DS and I had much pleasure to read recently Clockwork
by Philip Pullman... What a gripping story!
However, there is a grammatical point which retained my attention in two sentences (English is not my mother tongue).
Here is the quote (p83):There in the middle of the room stood Sir Ironsoul, with his helmet shining blankly and his sword slanting down. He was holding it like that because the point was in the throat of Karl the apprentice, who lay stark dead beside him.
Gretl nearly fainted, but she was a brave girl, and she had seen what lay in Karl’s hand.My problem:
I don’t understand why the author uses a present
tense and not a past
one in the two relative clauses:because the point was in the throat of Karl the apprentice, who lay stark dead beside him
.she had seen what lay in Karl’s hand.
Personally, I would have written (may be influenced by my native tongue?)because the point was in the throat of Karl the apprentice, who laid stark dead beside him.she had seen what laid in Karl’s hand.
What is your reaction?
Is it possible to have past verbs (as well as a present ones like Pulman) in these two clauses?