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the/ a and past or present Options
arshiaazadi
Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 8:36:07 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 87
Neurons: 1,055
This is part of a story. I want know Why is "the" before "little house" and "woods"? can't it be "a"?
Why verb "change" has the present tense an it I not "past tense"?

There was a thin, straight line of blue smoke coming from the little house in the woods. As the smoke reached the blue April sky, Jody watched it change from blue to gray.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 9:46:45 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 28,486
Neurons: 162,175
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hello again!

The author is writing about a specific house (in a specific wood).

You could not say "a woods" anyway - because 'woods' is plural or uncountable.

****************
"Change" is not present (or past) - it is the infinitive (base form) of the verb "change".

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
arshiaazadi
Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10:42:08 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 87
Neurons: 1,055
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Hello again!

The author is writing about a specific house (in a specific wood).

You could not say "a woods" anyway - because 'woods' is plural or uncountable.

****************
"Change" is not present (or past) - it is the infinitive (base form) of the verb "change".

Thanks a lot.
Ah, I thought "it" is subject and "change" is it's verb. "it" is object for "Jody watched it" and "change" is infinitive, am I right?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 11:02:17 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 28,486
Neurons: 162,175
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Yes, it's a whole construction.

Jody watched it.

It = the smoke (the object of "watched")

The smoke (it) changed from blue to gray. ("It" is the subject of "changed")

However, we cannot have 'it' being the object of one verb and the subject of another at the same time. - That would make a clause with two finite verbs, which is not allowed.

We can either use an infinitive or a participle. In this sentence they are almost the same in meaning (sometimes they mean different things).

As the smoke reached the blue April sky, Jody watched it change from blue to gray.
As the smoke reached the blue April sky, Jody watched it changing from blue to gray.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
arshiaazadi
Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 11:33:36 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 87
Neurons: 1,055
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Yes, it's a whole construction.

Jody watched it.

It = the smoke (the object of "watched")

The smoke (it) changed from blue to gray. ("It" is the subject of "changed")

However, we cannot have 'it' being the object of one verb and the subject of another at the same time. - That would make a clause with two finite verbs, which is not allowed.

We can either use an infinitive or a participle. In this sentence they are almost the same in meaning (sometimes they mean different things).

As the smoke reached the blue April sky, Jody watched it change from blue to gray.
As the smoke reached the blue April sky, Jody watched it changing from blue to gray.


Thank you so much for your help
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