He told the police that he always ……..the doors and windows to avoid being burgled.

a) locks                b) locked          

I think that both answers are correct. The first would mean that it's a habit that he still does (which makes more sense to me) and the second implies that he used to do this before reporting the theft to the police. Am I right? Thanks for helping me out.

Original Post

Hi, Rasha Assem,

Rasha Assem posted:

He told the police that he always ……..the doors and windows to avoid being burgled.

a) locks                b) locked          

I think that both answers are correct.

Yes, both answers are grammatically correct. Adding one more clause to the sentence above would force you to take one choice. For example:

He told the police that before he sleeps, he always locks the doors and windows to avoid being burgled.

Rasha Assem posted:

He told the police that he always ……..the doors and windows to avoid being burgled.

a) locks                b) locked          

I think that both answers are correct. The first would mean that it's a habit that he still does (which makes more sense to me) and the second implies that he used to do this before reporting the theft to the police. Am I right? Thanks for helping me out.

Hello, Rasha,

I agree with Ahmed_btm that both answers are correct. The natural answer is the backshifted one ("locked"), though I have the impression that the Egyptian ministry of education does not allow you to use the natural choice here.

As to your interpretations,  the sentence with "locked" does not imply that he locked his doors and windows only before making the report to the police. It can be used if he was still in the habit at the time of the report.

If you want the before-the-report meaning, use the past perfect in the clause of reported speech: "He told the police that he had always locked the doors and windows to avoid being burgled."

ahmed_btm posted:
 Adding one more clause to the sentence above would force you to take one choice. For example:


He told the police that before he sleeps, he always locks the doors and windows to avoid being burgled.

Actually, Ahmed, even with the "before"-clause, "locked" is perfectly correct. However, the "before"-clause would also need to be backshifted, unlike the "before"-clause in your example. Here are suitable revisions of your example:

  • He told the police that before he slept, he always locked the doors and windows to avoid being burgled.
  • He told the police that he always locked the doors and windows before he slept, to avoid being burgled.

Hi, David,

David, Moderator posted:

ahmed_btm posted:
 Adding one more clause to the sentence above would force you to take one choice. For example:


He told the police that before he sleeps, he always locks the doors and windows to avoid being burgled.

Actually, Ahmed, even with the "before"-clause, "locked" is perfectly correct. However, the "before"-clause would also need to be backshifted, unlike the "before"-clause in your example. Here are suitable revisions of your example:

  • He told the police that before he slept, he always locked the doors and windows to avoid being burgled.
  • He told the police that he always locked the doors and windows before he slept, to avoid being burgled.

Yes, I completely agree with you, but I meant something else. I meant to say that if she wants to have only one correct choice, she should change her question like this:

1- He told the police that before he sleeps, he always ......... the doors and windows to avoid being burgled.

a) locks          b) locked

The only correct answer here is "locks".

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×