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  5. "Het kind was gevallen en was…

"Het kind was gevallen en was nu verdrietig."

Translation:The child had fallen and now was sad.

November 18, 2014



I am not a native speaker of English, so I must ask: Is it correct to say ...was now sad? I mean, you are mixing was (past) and now (present) in the same clause.

I would only say is now sad (an action happening at the moment)


That's an interesting question, but it is correct to say "was now sad" in English. In this sentence, "now" almost has the meaning of "then," in a series of events: "(First) the child had fallen, and (then/now) the child was sad." To my ears, as a native speaker of midwest US English, "The child had fallen and was now sad" sounds better than "The child had fallen and was then sad."

A few other examples where "now" can used in the past tense:

"He had done well in medical school, and now he was a famous doctor." "She had been a famous model, but now she was working in a department store." "The team had practiced for weeks, and now they were ready for the big game."

You could use "then" for "now" in each of these sentences, but it would change the meaning a little, and it would not sound as natural.

I'm curious to know how you'd translate the examples in Spanish. I'm assuming you would not use "ahora," but what would you use?


Wow, that sounds odd to me. I was always taught that I had to use "now" with a present tense (is, for example).

  • "Él lo había hecho bien en la escuela de medicina, por eso él es un doctor famoso".

  • "Ella había sido una modelo famosa, por eso estuvo trabajando en el departamento de la tienda".

  • "El equipo había practicado por semanas, y por eso estaban listos para el gran juego".

I didn't even know the meaning of now could change even a bit in the kind of sentence.

¡Muchas gracias! :-)


You're right for it to sound odd to you. See my comment below.


Good reply! It's a hard sell, but a "sell", nonetheless. How about, "and now was sad"? Duolingo calls it wrong; can't see why.


I can't see a problem with "and now was sad," either. I would report it.


I live in New England (the part of America consisting of the states Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. I live in Connecticut) and we don't do that here. It seems less correct to me having grown up around that not being something we say but I see why it would be.


It sounds fine to me, as a native speaker of southern U.S. English.


But "was now sad"? You really say that? To me it sound odd. I would have said it should be "now was sad" or "was sad now"


I agree that it's not grammatically correct. If "now" is used the verb would have to be present tense. So either "the child had fallen and was sad" or "the child had fallen and is sad now."


It might sound weird when there’s not much context, but it sounds fine to me.
I can imagine somebody telling a story of past events, describing all the things that happened in a particular order.
There is a narrator, and to us the listeners, it’s past tense, but from the child in the story’s perspective, it’s present tense. So combining “was” and “now” is how English operates.
This is what pluperfect is about.


The use of now to mean then is non-standard, you'll only find this in a small number of dialect and not in any official dictionaries. Now can be an indefinite time up until and including the current time or continuing on from the current time inclusive.


See definition 4 and its example sentence, where "then" is given as a meaning and "now" is used with the past tense:



Fair enough, I guess in the above context it would work as the current time in a narrative. I still wouldn't recommend its use.


It would be more idiomatic to say is now sad but I guess the point is comparing the simple past with the past perfect aka the pluperfect?


This makes no sense. "The child had fallen had is sad now" would make a lot more sense


As a native English speaker I hate that it won't accept 'and is now sad' "and was now sad" doesn't make grammatical sense to me!


I said "the child had fallen over". I realise the word "over" does not appear in the sentence, but it is a common idiom for a native English speaker to add this extra word. The two things mean essentially the same thing.

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