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Which one should be used? Was or is? Which is more likely to sound odd?

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    Was is OK, but so is is. This is a cleft sentence, and the form of be is the fulcrum of cleavage. Its tense doesn't matter, since it's inserted by rule and doesn't have any meaning or reference to time. Jan 30, 2022 at 14:59
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    Does this answer your question? "He didn't know where New Jersey was" Jan 30, 2022 at 15:28

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"Was" sounds more natural, as the sentence is about the past. Using "is" may make it sound like you still possess the knowledge, but if that's what you want to emphasize you should more explicit, e.g. "I know how to respect women, it's the only thing my father taught me."

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Both are correct.

The only thing my father taught me 𝘄𝗮𝘀 how to respect women.

My father taught me in the past. '𝗪𝗮𝘀' is the past form of 'is'. '𝗪𝗮𝘀' can be used.

The only thing my father taught me 𝗶𝘀 how to respect women.

My father taught me in the past. I am telling you in the present. '𝗜𝘀' can be used.

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