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483. The following is the general rule for the Sequence of Tenses:—1

In complex sentences a Primary tense in the main clause is followed by the Present or Perfect in the dependent clause, and a Secondary tense by the Imperfect or Pluperfect:—


rogō , I ask, am asking quid faciās, what you are doing.
rogābō , I shall ask quid fēceris, what you did, were doing, have done, have been doing.
rogāvī (sometimes), I have asked
rogāverō , I shall have asked quid factūrus sīs, what you will do.
scrībit , he writes ut nōs moneat, to warn us.
scrībet , he will write
scrībe ( scrībitō ), write ut nōs moneās, to warn us.
scrībit , he writes quasi oblītus sit, as if he had forgotten.


rogābam , I asked, was asking quid facerēs, what you were doing.
rogāvī , I asked, have asked quid fēcissēs, what you had done, had been doing.
rogāveram , I had asked quid factūrus essēs, what you would do.
scrīpsit , he wrote ut nōs monēret, to warn us.
scrīpsit , he wrote quasi oblītus esset, as if he had forgotten.

1 The term is sometimes extended to certain relations between the tenses of subordinate verbs in the indicative and those of the main verb. These relations do not differ in principle from those which we are considering; but for convenience the term Sequence of Tenses is in this book restricted to subjunctives, in accordance with the usual practice.

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