If I am writing something in present tense in a paragraph, can I use past tense in the next sentence and vice versa?

For example:

"Bob, a tall and lanky fellow, is heart broken. His girlfriend for 2 years had left him for another woman."

For the purpose of this example, I use the word, "had" instead of "have"-the latter is what I would have normally use for such a sentence. Is using "had left" is correct?

or

"Billy, a ginger-haired 11 year old, had sat down on the plump sofa, anxiously waiting for the mailman. The door bell rings loudly."

Is it correct to say "The door bell rings loudly" or to say "The door bell rang loudly?"
New Member06
compute83"Bob, a tall and lanky fellow, is heart broken. His girlfriend for 2 years had left him for another woman."
This sequence is highly anomalous. Bob is not a woman, so his girlfriend can't leave him for another woman. I suppose the last word was supposed to be "man".

In both your examples you seem to be changing tenses for no apparent reason. That's not a good idea. Change tenses when you actually want to contrast different times.

Bob is getting good grades this year and is enjoying his studies. It's not like it was last year, when he was failing every class.

CJ
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Thanks. I was changing the tenses on those two examples on purpose. The reason I did this is because people used to say that I change my tenses all the time for no reason; I wasn't sure if they meant changing the tenses within a single sentence of changing it within a paragraph. Normally, I would have written the first example like this:

"Bob, a tall and lanky fellow, is heart broken. His girlfriend for 2 years has left him for another man."

I assume "has left" is present tense. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I assume that because the previous sentence is in present tense, the second sentence should be written in present tense.

"Billy, a ginger-haired 11 year old, had sat down on the plump sofa, anxiously waiting for the mailman. The door bell rang loudly. Instantly, he ran up to the door and opened it."

For the last sentence, I have the urge to write the phrase, "opened the door," as "opens the door"; 'opens the door' sounds better to me. However, because I am trying to write the sentence in past tense and that the previous verb is "ran"(the sentence takes place in the past) I feel that the correct verb is "opened" rather than "opens." Is "opened" correct?

Speaking of different times, is it correct to write a sentence like this:

"Bob was getting good grades last semester but is getting bad grades this semester. "

I apologize for my question being silly, but I want to have a better grasp between past and present tense.
Below is a sentence I want to confirm if it is correct.

"The Apple icon is blue!? It would have made more sense if the apple icon is red.

Rather than:

"The Apple icon is blue!? It would have made more sense if the apple icon was red."

I think it is the first sentence since "would have" is present tense and "is" is also present tense. Would the second sentence be correct if I have written "have" as "had" and "is blue " as "was blue" instead?

"
Anonymous:
compute83 ,This is a good question I often wonder this myself. I write a lot of reports. I am not sure if it is correct to change tense in the paragraph based on the short duration of when I was at the job site and the present moment, when I am writing the report. Here is an example sentence:
“This fact was observed to be true at the time of my site visit. It is assumed to be true now two hours after I left the site and am writing the report.”
When writing reports things like “at the time of my site visit” and “now two hours after I left the site and am writing the report” are phrases that get cut out… otherwise the report would be ridiculously wordy. But, should the tense be adjusted to be continuous throughout the paragraph, or should it reflect true short duration of time difference. In other words should the report be written as if the preparation of the report and the site visit are in the same moment of time or should there be a recognition of the real laps in time?
Example:

“The subject bridge is a single span prefabricated concrete arch which provides two lanes of traffic; one in each direction. The bituminous concrete overlay at the bridge was in good condition, with minor transverse cracking. There were no notable potholes or depressions in the roadway, and the surface of the road was smooth overall. The bridge rail system is metal beam rail bolted to the curb of the bridge. There is continuous metal beam rail on the shoulder of the roadway approaches. There was a light amount of sand accumulated on both approaches shoulders.”
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