-1

I am writing about a woman who has found an anonymous parcel on her desk, and she is talking to her colleague to find out who might have sent it...

The novel is written in past tense, and I am not fully convinced as to whether I should use "might be" or "might have been" in the following sentence:

She suggested it might be a surprise from Harry

She suggested it might have been a surprise from Harry

Obviously, it refers to the parcel in question

I will reward good answers

Thank you

1 Answer 1

0

It's a matter of using simple or perfect past tense.

She suggested it might be a surprise from Harry

This is simple past tense. It conveys "now" in the past tense, the current flow of events in your story. At this point, it implies they don't know what the parcel contains, or who it's from.

She had suggested it might have been a surprise from Harry

This is the past perfect. It conveys something that happened before the "now" of the simple past tense. This implies (but does not guarantee) they know what was in the parcel, and potentially who sent it.

See Grammarly

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.