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tenses used after "so that"

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tenses used after "so that"

Unread postby annoussa » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:43 pm

hello everybody,
I really need help for my exams correction. (urgent)

Consider the sentence:
The policeman stopped tha traffic so that the blind man [crosses/ can cross/ crossed/ would cross/ could cross] the street.


What options should be left what others should be eliminated?
Does the use of the past tense "stopped", automatically implies the use of the past for "cross"?
Is it necessary to use a modal at all?



thanks in advance.
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Re: tenses used after "so that"

Unread postby Susan » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:18 pm

The correct answer is "could cross".
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Re: tenses used after "so that"

Unread postby annoussa » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:26 pm

Thx for ur answer
Any justification?
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Re: tenses used after "so that"

Unread postby Mimino » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:34 pm

"could" is past tense for "can"
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Re: tenses used after "so that"

Unread postby Syl » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:47 am

I guess annoussa doesn't need this explanation anymore, but probably others might get some help.

I second Susan's and Mimino"s replies, adding that the connector adverb "so that" implies a cause and a result:

"The blind man didn't cross the street because he couldn't" - cause (and both verbs are in the past).
"The policeman stopped the traffic" - result (also here the verb is in the past).

When you join both cause and effect with the connector "so that", the modal "can" is implied; the situation which described a disability occurred in the past, therefore the modal will be also in the past: "could".


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