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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Malay
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 1

    Writing a story.

    "It was said that the wise one thinks 10 steps forward ahead of his next move. [11] was one of them."

    This is two sentences from a story I am unsuccessfully trying to write. I remember from what my teacher said about keeping the same tense.

    My problem is that; do I write "It is said" or is it "It was said"?

    I'm slightly confused, and it would be of great appreciation if my confusion were to go away.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,269

    Re: Writing a story.

    However, this is one case in which you don't need to stick with the past.

    It's a "universal truth" type of thing, and you don't have to put it in the past, just like you don't have to backshift in reported speech when it's a universal fact.

    The teacher said, "The Earth is round."
    The teacher said that the Earth is round.

    It is said that... is on the same level.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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