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A pragmatic and smart woman, she purchased a gold and silver-tone watch that she can wear with both silver and gold jewelry.

My questions are that-

  1. Why "can" is here as "purchased" indicates past tense?

  2. Is there any difference if i say "A pragmatic and smart woman purchased a gold and silver-tone watch that she can wear with both silver and gold jewelry"?

2 Answers 2

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1.It's okay to use "can" in a subordinate clause if the statement is still true.

2.This is an example of dislocation. It's a different way of distributing information in spoken language. It involves breaking up a clause-like structure into two separate chunks. It doesn't make any difference if you say

A pragmatic and smart woman purchased a gold and silver-tone watch that she can wear with both silver and gold jewelry.

But this structure is recommended in formal writing.

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1: She purchased it in the past, and she can wear it now.

2: There's a difference, though it doesn't change the meaning a lot. Your version is introducing a pragmatic and smart woman, but the original version is talking about a person who (based on the context) has already been introduced, and the information that she is a smart and pragmatic woman is being added.

(It's common to introduce or describe someone before switching to pronouns, but there are some exceptions to this. Sometimes writers use a personal pronoun to abruptly introduce a character without giving a name or description. Consider The Beatles' song She's Leaving Home, which doesn't name the main character, and which tells us about her and her situation through her actions.)

Beginning the sentence with "A pragmatic and smart woman," is similar to saying it like this:

Because she is a pragmatic and smart woman, she purchased a gold and silver-tone watch that she can wear with both silver and gold jewelry.

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