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Commenting on a photo which was taken a few years back:

Question:

Is this you?

Should I reply:

Yes, this is a few years back.

or:

Yes, this was a few years back.

Which of the above is correct: is or was?

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    As an English learner, you might find our sister site at English Language Learners a better fit for you. – tchrist Mar 2 '13 at 17:56
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    All of them are correct, and all are used. One has a choice of past or present when dealing with images. – John Lawler Mar 2 '13 at 18:18
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All of them are correct, and all are used. One has a choice of past or present when dealing with images.

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    I have already read this somewhere. – The Frog Mar 3 '13 at 1:29
  • @The, yes. I too. – user19148 Mar 3 '13 at 1:47
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While making reference to the whole photo (which is always going to be taken in the past), I'd rather say:

That was me in school,
That was me playing soccer,
That was me sucking my thumb,
That was John running after Sandra
That was me in my last church service

But if I'm spotting myself in the picture amongst other people, I'd say:

This is me, this is John, and we were all with Sandra at her party
This is Mark, Matthew and I. We attended the same church service that day.
This is Andrew and that's me with the bowl hat. It was fun visiting grandma.

At least, it makes sense to me this way.

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  • Yes, this is, a few years back.
  • Yes, this is me a few years back.

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