The tag has no wiki summary.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
votes
5answers
589 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
625 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: ...
4
votes
3answers
355 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.
4
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
431 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
985 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 above example?
2
votes
2answers
546 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: ...
7
votes
3answers
3k 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?" ...
12
votes
4answers
2k 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
1answer
13k views

Have been - Had been

I'm very confused over the usage of "Have been" and "Had been". Where do we use them? I also wanted to know where we don't use them. For example when I tell about my last month activities I only use ...