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Applications send a warning message if the received inputs from the user are invalid.

Is "are invalid" correct or should it be "were invalid"?

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closed as not a real question by Jasper Loy, MετάEd, Daniel, Mahnax, JLG Sep 28 '12 at 4:33

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Why do you think it should be were? – Matt E. Эллен Sep 20 '12 at 9:37

It could depend on the rest of the sentence; you need to be careful about matching the tenses between the different clauses. However, in most cases, either "were invalid" or "are invalid" would be OK.

If I were programming this,

  • I would write "are invalid" if the user's inputs are still visible, and the user has the opportunity to change them and submit the inputs a second time;

  • I would write "were invalid" for a batch process, or some other process in which the user input phase has finished, and the inputs can't be revisited.

I hope this is helpful. This is one of those cases where different people would handle it in different ways, and there's really no "wrong" answer.

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Well, the sentence sounds like a description from a manual or something like that. In that case I'd always go with are. – Em1 May 26 '12 at 8:54

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