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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #109304: Tenses : satisfying the request... (2)
Tenses : satisfying the request... (2)
1) The tense of a narration is always the simple past and an action which happened before this past will always be expressed in the past perfect :
past perfect simple = Have + past participle and past perfect in -ing = have been + Verb + ing (insisting on the action in progress and its duration.)
ex : The client entered the old pharmacy. He had heard of a strange rumor concerning an undetectable poison you could get freely there.
2 ) If you want to use a future, remember that it doesn't get on well with the past ! Yet, if you really need it, (or the conditional...) : BEWARE!
after a subordinate conjunction expressing 'time': (after, before, when, while, once, as long as, as soon as, etc. the future is impossible: it is replaced by the present, and the conditional by the preterite.)
ex : The pharmacist will listen carefully as soon as the client asks his unexpected question...
Yet, 'when' can be the interrogative pronoun (whether direct or indirect) ; then, it must be followed by the tense imposed by the context (future or conditional).
ex : When will he answer my question? I really wonder when he will answer my question frankly...
In order to make a difference between a subordinate conjunction expressing 'time' and an interrogative pronoun, it may be an idea to try to substitute 'when' for 'as soon as'. If the sentence has a meaning, 'when' is a 'subordinate conjunction' and the sentence will not be in the future.
3) NUMERALS: A score ( = 20 in Old English), a dozen ( = 12), a hundred ( = 100), a thousand ( = 1000), a million ( = 1 000 000) cannot be put in the plural when they are multiplied by a precise number ou are preceded by several,
a few, many.
Actually, they are numerals (numeral adjectives), and like all adjectives, they are never in the plural. They are often followed by a noun.
On the contrary, ten, score, dozen, hundred, thousand, million, billion can be put in the plural, when they are followed by 'of' and a noun.
These words are no longer adjectives and become nouns connected to other nouns by the preposition 'of'! )
ex : Dozens of paper bags and sachets were ready for delivery.
4) AS / LIKE / AS IF :
a) LIKE + NOM expresses a simple comparison. It's often used with the verb 'to look': to look like + noun = to be similar.
ex : This shop looked like the cave of Arabian Nights!
b) AS + PROPOSITION (Subject + verb) and AS IF + PROPOSITION (as if + modal past expressing an unreal.)
ex : Do as I tell you! He spoke as if he didn't understand what the man was saying ...
There we are! The lesson is finished... I hope you've understood and hope that you'll like the test! Go for it!
The story was freely inspired by The Hobbyist, by Fredric Brown. 1961
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