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Kailin
About tenses in a clause: "he decided to study Economics because he thinks..." Which is correct? "But he decided to study Economics because he thinks this is the field that can help his country to fill up the gaps and overcome obstacles." Or "But he decided to study Economics because he thought this was the field that could help his country fill up the gaps and overcome obstacles." His decision to study Economics happens in the past, so I used the past tense, but I am not sure about whether I should use past tence in the clause led by "because". If " he thought this was the field that could help his country fill up the gaps and overcome obstacles." is correct, does it imply that he is not thinking this way now? Because I learned in the past that if I used "thought", it implies that I have changed my mind now. Thanks!
Oct 28, 2016 3:36 PM
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Answers · 6
Spot on! Using "thinks" implies he still believes it. "Thought" implies he's changed his mind. I'd say: "However, he decided to study Economics because he thought it could help his country fill the gaps and overcome obstacles." "Fill the gaps" is a bit confusing - which gaps are you talking about?
October 28, 2016
In this context I don't think it really matters, 'thought' does not necessarily mean he changed his mind. I would use 'thought', 'thinks' would maybe work better if the original clause was in the present perfect (he has decided...). I have to ask what you mean by 'fill up the gaps'. That part doesn't make sense.
October 28, 2016
Kailin
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Korean, Spanish
Learning Language
English, French, Korean, Spanish