Relative tense

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A relative tense is a tenporal category that locates a situation (or a topic time) relative to some other situation (or topic time).


  • Students denied enrollment went on strike. (Comrie 1985)

The participle denied located the situation of being denied enrollment prior to the situation denoted by the finite verb (went on strike).


Comrie, B. (1985). Tense. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

See also