2

Context:

A: Why do Sally and Emma look embarrassed?
B: They must have realized they have no money with them.


Shouldn't it be:

B: They must have realized they had no money with them.

The ILI English Series, Intermediate 2 Workbook, Page 29

enter image description here

1 Answer 1

6

Both of the sentences are correct, but in different contexts. In this case, we have to look at the question to determine which is correct:

Why do Sally and Emma look embarrassed?

In the question, to do is conjugated for the present tense. This means that Sally and Emma currently look embarrassed. Now we have to look at the answer:

They must have realized they have no money with them.

Sally and Emma don't currently have any money with them, but they became aware of this (realised it) in the past.

So, Sally and Emma currently look embarrassed because they do not currently have any money on them, and they realised that they do not have any money on them before looking embarrassed.


They must have realized they had no money with them.

In this case, Sally and Emma both realised they have no money on them and looked embarrassed in the past. They do not currently look embarrassed. For this answer, the appropriate question would be:

Why did Sally and Emma look embarrassed?

In this case, both question and answer must be consistent in the tenses they use. This is because they both refer to the same event (Sally and Emma currently looking embarrassed).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .