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I have a hard time understanding where someone refers to time in sentences. For example, "The manager of the team X is in Spain". There have been many managers through time for a single team. Shouldn't it be better to say "The current manager of team X is in Spain"?

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    Also note thar all those other guys are not the manager of team X anymore. So by saying “The manager” you are referring to the current one.
    – Jim
    Jun 28, 2020 at 17:40
  • @Jim Why "The manager" refer to the current one? If we think the set "Managers of team X" then by saying "The manager of team X" who is that manager?
    – ado sar
    Jul 24, 2020 at 19:44
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    “The manager” is the current one. If the set of managers include the current and all past managers, there is really only one manager and a bunch of people who used to be managers. If the set includes all current managers “maybe they work different shifts” then the manager is the one who is currently on duty. Think about a customer in a store asking to speak to “the manager”- who do they expect to speak with? A manager from 5 years ago?
    – Jim
    Jul 24, 2020 at 21:27
  • And if the set of managers include people all working as managers concurrently (maybe they manage different departments) and if the person knows (or guesses) this and doesn’t care which one they speak to they will ask to speak with a manager.
    – Jim
    Jul 24, 2020 at 21:30
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    Yes, in the same way that all of English and any language for that matter is a matter of convention.
    – Jim
    Jul 25, 2020 at 14:15

3 Answers 3

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When the verb "is" is used, that implies (absent indications to the contrary) the current time. It would not be improper to use "The current manager", as you suggest, but it would not normally be necessary, and it's wise to avoid unnecessary verbosity.

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Normally, if you don't specify which of the team's managers you're referring to, it would be understood as the current manager (in a sense, that is the default). The phrase "current manager" may come up more frequently in conversations where you may also be talking about other managers of the team through time and need to differentiate them, e.g., saying, "The current manager of team X is in Spain. The previous manager of team X is also in Spain. However, the next manager, who will be starting next Monday, is in Portugal at the moment."

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Hot Licks and auspicious99 are correct but don't give enough explanatory detail.

Is as mentioned refers to the period of time designated as now/current. Anything current can be identified with is (or am/are, depending on tense). John IS the manager, I AM the goalkeeper, Pete and Dave ARE the strikers.

Was designates time that occurred in the past. In your example, you would use was (or 'were' if plural) to show any of the many managers through time: Andrew WAS the manager in the 60's. The trio of Andy, Steve and Bob WERE the managers through the team's golden period.

For completeness will be is used for future references. As assistant manager, Michelle WILL BE the manager if John suddenly gets fired.

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  • Thanks for the answer. But I ask for the sentence "The manager of the team X is in Spain". As you said "is" refers to the period of time designated as now. But "The manager of the team X" doesn't refer to the current manager.
    – ado sar
    Jul 24, 2020 at 19:41

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