the radio in the context is still being made(in africa) so i thought 'is' should come, but my friend told me to use 'was'

which is right? i'm confused

  • @NigelJ "... made with an old tin can"
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 8, 2018 at 21:07
  • @HotLicks (2nd attempt) 'He designed a radio made with an old tin can'. No problem.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 8, 2018 at 21:17

2 Answers 2


You would use the word "was" (i.e. the past tense) because the sentence is referring to something that happened in 1980, the design of the radio. You would not use "is" (i.e. the present tense), because the sentence is not referring to what is still happening in the present, the manufacturing of the radio.


If you wanted to convey that both the design and manufacture occurred in the past, then used the past tense for both verbs.

if, however, you wanted to convey that the manufacture was still ongoing, then explicitly state that:

In 1980, he designed a radio which was made with an old tin can. It is still being made in this way.

This should avoid confusion on the reader's part.

  • You need an old tin can.
    – KarlG
    Mar 8, 2018 at 20:17
  • @KarlG You are correct!..............I will correct the answer Mar 8, 2018 at 20:20

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