Is the tense-agreement in this question specific to “dare not”, or are there other examples?

He knew she dare not tell her father.

Kim daren’t tell them so I had to do it myself.

— The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, p109n

My mother tongue, Korean, has tense inflectional options: to have tense agreement in a sentence or to put tense inflection only onto the last verb. The example cases remind me the Korean rule. So when I interpret English in my brain two or more past tenses in a sentence, I naturally ignore the other past tenses except one.

What I now want to know is that the pattern of the above cases be only restricted to ‘dare’, or are there more cases that in a sentence one verb is past, and the other present?

(I know in some cases, present perfect is replaced by simple tense for a kind of simplification.)


To dare not is a very dated construction – effectively a “set phrase” which is probably best avoided.

Precisely because it’s unfamiliar/not current, I think many Anglophones would be ambivalent about whether it should be knew she dare not (7,060 hits in Google Books) or knew she dared not (52,000 hits). Theoretically, I think the verb tense should depend on whether she still dares not, but I doubt many people would see it that way.

The modern “natural” phrasings would be…

He knew she did not dare [to] tell her father.
Kim did not dare [to] tell them so I had to do it myself.

Personally, I don’t think the tense forms in OP’s examples are particularly relevant to modern usage.

Source : Link , Question Author : Listenever , Answer Author : FumbleFingers

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