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Hi,

i have a question about the following paragraph:

Thinking she must have decided to continue without her, sally had gone on to Craydon herself, only to discover that Alice hadn't arrived at their friend's house and no one had seen her.

I am wondering the highlighted action happened before the other action "sally had gone on to craydon", but why they use 'have decided' instead of had decided.

can anyone help me with this question?

thank you

edward
Comments  
edwardfungHi,

i have a question about the following paragraph:

Thinking she must have decided to continue without her, sally had gone on to Craydon herself, only to discover that Alice hadn't arrived at their friend's house and no one had seen her.

I am wondering the highlighted action happened before the other action "sally had gone on to craydon", Yes, at the time Sally made the decision to go to Craydon, she was under the impression that Alice has already left. but why they use 'have decided' instead of had decided. >> the "deciding" was not completed at a definite known point in the past (prior to Sally's decision to continue). Also, the modal "should" shows that Sally was not certain about what Alice actually did.

can anyone help me with this question?

thank you

edward

Hi! Welcome to the English Forums.

This seems to be one of those narrative styles where everything happens in the past perfect. The introductory present participial phrase doesn't really have a tense. You can argue that the thinking took place before the going on, but once you get to the past perfect, there's no earlier tense to use.

Even if you were narrating in the future tense, the present participial phrase would still look the same.

Seeing that there is no milk (pres.part.) she will hurry to the store. Thinking that the store must have run out of milk also (pres part.) she will hurry on to the next store.

Notice that the clauses which serve as objects of both present participles are in the present tense.

I'm sure someone will offer a more satisfying explanation. - A.

Edit. Yes, I see this is not good. You could say, "Seeing that there was no milk she would hurry to the store." Then you're stuck with "she would hurry" for the next sentence.

But the point remains that the tense within the present participial phrase doesn't have to agree with the tense of the main clause.
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AlpheccaStars
edwardfung but why they use 'have decided' instead of had decided. >> the "deciding" was not completed at a definite known point in the past (prior to Sally's decision to continue). Also, the modal "should" shows that Sally was not certain about what Alice actually did.
So if the deciding had been done at a known point prior to Sally's decision to continue, and Sally was certain about what Alice actually did, we would say, "Thinking she must had decided to continue etc."?
thank you very much for your answer
Hi guys,
There is no 'She must had . . 'in English, only 'She must have . . . '

Best wishes, Clive
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Hi,

Would they be basically the same? Are these correct?

Part of your response to the original post:

Even if you were narrating in the future tense, the present participial phrase would still look the same.

Seeing that there is no milk (pres.part.) she will hurry to the store. Thinking that the store must have run out of milk also (pres part.) she will hurry on to the next store.

Are these the same as your respose sentences above?

Having saw that there is no milk (pres.part.) she will hurry to the store. Having thought that the store must have run out of milk also (pres part.) she will hurry on to the next store.