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  1. onegame's Avatar
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    #1

    Simple present or simple past?

    Hi
    Which one is more formal and accurate.

    We studied that we use the present simple when we are about to define something, but I got confused with this sentence:

    1- The Wars of the Roses were a series of civil wars.
    Or
    2- The Wars of the Roses are a series of civil wars.


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    #2

    Re: Simple present or simple past?

    Use were, as they ended some years ago.

    Rover

  2. onegame's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Simple present or simple past?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Use were, as they ended some years ago.

    Rover
    I thought so, too. But we were talking about Magna Carta once and I used the past simple tense but he told me it is wrong.

    Magna Carta contained => wrong
    Magna Carta contains...=> correct


  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Simple present or simple past?

    Quote Originally Posted by onegame View Post
    I thought so, too. But we were talking about Magna Carta once and I used the past simple tense but he told me it is wrong.

    Magna Carta contained => wrong
    Magna Carta contains...=> correct

    It's present tense because a copy of the Magna Carta still exists. Have a look at this:File:Magna Carta.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  4. onegame's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Simple present or simple past?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It's present tense because a copy of the Magna Carta still exists. Have a look at this:File:Magna Carta.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    So basically, anything that happened in the past and no longer exists should be defined in the past tense, I suppose.

    Thank you!

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    #6

    Re: Simple present or simple past?

    Basically, yes. . .

    . . .although the historical present tense is often used in describing events in the past, but there must be consistency about it:

    'In 1066, William invades England. He lands on the south coast and defeats Harold at the Battle of Hastings. He rules England for the next 30 years*. The events are depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry'.

    *I'm guessing here.

    Rover

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