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don't or didn't have enough accounting experience Options
robjen
Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 4:34:05 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/17/2015
Posts: 414
Neurons: 2,355
Last month, I had an interview for an accounting job. Three weeks ago, they called and told me that they decided not to hire me. This is what I said to my friend about their decision.

(ex) I say to Wilson, "They didn't hire me because I didn't have or I don't have enough accounting experience."

I think I should say "I don't have" because I still don't have enough experience. My friend said I should
say "I didn't have" because my sentence refers to a past time.

Please give me your opinion. Thanks a lot.
NKM
Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 5:55:31 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 4,187
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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Either form works fine, but I think the "don't have" version is better.

Next year the past-tense form would be more appropriate, even if at that time you still don't have enough experience.

Gabriel82
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 11:06:43 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 7/22/2017
Posts: 43
Neurons: 65,633
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas, United States
robjen wrote:
Last month, I had an interview for an accounting job. Three weeks ago, they called and told me that they decided not to hire me. This is what I said to my friend about their decision.

(ex) I say to Wilson, "They didn't hire me because I didn't have or I don't have enough accounting experience."

I think I should say "I don't have" because I still don't have enough experience. My friend said I should
say "I didn't have" because my sentence refers to a past time.

Please give me your opinion. Thanks a lot.


In this case, maintaining parallel structure requires one to use "They didn't hire me because I didn't have enough accounting experience."

The first verb is in past tense and the other should match it and therefore be in past tense. Here are some examples of this:

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/623/01/
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