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Is this sentence from an English Learning magazine grammatically correct with two different tenses in one sentence?

She refuses to pay the fine, and she took the matter to court.

My opinion is she still refuses to pay the fine, so she took the matter to the court in the past. I don't see any contradiction. We are confused with the sentence consisting of two opposing verb tenses and had a debate about it on another site. I feel it does make sense somehow. Because she refuses to pay the fine, still as well, she took this matter to the court.

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Used correctly, you can use 2 different tenses in one sentence.

However, this:

She refuses to pay the fine, and she took the matter to court.

is not correct - it does not even respect the chronology of events.

The following may be used:

She refused to pay the fine, and (therefore) she takes the matter to court (today).

It means that she made a decision in the past (refused) and there is a consequence in the present (takes to court).

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  • She refuses to pay the fine, and because she feels so strongly about it, she took the matter to court where it is still pending. – ColleenV Feb 8 at 19:08

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