I know there is something they are not telling me

Discussion in 'English Only' started by nemo eve walle, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. nemo eve walle

    nemo eve walle Senior Member

    chinese
    A group tell B something, but conceal something. Later, B talks to C, B says, 'I know there is something they are not telling me'.

    Why is 'they are not telling me' a present tense? The tell-action have already pasted, I think, so isn't it supposed to be past tense?
     
  2. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Because the two actions (group A concealing something and group B talking to group C) take place within minutes of each other, and if group A wanted to tell group B something, they could still do it, so it is reasonable to use the present continuous.
     
  3. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    'I know there is something they are not telling me'. is a common idiomatic expression.

    You cannot, on a whim, seek to "correct" such expressions, regardless of how you might wish to nit-pick.

    Furthermore, the message is that they didn't tell you then and they are still not telling you.
     

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