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I think that the following sentence is grammatically incorrect:

He prepared for school like he always does.

Should it be more grammatical to say:

He prepared for school like he always did.

The reason is that the event is already in the past, so past tense should be used in the whole sentence.

Is my understanding correct?

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    Depends on whether he still went to school while this sentence was said or not. If yes, than use "does". If no, use "did"
    – Bella Swan
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 10:22
  • Both versions are correct. It's simply a matter of style. You could even say that morning he had prepared for school like he always does. Even though an event is unmistakably in the past, the habitual present can still be used. Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 14:24

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"He prepared for school like he always does." is the correct usage. The preparing for school is past tense because the preparing happened in the past, the attending school is present tense as he currently attends school.

If you said, "He prepared for school like he always did." you would be saying he no longer attends school but he is preparing for it anyway. If that is what is intended then the second sentence is the correct one, but that seems unlikely to me.

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  • I am not an expert on the English language and have no formal qualifications in English. I offer my advice only as a native British English speaker. I believe the advice of an untrained English speaker can sometimes be beneficial.
    – RedPython
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 21:07

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