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Right now, Tom is lying on the ground.

Example 1

The PE teacher made Tom run laps so hard that he is lying on the ground.

Example 2

The PE teacher made Tom run laps so hard that he was lying on the ground.

Which example should I use to describe what Tom is doing right now?

Does the tense have to conform to the main verb? I feel that Example 2 is more correct.

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  • I wouldn't use either. Do you mean that Tom collapsed from exhaustion and fell to the ground, or that he was so tired that he lay down for a rest? Commented May 4, 2023 at 18:26

1 Answer 1

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Don't you mean: he collapsed on the ground?? Or: he lay down on the ground??

The progressive or past progressive don't really work here. Or: he lay down on the ground. But if you insist on them:

made is in the simple past and is part of an idiom so what follows it could be expressing an idea in the present or in the past. Your choice.

NOW

  • The teacher made Tom run laps so hard that he is [now] lying on the ground.

YESTERDAY

  • The teacher made Tom run laps so hard that he was lying on the ground.

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