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When we talk about a general thing and the event in the adverbial clause happens earlier, what tense should we use?

English Language Learners Asked by vincentlin on August 25, 2020

When we talk about a general thing and the event in the adverbial clause happens earlier, what tense should we use?

Please help explain a bit, thank you.

Example 1

I usually don’t feel terrified after I watch / watched / have watched horror movies.

Example 2

I have a super power. I don’t feel tired during the day if I didn’t / don’t / haven’t slept sleep well the night before.

2 Answers

I agree with the answers above. In addition I'd like to say that "after I have watched" puts emphasis on the time (the hours) after you have finished watching and not on the habit. It is a different way of looking at the sentence.

...during the day if I didn't sleep well the night before. You look back from the day to the night that came before the day so past simple would be appropriate.

By the way, you could also say: "after I have been watching".

Correct answer by anouk on August 25, 2020

I usually don't feel terrified after I watch / watched / have watched horror movies.

This example talks about habit (usually). So both verbs are in the present tense:

I usually don't feel terrified after I watch horror movies.

Answered by Sandy on August 25, 2020

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