Which sounds correct?

The only thing they forgot to teach is how to be a student.


The only thing they forgot to teach was how to be a student.

  • The linked answer does not answer this question. The accepted answer there is a response to the condition included in that question's example. There is no such condition here, and the accepted answer's "would" (describing what happens if the condition is satisfied) doesn't apply here.
    – R Mac
    Jan 30, 2022 at 0:16
  • There's probably a difference depending on whether you lacked student knowledge then, or lack it now. (The tense of the rest of the passage would similarly be relevant.)
    – Stuart F
    Jan 30, 2022 at 18:48
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Present or Past tense to describe a past condition which is still present? Jan 30, 2022 at 19:08
  • Though is is arguably justified because the 'how to be a student' problem is still extant in general, even if the speaker has now overcome this, I'd say that in this case the pull of the past teaching informs the use of was. However, is is not wrong, especially if the speaker feels they are still disadvantaged. But I'd still say this is a duplicate. Jan 30, 2022 at 19:11


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