"There is no problem about mixing present with future tenses. But in order to shift from the present to the past you need to use a time adverb. If you are talking in present and can/want to specify when it happened then use past simple and the correspondent time adverb. Otherwise use present perfect"

That said my teacher when she was correcting an assignment she gave me, in particular this part I wrote:

"Mark isn't happy. He regrets the decision he made. ..."

Present perfect might be better for the second sentence but I've never heard in any lesson nor I've seen in any book there's a general rule like that. I can't find any good counterexample either, so I'd like to know how much truth there is in what she said. Any idea?

  • Please provide proper attribution for the text that you quote. That means title, author, and publication, or as many of those as are available. If the source is long, such as a book, please include a page number or other location also. If the source is online, please include a link also. See Marking and Attributing Examples, Sources, and Other Quotes Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 1:14
  • Have you read the whole answer? I stated that the first quote was from teacher and was ME who wrote the second quote. I did it on an assignment, it's a draft about a story of a man who had a bad life and decided to go abroad to make a new life. How you want me to source that?
    – tac
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 1:40
  • I got that the second quote was your work. But you did not say if the first was your teacher's own words, or a passage from a text, or what. And if it was not from a text "my teacher" is not a proper attribution. It sounded to me like a passage from a text, but you didn't clearly say. Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 3:42
  • Sorry, but I can't understand what you mean. I think it's clearly stated what I mean where I affirm that my teacher said what I wrote in the quote. If you see it ambiguous, then explain better please.
    – tac
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 4:24
  • 1
    @tac: Part of what is confusing people about the attribution is your wording "That said my teacher ..."; it's not completely grammatical, so it's somewhat unclear; it should be either "That is what my teacher said ..." or "My teacher said that ..." Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


Your sentences

Mark isn't happy. He regrets the decision he made,

are perfectly good English. Your teacher is incorrect.

There are lots of people, both native speakers and people who have English as a second language, who switch tenses for no good reason, which is why people give advice that your teacher misinterpreted (see how I've incorrectly switched tenses there). But your sentence doesn't contain this kind of mistake. Mark made the decision in the past, and he regrets it now, so in this case, switching tenses is fine.

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