And then you realized how hopelessly in love with me you <are><were>

jorgo

Senior Member
Serbian
Hi again,

this is going to be my last post, don`t want to overwhelm you :)

I have spoken with my wife, who just returned from a vacation, and I was teasing her

"...And than you realized how hopelessly in love with me you are/were."

I don`t know what tense fits better here...because at the moment of our conversation, she is still in love with me (hopefully :)) although I tease her that she realized that on vacation.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It really doesn’t matter. They both make sense. The past tense implies how she felt at that moment, the present tense implies how she feels in general.
     

    jorgo

    Senior Member
    Serbian
    Thanks lingobingo!

    I am sometimes puzzled when I have to "align" tenses, particularly when I am explaining some action in the past, but it was related to some general things.

    "I explained to her that the name "Black sea" stemmed/stems from strong currents that in the past sank ships very often" ("Black" - tragedy).

    "She didn`t know that the Earth was/is the third planet from the Sun"

    "I just got a call from him, he didnt know that you were/are in Italy" - she is still in Italy at the moment of speaking.

    Could you be so kind to write me a line or two on this? Just to clear up the things in my head, regarding this "past tense/general things" relations.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    My comment applies equally to all of those. You can say it either way. But in a case where you’re uncertain, you can’t really go wrong if you match the tenses.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    The sequence of tenses 'rule' says you always need to backshift verbs that follow an introductory verb in the past tense.
    She said she was in Italy.

    It is correct to use the past tense 'was' even if she is still in Italy. So you cannot make a mistake if you always backshift, but you can, occasionally, make a mistake if you always fail to do so.
     

    jorgo

    Senior Member
    Serbian
    Thanks to both of you, for your contributions.

    Boozer, I see you are Bulgarian, so I ques our native languages, besides being similar, work in the same way.

    I am pointing out this because sometimes when I get puzzled I use present tense for general, eternal things - My son was amazed when he found out that the Sun rises always in the East and sets in the West"

    "My son was amazed when he found out that the Sun rose always in the East and set in the West"

    I believe that using past tense, in this situation, would seem awkward to you too.
     

    jorgo

    Senior Member
    Serbian
    I guessed so :) I will have to explore little bit more this aspect - backshifting with exception to "general things", because on one hand don`t want to speak English like a truck-driver, while on the other hand I am not keen on creating mumbo jumbo in my head trying to "keep the toe" all the time.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    In passing I’d observe: You toe the line. ( not keep the toe!).

    In general you are best following lingo’s advice but I agree that using the past for the sun’s daily round sound odd. I wouldn’t, myself.

    I cycled up a mountain to see the sunrise this morning. It was stunning.
    569B95C6-5E45-40C0-9DBD-5EBC26B8768D.jpeg
     

    jorgo

    Senior Member
    Serbian
    Yes, I just noticed what I wrote:) Thanks, will not rectify it, just to be my reminder how hasty I was.
    Couldn't agree more that besides grammar rules, it is equally important for sentence to sound natural, in the spirit of the language.
    P.s.beatiful photo:)
     
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