AFTER A FEW MINUTES PETER RETURNS
Dexter: Well, would you like to buy it?
Peter: Yes, I would. It runs well. Tony, is it true that this used to be your car?
Tony: Yes, that’s right.
Peter: Here you are—a check for $1200. Thanks, Dexter.
Dexter: Thanks, Peter—and good luck with your new car. Ha-ha-ha.
These questions are for a written exercise. Are they natural and correct?
The questions will be written in random sequence.
Why does Peter finally buy the 1986 Golf?
Because it runs well.
How much does Peter pay for the 1986 Golf?
He pays $1200.
I’m asking myself if all the questions that I wrote in the simple present could also be written in the simple past.
My answer is that ‘yes I could do that’, because it just depends on the perspective of the questioner, me, and how vivid I want the questions to be. Am I right?
Thank you so much for all your replies and advice about the questions on the text.
As I’ve told you quite a few times, most of the times when I read your corrections I say to myself, ‘That’s a lot better. It makes a lot of sense. It’s sounds so good.’
One last question, if this is the text from ‘G’:
[color=blue]Dexter: Yes, it’s a 1986 Golf, but it runs well. It belonged to my mechanic, Tony, for ten years, and he has taken good care of it personally. Tony, can you come here for a minute?
And this is the question:
6. Has Tony paid proper attention to the 1986 Golf?
Use a line from the text to illustrate your answer.
Yes, he has. Tony has taken care of it personally.
Can I also use the simple past to ask that question or I should respect the present perfect in this case just because I say in the exercise, ‘Use a line from the text to illustrate your answer’?
If in that question there was no ‘Use a line from the text to illustrate your answer.’, could I use the simple past?
This is just a matter of personal preference. I see no problem in writing that question using the past tense or in someone responding using the past tense to that question - as far as I am concerned they are still very obviously using the line from the text. In fact, I would argue that they have demonstrated a greater ability by changing the original tense so that the answer is in the past.
Other people might have a different opinion and only accept the original line word for word, but that is not what the instruction specifies.