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12
votes
5answers
1k views

“He didn't know where New Jersey was”

I know the past tense carries the past tense in every dependent clause, but referring specifically to places or to things that are eternal, like the Earth, seems a bit weird and therefore we sometimes ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Tense change: previous actions on something that's currently true

I'm describing a situation that happened in the past. To explain it, I want to use a description that is both true now and true when the situation happened. Specifically, I want something like: ...
0
votes
2answers
917 views

Present or Past tense to describe a past condition which is still present?

Scenario: My friend John has a personality disorder, intensely paranoid for example. Can I say: There were three events last year that told me John had a problem. or can I say: There were ...
4
votes
3answers
438 views

Should we use past tense in “Lugo admitted he is the father”?

In this sentence, should the is be a was? On April 13, 2009, Lugo admitted he is the father of a child conceived with Viviana Carrillo.
10
votes
6answers
10k views

Is it correct to say “What was your name?”?

Is it correct to say "What was your name?"? The reason I am asking this is, generally the name of the person will not change. One should say "What is your name?" ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the past tense correct in “Did you know Fred was a doctor?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: He didn't know where New Jersey was… Tense change: previous actions on something that's currently true My wife and I were disagreeing about this today: ...
5
votes
2answers
16k views

Should I say 'What I wanted to say is' or 'What I wanted to say was'?

Following Martha's advice I am splitting up a question Compound sentences, the punctuation and mooore. Let's put what I said / wrote something in the past. And now I want to elaborate some key points ...
15
votes
5answers
12k views

Why are news headlines in present tense if they refer to past events?

In news papers we see headings like this "India signs a pact with Russia" "Sachin hits another century" "Obama wins presidential election" These are completed events, aren't they? ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“They knew what mercy is” vs. “they knew what mercy was”

They knew what mercy is. They knew what mercy was. Mercy is something that always exists so can I say is as in the quoted example?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

To tell the name of a person I met in the past

I have a basic grammar question about the past tense. If I met a guy yesterday, which tense should I use about his name today? For example, "Yesterday I met a guy, his name is/was John."
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Graduate or graduated ?

When I want to describe my self .. Should I say I'm a graduate or graduated student in .. What is more accurate ? Past or present ? P.s: I have a bachelor degree and I'm not planning currently to ...
0
votes
3answers
343 views

In a story written in past tense, is using present tense grammatically correct in the narration?

For example, just something quickly made up: Sam started to run from the house to the nearby forest. The freezing weather caused him to shiver, but the warmth from running very rapidly heated up ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Past Simple or Present Perfect: Tried or Have Tried

I’ve tried to help you. The action happened in the past but I don’t say when. I tried to help you yesterday. The action happened in the past but I say when. Which is correct and which is not? I’m ...
0
votes
2answers
231 views

Does tense change when the narrator (present) writes about what a person (past) could have said about their time?

Does tense change when the narrator (present) writes about what a person (past) could have said about their time? For example A person who lived during 1790 could truthfully claim that Washington ...
3
votes
1answer
901 views

Which tense should I use when presenting a table of data?

I have a table and the description of the table as followed: Table 7 presents the likelihood of OPT occurrences from the time annotated sentences; V-RB refers to the sentences which contain ...
1
vote
3answers
139 views

Grammar: Did Jim ask you whether you are a virgin? VS Did Jim ask you whether you were a virgin? [duplicate]

How do I form a question based on the following details: At 1pm on Sunday Jim: Are you a virgin? Jane: Yes nothing happened from 1pm to 9pm At 9pm on Sunday: Did Jim ask you whether you were a ...