Which is one is correct?

He made me think I'm late


He made me think I was late


3 Answers 3


Both are grammatically correct, but they mean different things.

He [has] made me think I am late

Something he did in the (probably recent) past has made me think I am currently late.

He made me think I was late

In the past, he made me think that, in the past, I was late.


It depends on the context, but usually "I was".

"I'm" refers to a present or ongoing situation; "I was" refers to the past.

Since something that happened in the past ("he made" - past tense) is unlikely to affect the present significantly, "I was" would more commonly be used, e.g. in the following context:

John told me the time was an hour later than it was; he made me think I was late for my meeting.

However, "I'm" would be used in a context such as the following:

John criticised me today; he made me think I'm late whenever I need to attend a meeting.

  • Is that second sentence really correct? It sounds so strange to me ... Nov 19, 2015 at 19:07
  • 1
    @ZubinMukerjee It sounds strange because of where I've put the emphasis. Does "he made me think I'm late whenever I need to attend a meeting" look more correct to you? Nov 19, 2015 at 19:08
  • Are you saying that John criticized you once in the past and that this made it so that, continuously, from then on, you thought that you were late whenever you had meetings? Nov 19, 2015 at 19:09
  • 1
    Hmm ... would it be wrong to say "he made me think that I was late whenever I needed to attend meetings"? Nov 19, 2015 at 19:18
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    Agree with Zubin. The second one is illogical. Makes it sound as if the "need to attend a meeting" is somehow contingent on the thinking, which doesn't make sense. You'd need to rephrase that to something like "Whenever I attend meetings, he makes me think I'm late for them," which would of course lose the original sense called for in the question. Nov 19, 2015 at 20:11

No.It is completely correct.For example whenever you intended to attend a meeting your friend told you a wrong time, so He always made you think you were late.

  • Which one is "it" in "it is completely correct?"
    – Andrew Leach
    Nov 19, 2015 at 20:19

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