Timur Zhukov
Confused by tenses 'And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!' She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad. 'I PASS the test,' she said. `I will diminish, and go into the West and remain Galadriel.' Please look at the capslocked word. I think it should be written the word "passed", in the past tense.
Jul 25, 2014 8:18 AM
Answers · 6
Grammatically, "passed" would be wrong. She is speaking about the present situation, so "have passed" would be appropriate. "I pass the test" fits the timeframe, and we can understand it as a formal declaration, so simple tense is used. No rules broken here - Tolkien is using the language perfectly. :)
July 25, 2014
It does strike me as odd. Like Su.Ki., though, I'm having trouble thinking of how to explain it. "I have passed the test." is what my brain wants to see. However, Tolkien was a literary expert, so his choice could simply be one of style. Great writers break English rules all the time. I am not a great writer, so I try not to break them. Just as Tolkien put "lo!" in the middle of a sentence, he could break rules whenever he wanted to.
July 25, 2014
For some reason, it doesn't strike me as wrong. The only explanation I can give is that it's in some way parallel to the first conditional 'If I pass, I will ...' because she is referring to the 'rules' of the test. Don't worry about it - it's fine. Just enjoy the book!
July 25, 2014
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Timur Zhukov
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish
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Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish