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In the following sentence, can we use the past tense in the subordinate clause following "to ensure" when we are referring to something that occurred (in this case) the previous day?

– I would like to ensure that my inquiry was received.

I ask because something seems a bit off with this sentence, though I am not sure what. I think my doubt comes from the fact that "to ensure" means "to make certain that (something) will occur or be the case". So, can one use the verb in the context shown above...?

Last edited by MlleSim
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Hi, MlleSim,

I think the present perfect would be a better choice there, considering it is a tense that refers to a past event having effects on the present:

– I would like to ensure that my inquiry has been received.

Only with past-time adverbials would the past simple be required:

– I would like to confirm that my inquiry was received last Monday.

The introducing verbs (ensure, confirm) might also have some influence on the choice of the tense in the content clause that follows.

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

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