1. I have always thought he is/was a good guy.
  2. I have always thought a boat doesn't/didn't float.
  3. I have always thought the sun rises/rose in the east.

What are the DIFFERENCES? Is there an absolutely correct tense I should use? To non-native English speakers, they will think "have always thought" is PRESENT perfect tense. It started in the past, and it's continuing to the PRESENT. Therefore, I should use "is/ doesn't/rises for example 1./2./3." Howevere, I asked some native English speakers. They say "was/didn't for example 1./2." is correct. For example 3, they say "rises and rose" both are correct. Why does this happen?

What does "I have always thought he IS a good guy." and "I have always thought he WAS a good guy." mean to you? Do they mean the same thing?


1 Answer 1


In general, both past and present tense are common and considered correct.

However, if you want to express the fact that you've changed your mind, you use the past tense.

I've always thought he was a good guy, but now I think he's changed.

  • Better yet, change "I have" to "I had"
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 0:05

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