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【99】动词时态要一致 - 英语讲义
“To arrange for an appointment with us, please complete the reply slip and sent it back to us.”
在语法上，这叫做时态的一致（sequence of tenses）。下面是几个指导原则：
Ⅰ 主句（main clause）里的动词是过去时态的话，名词从句（noun clause）或副词从句（adverb clause）里的动词也要以过去式出现，如：
● Tom said/ that he was busy yesterday.
● Janet wanted to know/ why she was not given a more important job.
● Lily failed/ because she did not submit the project report.
● None could help you/ if you continued being lazy.
● Although David was unwell,/ he went to office as usual.
● Newton discovered/ that gravitation causes apples to fall.
● Our elders told us/ that experience is the best teacher.
● Susan valued his advice more/ than she values mine.
● Peter weighed as much/ as I shall weigh after my dinner.
● Jim believes/ that he will get the job.
● The officer has just told us/that his annual leave was approved weeks ago.
● Christine is infuriated/ because she was criticised for her sloppy work.
Ⅲ 形容词从句（adjective clause）中的时态最自由，最不受拘束，如：
● Tom mooted the idea/which some ignored, which others tend to attack, but which many will eventually accept.
“President Clinton stated/ that he will not run in the next presidential election.”
按照常理，名词从句里的“will not run”要改为“would not run”才能和主句里的过去式“stated”一致。论者把这种现象视为 “特殊情况”，算是给名人的“特权”吧！一般人还是遁常道而行，避免争议。