<found out>or<find out> here!

Mr.Naom

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello everyone!

I ripped this context from The Girl On The Train by Paula Howkins:

"I blame Jess. I was obsessing this morning about Jess and Jason, about what she’d done and
how he would feel, about the confrontation they would have when he <found out>and when his
world, like mine, <was ripped apart>."

I have a question about why the author uses past tense?
Note: The author talks in the evening about what happened with her in the morning,
but he(Jason) doesn't find out his wife's cheating yet to we can say <found out>,
there is only a supposed statue here, according to I'm thinking, it should be <finds out>
instead of <found out> and <rips apart> instead of <was ripped apart>

What do you think?
Is "when" here = "if"? and we are in a confrontation with 2d condition?
Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I'm thinking, it should be <finds out>
    instead of <found out> and <rips apart> instead of <was ripped apart>

    What do you think?
    I think that the author is correct. This is the past in the future The narrator is discussing what will happen after the event has been "found out" and after his world has been "ripped apart".
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think it’s future in the past, rather than the other way round.

    The present-tense version – musing about what will happen:
    I am obsessing … about Jess and Jason, about what she’s done and how he will feel, about the confrontation they will have when he finds out and when his world, like mine, is ripped apart.

    The past-tense version – musing about what was going to happen:
    I was obsessing (past continuous) this morning about Jess and Jason, about what she’d done (past perfect) and how he would (= was going to) feel, about the confrontation they would (= were going to) have when he found out and when his world, like mine, was ripped apart.
     
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