check or checked books out

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ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

(1) And, as someone who works in a public library, I expect you to do the same. I might dog-ear the pages of the books I check out, but I refrain from writing in them.
(2) I try to return my library books in the same condition they were in when I checked them out.

(This comes from purpleclover.com I Am Not A Careful Reader: Confessions of a Book Lover by Roz Warren on January 12, 2014.)

Why does the same 'check' use different tense?
If it's a thing that often happens, should the red part be changed to "check"?
If 'check' happened in the past, should the blue part be changed to 'checked'?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    The blue "check" - He is referring to a habitual action, which is why he's using the present tense. It's common to use the present tense in such a situation.

    The red "check" - He's referring to two events, one being the return and the other the checking out, which would have happened earlier, which is why he used the past tense.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Please note that "when" can mean "when" or "whenever"


    I try to return my library books in the same condition they were in when I checked them out." When = at the time that - and that was in the past.

    (Crosspost)
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    "I might" suggests "if or when I check them out" so keeps the present tense. The past tense would be "I might have dog-eared the pages of the books I checked out"
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The blue "check" - He is referring to a habitual action, which is why he's using the present tense. It's common to use the present tense in such a situation.

    The red "check" - He's referring to two events, one being the return and the other the checking out, which would have happened earlier, which is why he used the past tense.
    Thank you very much!
    But I still have a question.In the following context, is it OK if I use the present tense for the red part to refer to a habitual action? I think this is a habitual action.
    I try to return my library books in the same condition they are in when I check them out. But when it comes to my personal library? I strip off the jacket! I crack the spine!
     
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