who worked for him/tense question

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who worked for him/tense question

Post by navi » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:06 pm

Which is correct:

1) He has insulted people who work for him.
2) He has insulted people who worked for him.
3) He has insulted people who have worked for him.
4) He has insulted people who were working for him.


In which case:
a) He insulted them after they had worked for him
and in which cases:
b) He insulted them during the period in which they worked for him

I think in '1' the people in question are still working for him.

Gratefully,
Navi.
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Re: who worked for him/tense question

Post by Phil White » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:03 pm

None of your examples suggest when the insults took place. The temporal relationship between "insult" and "work" is neither explicit nor implicit in the tense. The changes in tense have no impact on that. They merely place the act of working in the temporal context of the narrative.

In all cases, the insults could have been made before, during or after (except in 1) the period the people worked for him.

Having said that, I think that most people would understand the insults to have been made after the period the people worked for him in sentence 3 and possibly in sentence 2. But I stress that there is no grammatical reason for this understanding. It is pure intuition.
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Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

End of topic.
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