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  1. #1
    uktous is offline Senior Member
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    Default He asked me what is/was sth, what sth is/was

    Hi,

    Question:
    Which sentence is correct?


    Sentence1:
    He asked me what is mortgage.
    Sentence2:
    He asked me what mortgage is.
    Sentence3:
    He asked me what was mortgage.
    Sentence4:
    He asked me what mortgage was.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    euncu's Avatar
    euncu is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: He asked me what is/was sth, what sth is/was

    He asked me what a mortgage was.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: He asked me what is/was sth, what sth is/was

    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post
    He asked me what a mortgage was.
    He asked me what a mortgage is - also correct. The salient point of both our answers being that it needs to be "a mortgage".

  4. #4
    uktous is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: He asked me what is/was sth, what sth is/was

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    He asked me what a mortgage is - also correct. The salient point of both our answers being that it needs to be "a mortgage".
    Hi,

    If I am telling a story, should I say

    " He asked me what a mortgage was"
    or
    " He asked me what a mortgage is"
    ??

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: He asked me what is/was sth, what sth is/was

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Hi,

    If I am telling a story, should I say

    " He asked me what a mortgage was"
    or
    " He asked me what a mortgage is"
    ??

    Thanks
    I'd say that the form with "was" is much more common.

    In a story, I'd use "was" because it's likely that there is less of a relation between the world of the story and present reality than there is in the relation between past reality and present reality.

  6. #6
    uktous is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: He asked me what is/was sth, what sth is/was

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'd say that the form with "was" is much more common.

    In a story, I'd use "was" because it's likely that there is less of a relation between the world of the story and present reality than there is in the relation between past reality and present reality.
    Hi,

    If I talk about a past event (reality), shoud I use "is or was"?

    Eg:

    Mary: What did John ask you?
    Me: He asked me what a mortgage is/was.

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Default Re: He asked me what is/was sth, what sth is/was

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Hi,

    If I talk about a past event (reality), should I use "is or was"?

    Eg:

    Mary: What did John ask you?
    Me: He asked me what a mortgage is/was.

    Thanks
    'He asked me what a mortgage was.' would be more appropriate.
    Thank you.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: He asked me what is/was sth, what sth is/was

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Hi,

    If I talk about a past event (reality), shoud I use "is or was"?

    Eg:

    Mary: What did John ask you?
    Me: He asked me what a mortgage is/was.

    Thanks
    My opinion is that you should always use "was".
    I can't think of any context in which "is" would be better. It would save learners a lot of trouble if they learned how to backshift for reported speech, and forgot about "is" altogether. You don't need it.

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