In a situation, [for example] when the guy is continuously cheating and at the moment i say that sentence he is still cheating [/for example], should i say "he was cheating" or "he is cheating"?

There're 2 variants of that example sentence:

"i screamed at him because he was cheating" or "i screamed at him because he is cheating"

Let's say, for example, that i screamed at him 5 minutes ago. He began cheating 10 minutes ago and now he is still cheating. Which of these 2 variants should i use?

closed as off-topic by JJJ, Phil Sweet, Cascabel, John Lawler, J. Taylor Aug 9 '18 at 7:39

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  • Consider has been – Kris Aug 7 '18 at 5:09
  • "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Bill_Clinton – jimm101 Aug 7 '18 at 13:27
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it sounds like just another "what do I call my cheating boyfriend/girlfriend" type of rant. – Cascabel Aug 7 '18 at 22:18
  • do as you want, but i actually wanted to get what i wanted to get. And why do you think that cheating is possible only in bed? The sentence about cheating is from the game. – Марк Павлович Aug 7 '18 at 22:24
  • your comment is way more off-topic and unlogic by the way. The sentence about cheating is an example. Why do you have to worry about it? – Марк Павлович Aug 7 '18 at 22:25

"I screamed at him because he was cheating".

The point is he was cheating at the time you screamed. We use the Past Continuous with the Past Simple to say that something happened in the middle of something else. Some other examples:

I called the police when I saw that a stranger was trying to unlock my neighbor's door.

Someone knocked when I was sleeping.

By the way, "yell" might be better than "scream" in this context. If you yell, you shout loudly, usually because you are excited, angry, or in pain. When someone screams, they make a very loud, high-pitched cry, for example because they are in pain or are very frightened.

So, I suggest "I yelled at him when I saw he was cheating."

  • Ok, but what if i'd talk about somebody's nation/name/race, so that it is constant (would never be changed), should i still use past time? For example: "I looked at him because his name is/was Andrew " – Марк Павлович Aug 7 '18 at 10:49
  • @МаркПавлович In this case you are free to use "is" or "was". "Was" - because he was Andrew then, when you looked at him, and "is" - because he still is. BTW, not "time" but "tense". Tense is related to grammar, time isn't. – Enguroo Aug 7 '18 at 23:11

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