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Which sentence is grammatically correct?

I did not complain and tell myself to calm down and try to solve this difficult problem.

Or:

I did not complain and told myself to calm down and try to solve this difficult problem.

Some notes:

  • I want to mean that I did not complain, and I did tell myself to calm down, instead of complaining and not telling myself to calm down.

I don't know whether I should use told or tell in this sentence. Since "complain" is present tense, I should be using "tell", right? But it sounds (to me) weird to be using tell. But if I use "complained" it seems wrong...?

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    "and[ so ]I told myself to calm down ..." The words in your sentence bump into each other because the second sentence needs a pronoun.
    – Alex TheBN
    Jan 11, 2021 at 2:38
  • I agree, especially since it negates "complain", and it should be made clear that it doesn't want to negate "told myself to calm down." Jan 11, 2021 at 4:00
  • Complain here is not the present tense, it is the basic form of the verb used with did to make a past tense in the negative. Jan 11, 2021 at 9:21

1 Answer 1

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First of all I'd like to point out that "complain" in your given sentence is not present tense because it relies on the I did.

You did not complain, but you did tell yourself to calm down, so for that to work, you will need to use a comma to separate them.

So the correct sentence would be:

I did not complain, and told myself to calm down and try to solve this difficult problem.

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