If you are currently doing an activity, then a moment ago you were doing that activity.

So if I am doing something, is is grammatically correct to say I was doing it or do I have to use the present tense until I stop doing an activity?

An example:

   I am living.

   Yesterday, I was living.

   Therefore, I was living.

So, basically, is the conclusion in the example grammatically correct?

  • I don’t understand what the actual question is. What do you mean by, “Therefore, I was living”? At what point in time are you referring to here? There is nothing grammatically wrong with any of the three sentences, but there is no context that would make the third sentence make much sense. Oct 31, 2013 at 2:03

1 Answer 1


The problem with some people is that they become too analytic when it comes to grammar. This usually yields to precriptionism. In your case, you are too focused on the timeline of events. Remember that in grammar, tense, verb forms, sentence structure etc is dictated by context and not by any specific spacetime reference point.

Although it is analytically correct for you to say that you WERE living yesterday, I guess the fact that you ARE actually living today would discourage you in using the former. :)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.