I've wrote the following to a friend.

A consequence of my brain tumor was that my sense of taste's almost completely gone today.

I can't help feeling that I should have written "...sense of taste is completely gone...". According to what I've been taught, it's correct but perhaps it's not? Or, at least, not naturally clean to a NSE? If so, why?

  • 1
    There's no "should" here. Most native speakers probably wouldn't use the contracted form with a relatively lengthy referent such as my sense of taste (and it would be highly unlikely in more formal context), but it wouldn't raise an eyebrow coming from another native speaker. Having said that, whether you contracted is or not, my first reaction would be that it's a bit clumsy to mix the tenses like that. You start off by saying what the consequence was, then go on to say something about how your sense of taste is. – FumbleFingers Jul 22 '18 at 16:53
  • @FumbleFingers I see your point regarding the tense. I mean that the consequence was (at the time of the condition starting to affect the perception) the changed sense of flavor - something that still is so, possibly even more severely affecting me. How would one rephrase the sentence's verbs' tenses? Also, this comment smells as an answer looong way, don't you think? :) – Konrad Viltersten Jul 22 '18 at 17:04
  • What I think is that you're probably making too much effort to learn "casual, colloquial" usages. This is a notoriously difficult area for non-native speakers, and most likely the best approach is that you shouldn't attempt to "generate" new variations of colloquial forms yourself (it's safer to restrict yourself to repeating those forms you often hear from native speakers that you interact with). I understand what you mean by this comment smells as an answer looong way, but it marks you out as nns straight away - no native speaker would say/write anything like that! :) – FumbleFingers Jul 22 '18 at 17:37
  • I would leave off "today" and write "A consequence of my brain tumor was that my sense of taste has almost completely gone." has gone indicates "up to today". However, your question should specify if it was a sudden loss "today", or a gradual change over time, up to "today". – user3169 Jul 22 '18 at 23:40
  • @user3169 Good question - didn't realize the distinction until now. Well, if 100 is fully operating sense and 0 is entirely gone, then it was a drop of about 30 immediately, followed by a gradual decrement of 60 over a course of 4 years, hence stabilizing at around 10. So short version - the main part of deteriorated during an extended time frame. – Konrad Viltersten Jul 24 '18 at 15:19

Where I'm from, many speakers would say "my sense of taste's almost gone". But we wouldn't write it that way.

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