I think - verb tense agreement

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AskLang

Senior Member
Filipino
I think I texted you this message but you didn't reply.Hallo,Does there have to be a tense agreement in this type of message?Thank you!
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think there should be tense agreement in every type of message. And I think you have it with "I think I texted you this message but you didn't reply."

    On a practical note, I think your texting device will let you know whether or not you texted a message, so saying "I think..." is perhaps not the best introduction. What about "I texted you this message but haven't heard from you. Did you receive it?"
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Two clauses connected by 'but' can have any tense relationship at all:

    I will be texting you again tomorrow but you haven't replied to my last one yet.

    Tense agreement means that a verb like 'think' or 'say' changes the natural tense of verbs inside its scope, to agree with the tense of 'think':

    I think I will text you again tomorrow.
    I thought I would text you again tomorrow.

    The interesting question is whether this tense agreement extends past the 'but'.

    I will text you again tomorrow but as usual you won't reply.
    I think I will text you again tomorrow but as usual you won't reply.
    I thought I would text you again tomorrow but as usual you won't/wouldn't reply.

    I think it depends on whether the 'but' is in scope or not; that is, whether it's part of what you thought:

    I thought [I would text you again tomorrow but as usual you wouldn't reply.]
    [I thought I would text you again tomorrow] but as usual you won't reply.

    Another example also, I think, shows that it depends whether the second clause is part of what is thought:

    I will text you again tomorrow because you haven't replied to my last one yet.
    I think I will text you again tomorrow because you haven't replied to my last one yet.
    I thought I would text you again tomorrow because you haven't/hadn't replied to my last one yet.
     

    viviancpy

    New Member
    Chinese
    Two clauses connected by 'but' can have any tense relationship at all:

    I will be texting you again tomorrow but you haven't replied to my last one yet.

    Tense agreement means that a verb like 'think' or 'say' changes the natural tense of verbs inside its scope, to agree with the tense of 'think':

    I think I will text you again tomorrow.
    I thought I would text you again tomorrow.

    The interesting question is whether this tense agreement extends past the 'but'.

    I will text you again tomorrow but as usual you won't reply.
    I think I will text you again tomorrow but as usual you won't reply.
    I thought I would text you again tomorrow but as usual you won't/wouldn't reply.

    I think it depends on whether the 'but' is in scope or not; that is, whether it's part of what you thought:

    I thought [I would text you again tomorrow but as usual you wouldn't reply.]
    [I thought I would text you again tomorrow] but as usual you won't reply.

    Another example also, I think, shows that it depends whether the second clause is part of what is thought:

    I will text you again tomorrow because you haven't replied to my last one yet.
    I think I will text you again tomorrow because you haven't replied to my last one yet.
    I thought I would text you again tomorrow because you haven't/hadn't replied to my last one yet.
    I would like to ask more about the tense agreement for "think":
    Is it correct to say
    People thought the sun goes around the earth 300 years ago.
     
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