changing tense in sentence

Is it ever appropriate to change the tense of a sentence from present to past in the middle of the sentence?

If you are reporting on a past event - it happens all the time.

I am speaking about the time when we were in school.

I try to be accurate in my writing. I am especially careful when I am helping my children with their school work. Recently, a debate was sparked when I was trying to help edit an essay that was written for a scholarship. I haven’t been able to get a concrete answer as to whether or not the verb tense is acceptable in this sentence. Would you please look at it and explain the English writing rules that would apply in this sentence? “In all the activities which I pursue, there was always something to be gained.”

In that case, I would not expect to see verb disagreement. You are not reporting on a past event.

Either you are still in the process of pursuing activities, so the ‘gain’ is also present or you are speaking about when you have pursued these activities in the past (regardless of whether you are likely to pursue them in the future too) so the ‘gain’ is in the past.

There is nothing wrong with either approach. It depends on context and on whether you want to appear to be actively pursuing things now.
In all the activities which I pursue, there is always something to be gained.
In all the activities which I pursued, there was always something to be gained.

Thank you so much!

I thought that’s how it should be written. In this case, the paragraph was written from the perspective of looking back to the past. So, it was in past tense. The “persue” in this sentence seemed incorrect to me. I was told that it was “conditional” and that it was acceptable. I think there was some metion of “author’s liberty” or something to that effect. I was just trying to help. I think “Mom” doesn’t have credibilty in their eyes sometimes.

Thanks again!

“Mom” always know best…
at least, that’s what my mother tells me!