Tue 23 Feb, 2016 04:07 pm
I'm writing a short story for my class, and I'm not sure if this fragment is grammatically correct:
"The time of heavy thinking finally came, and there was a bottomless bag of things he wanted to ponder: his life, the people he had met, his goals and his dreams, what had been and what should have been, the right and wrong choices he had made, the successes and failures he had had."
Is this okay or should I switch to past simple when enumerating? Or do you perhaps have some other advice?
I like your piece of writing, and I would not alter a word of it. The tense used for enumerating is well chosen.
I agree with Tes yeux, well done . . . furthermore, the enumeration lists things which had taken place before the "time of heavy thinking" and therefore requires what is rather vaguely called a "relative tense." That is not a very enlightening descriptive term, and the French term which translates as "anterior past" is a better term. Your use of compound past tense conjugations is appropriate because these are all things which took place before (anterior to) the "time of heavy thinking."
Okay, thanks for the help