tchirl. Grammar 1: Internalized rules for the spoken language. Grammar 2: Formal
rules for the written language. Grammar 1 does not equal Grammar 2.
0
Howie
Badges:
#6
Report 17 years ago
#6
On Thu, 27 Jun 2002 04:26:41 GMT, "Jack" <[email protected]> wrote:

[q1]|The Courtney Alexander trade is stupid |What were they thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|Is the verb tense shift correct? Should the "is" be was instead? |The reason is that the trade is[/q1]
stupid, that's a fact. I was taught that |when stating a fact , the tense should be present However,
changing "is" to |was seems to be more appropriate in that syntax.

The trade could easily still be going on, although it might not be (I too don't know the context).
But the structure feels OK if the trade happened recently. If so, it is correct.

It is worth noting that:

1/ If the trade is no longer in operation, then "WAS stupid" is perfectly valid.

2/ If the trade is still continuing, you could choose "is stupid' followed by "what ARE
they thinking"

H.

--

Howard Coakley: New Media Consultant. My messageboard:-
http://cgi.coakley.plus.com/cgi-bin/.../ikonboard.cgi e-mail...
howard<dot}coakleyatbigfoot<dot].com
HAA:1. (Try ICQ at www.icq.com)
0
Howie
Badges:
#7
Report 17 years ago
#7
On Thu, 27 Jun 2002 04:26:41 GMT, "Jack" <[email protected]> wrote:

[q1]|The Courtney Alexander trade is stupid |What were they thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|Is the verb tense shift correct? Should the "is" be was instead? |The reason is that the trade is[/q1]
stupid, that's a fact. I was taught that |when stating a fact , the tense should be present However,
changing "is" to |was seems to be more appropriate in that syntax.
[q1]|[/q1]

In my last reply, I stated that "The trade could easily still be going on, although it might not be
(I too don't know the context). But the structure feels OK if the trade happened recently. If so, it
is correct."

But i can't quite work out why recently has an effect on it. It seems very subjective.

To use the same structure why does:

"The British Slave trade is stupid. What were they thinking?"

Seem _SO_ wrong in tense, compared to the original posters question on the same structure?

Appreciate some help here.

Ta
H.

--

Howard Coakley: New Media Consultant. My messageboard:-
http://cgi.coakley.plus.com/cgi-bin/.../ikonboard.cgi e-mail...
howard<dot}coakleyatbigfoot<dot].com
HAA:1. (Try ICQ at www.icq.com)
0
Jack
Badges:
#8
Report 17 years ago
#8
Yeah, please answer this question. The trade is stupid is a fact, but since the slave trade ended
ceunturies ago, would using is in that context still be valid ??

And for the courtney alexander trade, I am assuming that the trade is over. So, would using is be
still correct? (The trade happened in the past, but is it still stupid)

[q1]> To use the same structure why does:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "The British Slave trade is stupid. What were they thinking?"[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Seem _SO_ wrong in tense, compared to the original posters question on the same structure?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Appreciate some help here.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Ta[/q1]
[q1]> H.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> --[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Howard Coakley: New Media Consultant. My messageboard:-[/q1]
[q1]> http://cgi.coakley.plus.com/cgi-bin/.../ikonboard.cgi e-mail...[/q1]
[q1]> howard<dot}coakleyatbigfoot<dot].com[/q1]
[q1]> ICQ:4502837. (Try ICQ at www.icq.com)[/q1]
0
John Ramsay
Badges:
#9
Report 17 years ago
#9
The basic idea is that the tense indicates when the action takes place, but there are various
exceptions.

'The trade has been stupid" can substitute for 'was' as well.

Best read a text or handbook on verb tenses, or there should be info on the internet. Just do a web
search for > English verb tenses <

Jack wrote:

[q1]> Is there a "rule of thumb" on when to shift tenses, or is it just logic? "John Ramsay"[/q1]
[q1]> <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...[/q1]
[q2]> > The trade was made in the past but the effects continue into the present which justifies the[/q2]
[q2]> > present tense.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> As long as the effects contine, then present tense is ok? What about "the trade has been stupid"?[/q1]
[q1]> (Sounds wrong to me though)[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]> > It would not be wrong to use 'was' either. The 'is' is just more emphatic.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Jack wrote:[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q3]> > > The Courtney Alexander trade is stupid What were they thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > Is the verb tense shift correct? Should the "is" be was instead? The reason is that the trade[/q3]
[q3]> > > is stupid, that's a fact. I was taught that when stating a fact , the tense should be present[/q3]
[q3]> > > However, changing[/q3]
[q1]> "is" to[/q1]
[q3]> > > was seems to be more appropriate in that syntax.[/q3]
0
Cybercypher
Badges:
#10
Report 17 years ago
#10
"Jack" <[email protected]> burbled news:[email protected]:

