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In the situation where we have: It used to be thought that...

We use the past tense with the verb that follows since it's something in the past. But what if the following is meant to be a fact?

I came into a question that says: It used to be thought that the Earth is flat. It used to be thought that the Earth was flat.

Aside from the piece of information in the sentence, it represents a fact(Earth is flat) which makes the tense simple present. I believe that the correct one is is, am I right or not?

Thanks in advance.

  • Either one is valid. – Hot Licks May 18 at 21:48
  • Further, grammar has no place for "facts". (I don't follow '… the piece of information in the sentence.') Going a stage further than the actual wording, this is almost about direct and reported speech… It used to be thought: "The Earth is flat". It used to be thought that the Earth was flat. – Robbie Goodwin May 19 at 21:13