She had to go there vs She had to have gone there

I understand the grammar here (past infinitive in latter) but I do not understand what is the difference in meaning. Both seem to express the same, with the latter putting (in my opinion) more emphasis on the past aspect. But it does not help me.. Answer The difference in tense means that the element of … Read more

“One is done for you” or “One has been done for you”?

While I was writing a textbook I gave an exercise for students. Since the exercise was difficult, I gave an example and gave the instruction One (example) is done for you The editor corrected it as One has been done for you I would like to know whether my instruction “one is done for you” … Read more

Is “safes” an acceptable alternative to “makes safe”

Though I know it’s uncommon usage (and intentionally so). Is the follow sentence legitimate? She safes the dangerous area so it cannot be stumbled upon. Obviously, modern usage would be “she makes safe”, but some research on my part shows that “safes” is an acceptable “third-person singular simple present” form of safe. Am I correct? … Read more

How did “to wish that” come to hate the present tense in the subordinate clauses it governs, and why is it alone in this?

Inspired by this earlier question, I’ve realized that we have no canonical question addressing the stranglely one-of-a-kind special grammatical rules demanded by the verb wish of its subordinate clauses. This question seeks to remedy that situation. How did the verb to wish that come to require unique grammatical rules unlike any other? The verb wish … Read more

using would + have to in non-conditional sentences

Which timeline (past vs present vs future) does this sentence indicate? Project managers would have to organize copywriters, editors, and designers as well as feedback from clients or other stakeholders. Is it okay to use would + have to in “future imaginary situations” without having an if clause? Answer In a comment, John Lawler wrote: … Read more

“was employed at” vs “had been employed at”

I am providing an “employment verification letter” to one of my past employees. He worked at my company from Oct, 2008 till Jan 2017. Which one of the following is correct? 1) He was employed at XYZ company from Oct, 2008 up until Jan, 2017 OR 2) He had been employed at XYZ company from … Read more

“I saw him run” — Why doesn’t this require the past tense of “run”?

In a sentence like, “I saw him run,” what is the rule that explains why “run” is in the present tense when “saw” is in the past tense? A similar construction, “She said he swam,” requires past tense for both. I suspect the pronoun is governing verb tense. Is there a term for this? Answer … Read more

What is verb tense consistency?

“To his great astonishment and mortification, Sticky saw his parents begin trying less and less to find him, instead devoting their time and energy toward the proper disposal of their newfound riches” So I stumbled upon this sentence and the part which usually confuses is keeping the consistency of the tenses and my english teacher … Read more