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    #1

    present or past tense

    Hi,

    I just wonder if it is correct to say "I was so naive to believe that life IS easy"; Or should I change 'IS' to 'WAS' to make a right sentence?

    Thanks!

  1. kfredson's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: present or past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by jchtse View Post
    Hi,

    I just wonder if it is correct to say "I was so naive to believe that life IS easy"; Or should I change 'IS' to 'WAS' to make a right sentence?

    Thanks!
    I don't think it makes sense to say that "life was easy," unless you modify it to show you are dealing with a previous time: "Life was easy, back in the days before the Great War."

    I assume that in your sentence you are speaking about life as it is in these times. In that case, the sentence makes sense as you have written it.

  2. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: present or past tense

    What about:
    I was so naive to believe that life would be easy.
    If it's okay, you could switch would be with was/were, or not?

    Cheers!

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    #4

    Re: present or past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by jchtse View Post
    Hi,

    I just wonder if it is correct to say "I was so naive to believe that life IS easy"; Or should I change 'IS' to 'WAS' to make a right sentence?

    Thanks!
    Yes, this is a complex sentence and since the verb in the main clause is in the past, the verb of the sub clause should be in the past (was).

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: present or past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by jchtse View Post
    Hi,

    I just wonder if it is correct to say "I was so naive to believe that life IS easy"; Or should I change 'IS' to 'WAS' to make a right sentence?

    Thanks!
    I would use 'was'.

  4. euncu's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: present or past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post

    I was so naive to believe that life would be easy.
    If it's okay...
    is--> was
    will be-->would be
    was ≠ would be

    So, it is not okay.

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    #7

    Re: present or past tense

    I would prefer to say, "I was so naive as to believe that life IS easy". ("life" as used in this expression hasn't ended).

  5. kfredson's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: present or past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    What about:
    I was so naive to believe that life would be easy.
    If it's okay, you could switch would be with was/were, or not?

    Cheers!
    Yes, you could write "would be" but it does change the sense of the sentence somewhat. And no, I don't think it suggests that "was" is a good alternative.

    I still feel that the sentence as originally stated makes perfect sense.
    "I was so naive to believe that life is easy."

    Yes, you can put it in the past ("life was easy") but this does change the meaning. Generally you would modify this by saying, "I was so naive to believe that life was easy back in those earlier times" (for example.)

    But I would love to get more comments on this. There seems to be disagreement. How about those of you Europeans who were enjoying your sleep when this was first posed? What say you?

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    #9

    Re: present or past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by kfredson View Post
    Yes, you could write "would be" but it does change the sense of the sentence somewhat. And no, I don't think it suggests that "was" is a good alternative.

    I still feel that the sentence as originally stated makes perfect sense.
    "I was so naive to believe that life is easy."

    Yes, you can put it in the past ("life was easy") but this does change the meaning. Generally you would modify this by saying, "I was so naive to believe that life was easy back in those earlier times" (for example.)

    But I would love to get more comments on this. There seems to be disagreement. How about those of you Europeans who were enjoying your sleep when this was first posed? What say you?
    I would use "was" , but I agree that "is" makes sense. However, there is something I don't like about this sentence, but I can't put my finger on it right now.

  7. kfredson's Avatar

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    #10

    Re: present or past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I would use "was" , but I agree that "is" makes sense. However, there is something I don't like about this sentence, but I can't put my finger on it right now.
    Why, dear bhaisahab, would you use "was" when you think that "is" makes more sense? I'm interested.

    The sentence is, indeed, on the precipice of becoming awkward -- or at least colloquial -- but I actually like it.

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