1. melhazl

    melhazl New Member

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    Question on tense use

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by melhazl, Mar 28, 2014.

    Hi there,

    I'm writing a novel in the first person past tense. Which of the two following sentences is correct?

    "It was becoming more and more obvious that he sees things in black and white whereas I see things in colour."

    "It was becoming more and more obvious that he saw things in black and white whereas I saw things in colour."

    As the fact I'm describing is still true - the main character still sees things in colour today, is it ok to mix tense as in example one?

    Similarly, should the following sentence go on to say:

    "I am impulsive, he is practical." Or, "I was impulsive, he was practical."

    Thanks for your help!
    M
     
  2. dbesim

    dbesim Senior Member

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    Hi melhazl,

    If you're writing in the past-tense, then 'saw' would be the right one to use, particularly if you're writing about him from memory. If you were writing in the present tense, it would be 'see.'

    You mentioned you were writing in the past-tense, so the correct usage would be 'saw.'
     
  3. Thomas Kitchen

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    The correct sentences are:

    1.) "It was becoming more and more obvious that he saw things i n black and white whereas I saw things in colour." And no, try not to mix up tenses.
    2.) "I was impulsive, he was practical."

    :)
     

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