[q2]>> To use the same structure why does:[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> "The British Slave trade is stupid. What were they thinking?"[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> Seem _SO_ wrong in tense, compared to the original posters question on the same structure?[/q2]

[q1]> Yeah, please answer this question.[/q1]

[q1]> The trade is stupid is a fact,[/q1]

It's not really a fact because there is no trade now, and "stupid" is not an appropriate adjective
for that kind of trade. It was economically beneficial to the slavers and to the buyers of the
slaves, so it was not "stupid". That the British slave trade *was* immoral might be considered a
fact by some and not by others, because it was not a violation of the general cultural values of the
period. Sure, there were many people who felt that it was immoral while it was happening, but many
more disagreed.

[q1]> but since the slave trade ended ceunturies ago, would using is in that context still be valid ??[/q1]

No, you can't really use the present tense here. The British slave trade has been over for 150-200
years or so, so you should use past tense.

[q1]> And for the courtney alexander trade, I am assuming that the trade is over.[/q1]

The trade was over the day it happened because the next day the Wizards were able to make two
1st-round draft picks.

[q1]> So, would using is be still correct? (The trade happened in the past, but is it still stupid)[/q1]

As I said in an earlier post, I think it should be "was" stupid because the trade was already over
and done with. However, as someone mentioned, because the trade was so recent and so fresh in the
mind of the speaker when he said "This trade is stupid", "is stupid" seems okay also.

--
Franke: "Life is simple: pain is good, pleasure is better, no pain is best. Death is even simpler."
Bodhisattva F. A. Tchirl. Grammar 1: Internalized rules for the spoken language. Grammar 2: Formal
rules for the written language. Grammar 1 does not equal Grammar 2.
0
Howie
Badges:
#11
Report 17 years ago
#11
On 28 Jun 2002 10:34:55 GMT, CyberCypher <[email protected]> wrote:

[q1]|"Jack" <[email protected]> burbled[/q1]
[q1]|news:[email protected]:[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|>> To use the same structure why does:[/q1]
[q1]|>>[/q1]
[q1]|>> "The British Slave trade is stupid. What were they thinking?"[/q1]
[q1]|>>[/q1]
[q1]|>> Seem _SO_ wrong in tense, compared to the original posters question on the same structure?[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|> Yeah, please answer this question.[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|> The trade is stupid is a fact,[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|It's not really a fact because there is no trade now, and "stupid" is |not an appropriate adjective[/q1]
for that kind of trade. It was |economically beneficial to the slavers and to the buyers of the
slaves, |so it was not "stupid". That the British slave trade *was* immoral |might be considered a
fact by some and not by others, because it was |not a violation of the general cultural values of
the period. Sure, |there were many people who felt that it was immoral while it was |happening, but
many more disagreed.

OK. Let's say it's not a fact, it's an opinion. I'm still concerned about tensing this structure.

[q1]|> but since the slave trade ended ceunturies ago, would using is in that context still be valid ??[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|No, you can't really use the present tense here. The British slave |trade has been over for 150-200[/q1]
years or so, so you should use past |tense.

That's exactly how it feels to me.

[q1]|> And for the courtney alexander trade, I am assuming that the trade is over.[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|The trade was over the day it happened because the next day the Wizards |were able to make two[/q1]
1st-round draft picks.
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|> So, would using is be still correct? (The trade happened in the past, but is it still stupid)[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|As I said in an earlier post, I think it should be "was" stupid because |the trade was already over[/q1]
and done with. However, as someone |mentioned, because the trade was so recent and so fresh in the
mind of |the speaker when he said "This trade is stupid", "is stupid" seems okay |also.

Strange isn't it? But it does feel "less wrong" to use the present tense as it gets nearer to
present day! How do our minds work out the acceptable boundary?

--

Howard Coakley: New Media Consultant. My messageboard:-
http://cgi.coakley.plus.com/cgi-bin/.../ikonboard.cgi e-mail...
howard<dot}coakleyatbigfoot<dot].com
ICQ:4502837. (Try ICQ at www.icq.com)
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Regarding Ofqual's most recent update, do you think you will be given a fair grade this summer?

Yes (209)
33.49%
No (415)
66.51%

Watched Threads

View All