Does sequence of tenses rule work for this sentence?

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Alex_cs_gsp

Senior Member
Russian & Ukrainian
Our lawyer met rather a lovely girl and is going to marry her.

Is it correct or I should say was going to marry her. "met" here is the verb in past form.
 
  • LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I would say: our lawyer met a rather lovely girl and is going to marry her.

    To my mind, rather is an adverb modifying the adjective (=lovely). Either was going to or is going to work for me, but they are different in meaning.


    Note that I am neither a native speaker nor an English teacher. :)
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I did a search in COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English) finding out there are eight examples of "a rather lovely", but only one example of "rather a lovely". :)
     

    Alex_cs_gsp

    Senior Member
    Russian & Ukrainian
    I meant such rules like for this

    I was sure that he spoke (not speaks) French very well.
    Our lawyer met rather a lovely girl and was (not is) going to marry her.

    Is it the same thing?
     
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    Insom

    Member
    English - Australia
    The use of "is going to" is fine. The lawyer intends to marry the girl whom he met.

    The use of "was going to" is also fine. The lawyer intended to marry the girl whom he had met (but perhaps the engagement was cancelled later).

    I did a search in COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English) finding out there are eight examples of "a rather lovely", but only one example of "rather a lovely". :)
    It is not uncommon to see "rather a(n)...". You might say it is rather a more poetic way of saying "a rather...".
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    So, if I want to say that the lawyer wants to marry the girl whom he has already met I should use was going, shouldn't I?
    If you are saying something that happened in the past, you say "was going to", which suggests the lawyer intended to marry her, but we don't know whether he has married her.

    If you are saying something that might happen in the future, you say "is going to", which suggests the lawyer intends to marry her and we know he hasn't married her yet.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    The use of "is going to" is fine. The lawyer intends to marry the girl whom he met.

    The use of "was going to" is also fine. The lawyer intended to marry the girl whom he had met (but perhaps the engagement was cancelled later).


    It is not uncommon to see "rather a(n)...". You might say it is rather a more poetic way of saying "a rather...".
    Thank you for your great help, especially on "rather" issue. :)
     

    Valvs

    Senior Member
    Russian
    So, if I want to say that the lawyer wants to marry the girl whom he has already met I should use was going, shouldn't I?
    It depends on whether he is still going to marry her or not.
    Scenario 1: He met her in the past, and intends to marry her now:
    "He met a lovely girl and is going to marry her."
    Scenario 2: He met her in the past, and we know he was planning to marry her back then:
    "He met a lovely girl and was going to marry her."
    The second sentence does not tell us if he is still going to marry her.

    And to answer your original question, the sequence of tense rules simply do not apply here, because there is no reported speech in either of these sentences.
     
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    Alex_cs_gsp

    Senior Member
    Russian & Ukrainian
    I don't understand what I should say if the lawyer met the girl a few time (years) ago but intends to to marry her at the present time? From your last replies I haven't understood it so far. Perhaps the verb met puzzled you. The same sentence could be like this

    Our lawyer took an interesting book and is going to read it. Is it gramatically correct, or in any way I have to use "was going" there?
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Originally Posted by Alex_cs_gsp
    So, if I want to say that the lawyer wants to marry the girl whom he has already met I should use was going, shouldn't I
    Hello Alex
    You have a present tense wants and a present perfect has ... met, so there is no reason not to use the present 'is going to' , assuming they are still going to get married at the time of speaking. Using "was" means thay are no longer getting married


    The present perfect would probably be ideal instead of simple past.

    "He has met a rather lovely girl and is going to get married."

    Using the simple past is certainly possible but without more information, it isn't necessary. If for example there had been a previous conversation about the lawyer's summer holiday so there is a clear back reference and he met the the girl while he was on holiday then the simple past would be natural. If there is a direct reference to a period of past time in the sentence, then the simple past would be obligatory. "He met a lovely girl when he was on holiday ....... "

    Added

    Our lawyer took an interesting book and is going to read it. Is it gramatically correct, or in any way I have to use "was going" there?
    (NB 'took' is not the right word)

    This is grammatically correct only if the lawyer has changed his mind about reading the book and now is not going to read it. We would expect some explanation of why he has changed his mind!

    'Our lawyer bought an expensive art book and was going to read it over Christmas but then he realised he already had it. The bookshop won't take it back because his baby son tore the book jacket'

    Cheers
    Hermione
     
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    Insom

    Member
    English - Australia
    Our lawyer took an interesting book and is going to read it. Is it gramatically correct, or in any way I have to use "was going" there?
    Yes, it is grammatically correct.

    Consider that it is two complete sentences combined into one: "Our lawyer took an interesting book. He is going to read it." No problems there; "it" refers to the book.

    "Our lawyer took an interesting book, and he is going to read it" - the "and" just reinforces that the two events happened in that order.

    In my view, it is even grammatically correct to say, "Our lawyer will meet a pretty girl, and he has married her." Whether this is logical is another question :)
     

    Alex_cs_gsp

    Senior Member
    Russian & Ukrainian
    Yes, it is grammatically correct.

    Consider that it is two complete sentences combined into one: "Our lawyer took an interesting book. He is going to read it." No problems there; "it" refers to the book.

    Thanks! I have been waiting for this answer. To my mind this sentence is the other than I was sure that he spoke (not speaks) French very well. Because for this one isn't possible to separate two complete sentences.

    Thanks to Hermione too, she showed the difference of tenses using.
     
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