cut and pour or have cut and have poured

brian&me

Senior Member
Chinese - China
The earth is our home. Some things we have done are bad for the earth. We have polluted the earth, and it is sick now. We cut down too many trees, so lots of rich land has changed into desert. Factories pour waste water into rivers. Pollution has caused many serious problems.

(Project English, Wang Dechun)

First, I think there are two grammatical mistakes, which are the tenses of cut and pour. I think they should be changed to have cut and have poured respectively to keep grammatical concord with the context.

Second, I don’t think the paragraph has good logic.

What do you say?

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    He is using present tense for "cut" and "pour", to indicate these are ongoing things that continue to happen every year.

    Second, I don’t think the paragraph has good logic.

    What do you say?
    We don't evaluate what a writer says, or their ideas. We just answer language questions.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    The trees have to be cut down first, so it makes sense to use a past, which is how I immediately read it. 'Pour' is present of course so the writer must see that action as continuing. Because of that, and because the sentence is so short and doesn't tell us a consequence of pouring waste into rivers, I don't feel there's a need for parallel structures: we poured waste into rivers and seas so marine life has been destroyed might be a parallel.
    Apart from that comment, I'm not going to rewrite it. This book, or whatever it is, is so poorly written, and these sentences are just a part of that unsatisfactory style.

    The writer is expressing a commonly held view. Perhaps you should ask a separate question about your understanding of what he has written, or discuss it in one of the general discussion forums, if you think the earth has not been polluted.

    What is this book, please?
     

    brian&me

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thanks, Dojibear and Hermione.
    Project English is a series of English textbooks for junior middle school students in China.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top