I have a doubt regarding the tense of the verbs in the ついでに grammar pattern for the two clauses. Consider the following sentences- 一時帰国したついでに、アメリカでは買えない物を買います。 N3のテキストを買うついでに、漫画も買ってしまった。

I saw a rule in a video that the tense of the verbs in both the clauses must align with each other. For example, you cannot say 大阪へ遊びに行ったついで、今晩京都へ行きます。This is because the first clause is in the past tense and the second clause is in the future tense. So the correct sentence must be-大阪へ遊びに行ったついで、京都も行きます。 Can someone explain me why this does not apply to the above two sentences and the logic behind that?


1 Answer 1


(I think you are miswriting several things in the question, but)

the tense of the verbs in both the clauses must align with each other

It may work as a rule of thumb, but you shouldn't think it is a hard rule.

For the particular sentences, all the combinations (2x2 for each sentence) are acceptable though the sentences with the same tense with the first and the second verb are better (e.g. 帰国する-買います / 帰国した-買いました in the first sentence)

  • 一時帰国する/帰国したついでに、アメリカでは買えない物を買います/買いました。
  • N3のテキストを買う/買ったついでに、漫画も買う/買ってしまった。
  • 大阪へ遊びに行く/行ったついでに、今晩京都へ行きます/行きました。

Acceptability of past-present pattern (帰国した-買います) may depend on speakers, or more on particular sentences. See the first link below for this.

The following are relevant.

  • Can you explain why all the sentence combinations work? Logically speaking, the tenses in the main and the subordinate clause must align with each other since by using ついでに we are implying simultaneous actions.
    – Ananya
    Commented Feb 2 at 5:58
  • @Ananya I think it is simpler to accept it as a non-logical part of the language (as any language is not totally logical). But as I put in the answer of the first link, た can be an aspect marker. That is, it expresses something independent from tense and has nothing to do with the tense of the sentence. So there is nothing non-logical here.
    – sundowner
    Commented Feb 3 at 4:40
  • For example, 今度会っら言っておきます when I meet him/her next time, I'll tell him/her is a perfectly natural sentence た(ら) has nothing to do with past. So た meaning something other than past happens in other contexts (than ついでに), a thorough analysis would be a research-topic kind of thing.
    – sundowner
    Commented Feb 3 at 4:40

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