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Question "Where ( are / were ) Tom and Jim in the morning?"

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
which verb would make sense in this conversation, are or were?
"Where ( are / were ) Tom and Jim in the morning?" "I don't know."

Hirashin
 

hirashin

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Thanks, mdchachi. Can't you say "Where are Tom and Jim usually in the morning?" or "Where are Tom and Jim in the morning, usually?" etc...?
 

Buntaro

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"Where are Tom and Jim usually in the morning?" or "Where are Tom and Jim in the morning, usually?" etc...?
Hirashin,

1. "Where are Tom and Jim in the morning?"
2. "Where were Tom and Jim in the morning?"

Both sentences are correct. The meanings are different.

Sentence 1. can mean "Where are Tom and Jim every morning?" or "Where are Tom and Jim every Wednesday in the morning?"

Sentence 2. can mean, "It is now 3:00 pm. Where were Tom and Jim this morning?"

~~~

3. "Where are Tom and Jim usually in the morning?"
4. "Where are Tom and Jim in the morning, usually?"

When you change the regular word order, you emphasize the word that is our of order. In sentence 4., the word “usually” is out of word and is emphasized. If you need more examples, please feel free to ask.

Hirashin, I have a tricky one for you. Do these sentences have the same meaning?

5. “He left happily.
6. “Happily, he left.”
 

mdchachi

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Thanks, mdchachi. Can't you say "Where are Tom and Jim usually in the morning?" or "Where are Tom and Jim in the morning, usually?" etc...?
Yes this is fine. As Buntaro said Where are Tom and Jim in the morning is ok depending on the context. But usually there would be some qualifier like "usually" or "every" or "this."
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the further help, mdchachi and Buntaro.

That question is from one of the textbooks we use. I asked here because I guessed both "are" and "were" could be used on context. 

Hirashin, I have a tricky one for you. Do these sentences have the same meaning?

5. “He left happily.
6. “Happily, he left.”
I know the difference of them. Happily in #5 modifies the verb "left". So it is calld a "word-modifying adverb (語修飾副詞)". The one in #6, on the other hand, modifies the whole sentence. So it is called a "sentence-modifying adverb (文修飾副詞)".
 
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