If a group of deceased persons stand out as a good example in the past, and that their example is definitely worth following now, do I say that they 'were' good examples to us; or do I say that they 'are' good examples to us ?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, Community Oct 10 '17 at 16:24

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  • Are they still good examples? Are you talking about when they were good examples then, or about whether they are good examples now? – Andrew Leach Oct 10 '17 at 11:27
  • Edited for clarity – Nigel J Oct 10 '17 at 11:28

You would say they "are good examples" because the emphasis is on when the example they provide is good.


"They were good examples to us [before they destroyed the world]."

"They are good examples to us [, we should honour their memories]."

  • The question includes 'their example is definitely worth following now' so I expect - I hope - that would discount any globally destructive tendencies. – Nigel J Oct 10 '17 at 12:55
  • Hehe. You could actually say something like this too: "They were good examples to us, and still are." – webbm Oct 10 '17 at 12:57
  • Well, I think the Moderators might mark you down there, for expressing an opinion. – Nigel J Oct 10 '17 at 13:02
  • I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say I have expressed an opinion. Unless you're referring to my usage examples? – webbm Oct 10 '17 at 13:04
  • 1
    I was being facetious about your global remark. Not to worry. Ignore it. Regards. – Nigel J Oct 10 '17 at 13:06

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