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ESL forum > Ask for help > Right or not?    

Right or not?


Right or not?
Dear colleagues,
Whenever I have a dilemma, I ask you for help and I really appreciate it, especially when it is about students and their grades.
In my latest test I had an example (Fill the gaps with suitable forms of verbs in brackets- in a letter) and I expected these tenses:
-It is (BE) great to hear that you have recently found (recently/FIND) a job. 
Some students also used:
-It was (BE) great to hear that you have recently found ((ecently/ FIND) a job.
-It was (BE) great to hear that you had recently found (recently/FIND) a job. 
I think these forms are also OK but would like your opinion.
Thank you so much. 

10 Oct 2018      

United States

Hi, Zvonka,
I think the last answer is better than yours, since the hearing happened in the past. If the verb were "know" instead of "hear", it would be different. Not that the present is wrong here, though.
The first student response, though, isn t formally correct, since finding the job occurred before hearing about it, so it needs to be in the past perfect. I had started to say that it would be OK informally, but the more I read it, the less correct it sounds.

10 Oct 2018     

United Kingdom

Hi Zvonka, like Bruce, I m not keen on the second answer. I prefer the first. It s great to hear... I don t see why that should be It was great..   It s a letter and I think that is quite the most natural response. Thinking of other ways of expressing this I am delighted to hear, comes to mind. The third answer is also fine, if slightly formal for a letter.

10 Oct 2018     


I don t have a problem with "it was great to hear" - I am talking about the moment in the past when I read your letter and received your news. I would be happy with "It was great to hear that you have found a job" because I read the news in the past (was) but you still have the job (result in the present = present perfect for have found ).

12 Oct 2018     


Thank you all for your answers. 
Frau Sue, that s exactly what I thought, however, I usually use structures that are used by native speakers. Sometimes I feel that almost all forms and structures are correct since so many of them are used in the spoken language.

15 Oct 2018