here is a sentence from this animation Incredibles 2 :

Any thought we had about being Supers again is fantasy.

I can't understand the logic behind tenses here... we have thought and had which are past tense and then in the same sentence is which is simple present!

I'm confused may you please help...

And here is the full context:

What are we gonna do?

I don't know.

Maybe Dicker will find something?

Dicker is done, Bob.

> Any thought we had about being Supers again is fantasy.

One of us has gotta get a job.

One of us?


  • The "logic" is simply that if indeed there were any such thoughts, and regardless of whether they were recognised as such at the original time of thinking them, it is now apparent that they are fantasy / unrealistic. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 15 '19 at 15:34

You’re right in saying that the past and present tense have been used.

Thought and had are past tense and here it means they used to have thoughts about being supers (super heroes)

But know it is (present tense) fantasy (impossible/imaginary)

  • So this is a correct sentence: Any think we have about being Supers is fantasy. – Sara Ree Aug 15 '19 at 15:38
  • @SaraRee Thought would be correct as thought is a noun, rather than think which is a verb and incorrect – user85640 Aug 15 '19 at 15:40
  • @SaraRee More the point, the mix of the tenses is fine because the thought remains a fantasy. Backshifting is optional. I told her that the Earth is round. This is acceptable because it's a general truth that continues to be true, regardless of time. If you were to say was fantasy or was round, it would be possible to interpret it as meaning that it no longer is fantasy or round. (But that doesn't mean that the past tense would be wrong—just that either can be used, depending on your preference.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Aug 16 '19 at 4:45

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.