my friend went into this mysterious forest and <doesn't return> [tense?]

JunJiBoy

Senior Member
USA
Cantonese
Hello, friends,
Please help me with this sentence, I'm not sure what tense to use. Many Thanks in advance.

A week ago, my friend went into this mysterious forest and "___"

Here are my own answers, give it to me if you have more appropriate answers:
A, "doesn't return" means he's not planning to return?
B, "never returned" means he's dead now?
C, "has never returned" means he's still kicking around in the forest doing something?
D, "had never returned" means he died in the forest for a long time?
 
Last edited:
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    If you have no idea what happened—whether he's dead, or he's wandering around in the forest, or he came out of the forest on the other side and went on his way—then the phrase you want is: hasn't returned.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    It's "hasn't returned" (present perfect tense) because you're describing the situation at present: he went into the forest a week ago (a time in the past, so simple past tense is correct), and you have no idea what he did after that; all you know is that for the past week, including the present time, he hasn't returned.

    If you were still talking about the past, then you would use "didn't return": A week ago my friend went into the forest; I waited all day, but he didn't return. (You are talking about that day a week ago, so the simple past tense is correct.)
     

    JunJiBoy

    Senior Member
    USA
    Cantonese
    Thank you!
    How about:
    10 years ago, my friend went into this mysterious forest and hasn't returned.
    Will this still work? He probably already died.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The present perfect is not impossible for me if we say "ten years ago", but "hasn't returned" doesn't sound right to me. I'd say, "10 years ago my friend went into the forest and hasn't been seen since."
     

    JunJiBoy

    Senior Member
    USA
    Cantonese
    10 years ago sounds ancient in the past, I tend to use the past perfect, but not sure at all. Does anyone think differently?
     

    JunJiBoy

    Senior Member
    USA
    Cantonese
    OK, here it is.
    10 years ago, the finest hunter of our village ventured into the depths of this forest and "___" back.
    hasn't come, hadn't come, never comes or never came?
    All these answers sound kinda good to me, but which is the best and rightest? Many thanks!
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    You would say "…hasn't come back" if you still think it's possible s/he will come back, and "…never came back" if you've given up on him/her.

    "Hadn't come back" would work only in reference to another point in time: "…and, as of last week, s/he hadn't come back."

    Remember, too, that "kinda" is not a word in English.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    10 years ago sounds ancient in the past, I tend to use the past perfect, but not sure at all. [...]
    Use of the past perfect isn't about how far in the past (in absolute terms) the event occurred. It's used for something in the past that happened before some other identified past event or time (whether it's 10 years ago or 1 minute ago).

    In Florentia's example, "last week" is in the past, and "s/he hadn't come back" refers to the period before (and up to) last week.
    (Though I wouldn't use "as of", Flo. In my kind of English that means 'starting from'.:p)


    Ws:)
     
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