I always get confused with the use of present tense after a verb that is in past tense.

Can someone please critique the following sentences?

  1. I was checking the system, and it showed that she no longer works/worked here. Is this true?

  2. The system indicated that we no longer have any inventory in stock. (Past +present)

  3. The system indicated that she doesn't work here anymore. (Past + present)

Thank you!!

1 Answer 1


All correct.

The system showed...

Past tense because the system isn't showing it now.

... that she no longer works here.

Present tense because this is true in the present.

There is no grammatical connection between the tenses. The second part could be in the past tense, if referring to a past event:

The system showed that she left the company three years ago.

Past tense in both because the time when the system showed something, and the event that it showed are in the past. Even though one event is before the other, there is not need for past perfect tenses.

It would be correct to have past and future:

The system showed that she will leave the company next week

  • Thanks for your input! What if the information is still showing in the system? In that case, would we say "the system is showing that she no longer works at the company?"
    – Student
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 11:21

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