3

I have a question about present & future tenses here:

Hegwood, who taught English at Duncanville High School, was placed on unpaid leave Monday. She apologized in a statement Thursday and submitted her resignation, but the school board rejected a resignation and instead fired her with cause. That doesn't affect a teacher's pension, but it makes him or her ineligible for unemployment benefits, and future employers are told the teacher didn't leave in good standing, school district spokeswoman Lari Barager said.

The act of telling happens only in the future with future employers. So, the present tense in "future employers are told..." seems off. Would "future employers will be told ...." be better?

  • 1
    It's a perfectly natural use of present tense to reflect ongoing, habitual actions. The fact that the relevant employers are all "future" relative to the dismissal makes no difference. – FumbleFingers Nov 15 '14 at 19:00
  • @FumbleFingers Would the future tense version "future employers will be told" be condemned as wrong? – meatie Nov 15 '14 at 20:07
  • Both are fine. It's not really any different to "I will go to school on Monday", as against "I go to school on Monday". Where we might pluralise Mondays to make it more explicit that this is a regular activity, not just something that's going to happen on the coming Monday. – FumbleFingers Nov 15 '14 at 21:14
3

It says future employers are told, because it means that when any teachers are fired, those teachers' future employers are always told that they were fired in bad circumstances. Because this is a regular practice that happens all the time, the present simple is used.

  • Would the future tense version "future employers will be told" be condemned as wrong? – meatie Nov 15 '14 at 20:07
  • 1
    No,, it would just be thinking about it in a different way, that's all :) – Araucaria Nov 15 '14 at 20:12
  • If the context is, 'The practice is that future employers are told...', present plural is okay. – JimM Nov 15 '14 at 22:00
  • Why did the writer use “didn’t leave” in good standing instead of saying “doesn’t leave” @Araucaria – Bavyan Yaldo Jan 4 '18 at 11:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.