What do these mean?
1. This is a rebuilt car. (Is this sentence ambiguous? Does this mean that this car is a rebuilt car. Like it got into an accident and it was built again. Or does it describe what kind of car it is when they make it? Like everytime they make this car, it is a rebuilt car?)
2. This was a rebuilt car. (This car was rebuilt in the past?)
Are these correct? If not, how should I correct them?
3. Or does it describe what kind of car it is?
4. Or does it describe what kind of car is it?
For #3 and #4, do I use 'it is' or 'is it'? I am confused about that, I don't get which one to use.
Last edited by jack; 11-Feb-2005 at 09:47.
#1 and #2 mean the same, and they are not ambiguous: rebuilding happens after original manufacture, usually to enhance its power or design by customization. #1 emphasizes its present existence; #2 focuses on the rebuilding that took place. I prefer #1 (if either were ambiguous, it would be #2-- the speaker could be pointing at a heap of wreckage as s/he speaks).
#3 is correct; #4 is not: the dependent clause is not a question, so do not invert subject and verb.
What's the point of using 'was' vs 'is' for the sentences above?
#1 and #2 mean the same
1. This is a rebuilt car.
2. This was a rebuilt car.
Are these correct? What do these mean?
3. Microsoft is the first computer company to invent an operating system.
4. Microsoft was the first computer company to invent an operating system.
What's the difference when I use present tense vs past tense?
5. The oil change is $31. (Telling you how much the oil change is? But it doesn't imply if he has got it changed or not?)
6. The oil change was $31. (This refers to the past and implies that the person got the oil changed?)
#1 & #2 --As I said:
#3 & #4 -- Same meanings, same reasons: #3 emphasizes the present status of Microsoft; #4 focuses on the past event.
#1 emphasizes its present existence; #2 focuses on the rebuilding that took place.
#5 & #6 -- You are absolutely right, Jack.
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