39

Either is possible. In my personal opinion it comes down to context. Was this a fleeting acquaintance or someone you are likely to take up with in the future? Examples I met this guy yesterday, his name was John. He was very rude - I hope I never meet him again! I met this guy yesterday, his name is John. We're going to meet up for coffee. Come along and ...


34

"xxx was almost impossible to use in researches until 2000s despite being invented a decade earlier." Collins: earlier adverb [ADVERB with verb] Earlier is used to refer to a point or period in time before the present or before the one you are talking about. COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers ...


33

Using ago is ambiguous at best, and misleading at worst. (Because ago is naturally assumed to be relative to now, not the other date.) You are free to give a specific date. Or you can use some other words instead of ago: . . . was not used in research until 2000, despite being invented a decade prior. . . . was not used in research until 2000, despite ...


18

The headline of a newspaper was originally intended to attract the readers attention (and encourage them to purchase the paper). Framing the bold headline statements in the present tense gives them a sense of urgency and excitement that is (assumed to be) more enticing to the reader. As other answers have said, the essence of news coverage is its immediacy. ...


14

The clauses that New Jersey was actually in the East Coast and the Earth was round are known in functional grammar as 'projected clauses'. They behave in the same way as clauses that contain what is known in traditional grammar as 'reported speech'. As the authors of the ‘Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English’ explain: Simple past tense has a ...


12

Got is past tense and it’s perfectly grammatical. That’s because set is also past tense, although, because it’s the same as the present tense, it doesn’t show as such. Imagine that the verb was instead gave, which is different from the present tense: They gave us unbelievably hard tasks to do to see which one of us ____ the best deal. The only ...


10

From a purely logical standpoint, only "was" is strictly correct, because you can't actually know whether he's changed his name since you met him. Very unlikely, but it's possible! You can say for sure what his (stated) name was at the time you met him, but you cannot know for sure what his name is at the present (without meeting or communicating with him ...


9

1.) "Last week, I found out that NASA stands for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration.'" or 2.) "Last week, I found out that NASA stood for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration.'" Both versions #1 and #2 are acceptable. It's up to you (or your editor) as to which one you want to use. The second version happens to use a ...


8

As a technical matter, he cannot have thought in the past that the Earth is round in the present (because that was in his future); he must have thought that it was round at the time. If you really wanted to refer to his belief then in the Earth's roundness now, the construction would be he thought it would be round, but this is rare in any sensible context. ...


6

This is a specific use of the verb tense known as the historical present, which means using a present tense verb to describe an event that has already happened. The excellent language podcast Lexicon Valley devoted an episode to it. They primarily discussed its use in fiction and descriptions of more remote events but their insights apply here as well: when ...


6

The correct adverb would be either beforehand or @alwayslearning's suggestion of earlier, but the verb tense is also affected. xxx remained unused in research until the 2000s despite having been invented a decade beforehand The verb form here reinforces that the invention is already in the past, at the point being discussed. But it's probably clearer if ...


4

Actually the construction "was/is dead years ago" doesn't make sense. The correct way of saying that is: Osama's dead, he died many years ago.


4

This would depend on if the thing you found out is still true or not. If it is still true, you would use the present tense: "Last week, I found out that NASA stands for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration.'" But if earlier in the week they changed the name, you would use the past tense: "Last week, I found out that NASA stood for 'National ...


4

When you are presenting the table, you are doing it now, i.e. in the present time. The clue is in the word PRESENTing. But the table itself contains data that has already been collected - in the past. So you are correct in presenting the table in the present tense, but discussing the previously collected data in the past tense.


4

APA says simple past ("Singer argued") or present perfect ("Singer has argued"). MLA favours simple present ("Singer argues"), though I think it allows present perfect and even simple past. I don't know about CMS, though they use the simple present themselves, on their site. A house style based on one of the above could still deviate from it on this point,...


4

The must is used as a modal, so tense distinctions don't apply the same way (so much so that while once it was a past-tense form, it's present is now obsolete and not found in modern English at all). More to the point, the "appear" is bare infinitive. It would be more normal to have it as, "…then how much more so must she have appeared to him". Does it ...


4

From English Club (slightly modified) : In reported speech: He said: "I feel sad." becomes He said that he felt sad. John said (that) he was hungry. ... John's original words: "I am hungry." [As is seen, w]e sometimes change the tense of the reported clause by moving it back one tense. For example, present simple goes back one ...


4

The general answer is probably that this is a context-specific consideration. In this example was may be probably preferable, since is (to my ear at least) imposes a bit of a tense-clash. But if we're talking about something more permanent and immutable then is might be preferable: e.g. "Yesterday the Sun emitted a flare. The Sun was Earth's nearest ...


4

This is the historic present, sometimes called the narrative present. To use it correctly, you first have to establish the time frame of the events, because it can be used this way in past, present or future - but in the two latter cases it's used in a different way. Interestingly, some languages actually have a separate tense form for this, so in Swahili ...


3

News is, almost by definition, what's happening now.


3

The only time past subjunctive is currently used in English is in "if" clauses and similar constructions: If I were in charge, I would change the rules. And in wishes: I wish I were in love again. Many people use the past indicative form of the verb in these constructions: If I was in charge, I would change the rules. Note that the past ...


3

Idiomatically, it's quite common for people to ask "What was your name?" even in contexts where both they and you know perfectly well that you haven't already given your name (and thus that they can't possibly have "forgotten" it). Sometimes the past tense can be "explained" by saying the speaker isn't sure whether the name has already been given. Other ...


3

MacEwan is using a stylistic advice called Deep Point of View to put the reader into the head of his main protagonist. McEwan could have written: Fiona thought, "How absurd I must appear to Jack!" (direct speech) or Fiona thought how absurd she must appear to Jack (indirect speech). But representing his main character's direct internal monologue in ...


3

There was a rumour (at the meeting I just attended) that Brokenshire is (currently) in debt. That would seem to me to be a perfectly valid construction. But Six moths ago there was a rumour circulating that Brokenshire was (then) in debt. This is entirely a question of which tenses sound right in the circumstances. But they do not have to match, for ...


3

Well, if you're not a student anymore, you probably shouldn't be referring to yourself as a student at all, and just say that you "graduated with a bachelor's degree in ...". If you're an engineer or architect, you could say something more along the lines of "I'm an engineer / architect, and I received my undergraduate degree from ...". However, the word to ...


3

In order to get the right tense, you have to know whether the event is taking place in the past or the future. In this case, set is the past tense, and sets is the present (or can be—and often is—used for future). But you can't get the right tense without knowing what you're describing.


2

Both are correct. My gut instinct is that "what I learned" sounds more like you're referring to a specific (shortish) period of time, eg.: What I learned today was that I like asparagus. What I learned during the 2 week course was invaluable. ... whereas "what I've learned" is more general, or at least refers to a longer time period, eg.: What I've ...


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