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My heart was set on the blah blah blah program offered at blank university; it had (has) a lot of positive feedback from previous students and it also offered (offers) an interesting variety of graduate courses.

By using "was" at the very beginning of the sentence have I locked myself into a rule of needing to stay in the past tense for the following clause. I ask this because while my heart "was", but no longer is set on that program. The positive aspects of the program still exist. So, by stating that the program "offered" or "had" am I suggesting that it longer does not? Because it most certainly still does.

marked as duplicate by tchrist, user140086, Dan Bron, ab2, Nathaniel May 10 '16 at 20:24

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  • Why not use HAS HAD for the positive aspects of the program still exist? The second one should surely be OFFERS. – Turkan Alisoy Aug 9 '15 at 19:09
  • I would switch it, in the second sentence, for there and use has been (present perfect ). In this way your talking about something that has been in existence and still is. The idea that something still is will complement "offers", which I agree should be the verb of choice. – Dunnup Aug 9 '15 at 19:21
  • What 'rule of needing to stay in the [same] tense'? Is this ungrammatical: I always wanted to visit Angel Falls; they are the tallest in the world? Or this: That was then; this is now? – Edwin Ashworth Aug 10 '15 at 0:50
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Since you are referring to a moment in time that has now ended (the moment in which your heart was set on a particular program), "had" is correct. However, if you want to impress upon readers that the positive aspects continued to exist after you lost interest in the program, I'd say: "My heart was set on the blah blah blah program offered at blank university; it had (and continues to have) a lot of positive feedback from previous students and it also offered an interesting variety of graduate courses."

  • Replacing and it also offered with offering extends the then-and-now duality. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 10 '15 at 0:32
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Nope, you haven't locked yourself into anything. As long as the program still exists, talk about it in the present tense.

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