Thinking about stuff that already happened

I got an interesting correction in Japanese today. I wrote
This was corrected to

The correction makes sense. It’s perfectly logical. At the time, I didn’t think “that dog was cute.” It’s also absolutely not how we do it in English.

I’ve been googling around and it seems present dictionary form is generally how you do it when recounting things that you thought in the past (with omou in the appropriate past tense). Anyone ever “thought” about this before? Any articles on point?


You probably found this in your googling around, but in case you didn’t, it’s generally called “the sequence of tenses.” I don’t know enough about Japanese to say anything about how it works there, but I know that it varies between languages, and I believe most western languages involve moving the verbs in the dependent clauses into past tenses.

Edit: I should say, under the right conditions they move into past tenses. Again, it depends on the language when things shift.


Exactly what I was looking for. Very interesting! Thanks.

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Today was the first time I read a sentence and understood the SENTENCE, not the words making up the sentence.




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May I suggest the title “Remembrance of Things Past” for this thread?


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