2

As he turned out, much of the bill owed for the recordings went unpaid for more than 50 years.

Does this sentence mean that now the bill has been paid, because it uses 'went' (past simple tense of 'to go')? If it had stayed unpaid or been paid very recently the author would have written "has gone", which is the present perfect tense of 'to go'.

2

Yes, you're correct about this sentence. The way the sentence is written indicates that the bill was eventually paid.

If the author had written 'has gone unpaid' we would understand that the bill still has not been paid. The same verb tense could also be used in the case where it has just been paid, immediately prior to the current time or at the current time. If used for this second case I would expect there to be some reference to the changed status of the bill in the expression to make it clear, either implied by the tone or expressed in words.

...has gone unpaid for more than 50 years, until now.
...has gone unpaid for more than 50 years, and finally the wait is over.
...has gone unpaid for more than 50 years. It's amazing it's been taken care of!

Are you sure the first phrase in your example wasn't, 'As it turned out...'? It doesn't make sense to start that sentence with, 'As he turned out...'. The phrase, 'As it turned out' means, 'It became apparent that', or 'It was realized later that'.

It became apparent that much of the bill owed for the recordings went unpaid for more than 50 years

The phrase, 'As he turned out', could mean a physical turn, as in

As he turned out of the driveway and walked down the street

It also has a less common meaning

As he showed up.

  • yes of course it was it sorry for the mistake – user5577 Mar 26 at 16:24
  • A great explanation which makes an ESL learner learn a lot of things in a clear way. – Smart Humanism Mar 26 at 19:16
  • 1
    This could be an awkward question, but is it also okay to put in which is before either implied by the tone or expressed in words in the last sentence of the second paragraph in your answer? – Smart Humanism Mar 26 at 19:19
  • 1
    It's not an awkward question, @SmartHumanism. Yes, your idea would fit and make it more clear that I was talking about the reference to the change. Because I used the conditional tense 'would be' earlier in the sentence, I would write it using the same tense for consistency: "...which would be either implied by the tone or expressed in words." Thanks for asking. – dwilli Mar 26 at 22:26
  • @user5577 no need to apologize. It was a good learning opportunity. – dwilli Mar 28 at 0:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.