2

Context: I sent one of my articles to a friend of mine a week ago and yesterday I resent it with some corrections. So, today I am talking to my friend on the phone and ask:

1 - Did you notice that I changed some passages in my article?

2 - Did you notice that I had changed some passages in my article?

Which tense is appropriate in this context?

I see them this way:

1a - Did you notice (when you were reading the article) that I changed some passages in my article?

2a - Did you notice (when you were reading the article) that I had changed some passages in my article?

Which makes 2 more logical. But I am not a native speaker.
What do you think on the matter of the question?

4

"Changed" in the past tense of the verb to change. Therefore it is correct to ask "Did you notice I changed some passages". "I have changed" uses past perfect tense to say the same thing.

"I had changed" is fine too, although it allows the possibility that you have since made further changes, or even reverted back.

"Changes" is the wrong tense, but it can also be used as a noun for the adjustments themselves. In either case, it is wrong to ask "Did you notice I had changes some passages". However, using it as a noun you could ask "Did you notice changes in the passages?"

0

I have decided to answer my question even though I understand that it's going to contradict the view on the matter of natives, at least, to some extent.

I, personally, find this "Did you notice that I changed some passages in my article?" not good enough.

1 Even though "changed" is in the past, we should notice that "changed" is used in conjunction with "notice" in the sentences, hence, we are NOT considering "changed" but "noticed that I changed". That is the unit under consideration.

2 Hence, we should see how "changed" works within the unit. There are two verbs in the unit "noticed" and "changed". They have the same tense - the past simple. It means that they happen at the same time.

3 We get this "I noticed (when I was reading the article) that you changed some passages." But is it really the intended meaning? Of course, the changes had been made before I noticed them. Hence, it should be "Did you notice (when you were reading the article) that I had changed some passages in my article?

My take on it.I don't understand why 1 is acceptable. It's a glitch.

  • 1
    I think that your second point is not correct. Two things happening in the past don't necessarily imply that they happened at the same time. Yesterday and the World War II happened in the past. Hitler wasn't alive yesterday. – RubioRic Apr 28 '20 at 8:54
  • 1 Your examples are not connected into one unit. They are two different sentences. See my first point. There must be one unit which we have in "Did you notice that I changed". 2 Tell me how you would express two simultaneous actions? (If you wanted to say that the changes where made while you were reading the article) You would say "I noticed that you changed ...." 3 Maybe there is some doozie about the very verb "notice", though... and it doesn't follow a standard logic. I am not sure – user1425 Apr 28 '20 at 9:03
  • I can't follow your logic, sorry. I can construct a sentence using notice and my examples: "Have you seen the film? Did you notice that World War II was terrible?" Do you have to be alive during World War II? Maybe your friend noticed the changes AFTER reading because he/she was thinking about your text. I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve here, Astralbee has stated how a native speaker view your sentences. – RubioRic Apr 28 '20 at 9:32
  • The only sentence fitting the needed scenario is this:"Did you notice that World War II was terrible?" And this sentence is not very good. "did you notice (when?" When you were at the war? – user1425 Apr 28 '20 at 9:42
  • This logic in this answer is incorrect. "that I changed..." is a noun clause (in this case, being used as an object for the verb "notice"), and there is no requirement for agreement/disagreement between the verb tense in the noun clause and the verb tense of the verb acting on the noun clause. And just because the verb tenses may both be past tense, does not mean they are simultaneous. The key question to decided between options 1 and 2 has nothing to do with the verb "notice", and everything to do with the nature of the change action the speaker is trying to convey. – Nick2253 Apr 28 '20 at 18:25

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