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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 337
    #1

    You were right. or You are right.

    Hello, everyone.

    Suppose I am having relationship difficulties with my girl friend. My friend Adam saw me earlier today and said:"Cubezero3, it seems your relationship is going to a dead end. Perhaps you should consider changing the way you talk to you partner." I was very upset at that time because my girlfriend and I had just had a massive arguement only a few minutes ago. Trying not to show my true feelings, I told him I was alright. A few weeks later, I realised that I needed my friend's help. So I went to his place and admitted what happened that day.

    In such a situation, I guess You were right can be conviniently thought to better suit, compared with You are right.

    Now let's change the context a little bit. I had a massive arguement with my girlfriend and decided to take a walk. Then I saw Adam, a very good friend of mine and some I can trust. We greeted each other. He knew my stories. Because I didn't look happy he asked whether I had something with my girlfriend. I denied and went on to talk about something else. In a few minute's time, I realised that I actually wanted to seek advice from him, which could be done without my telling him the truth. So I decided to admit that he was right.

    Here, it seems, at least to me, both You are right and You were right work. The use of present tense can be understood as referring to his thinking. He thought and still thinks, at the time of speaking, that I had something with my girlfriend. However, the use of past tense can also be justified as referring to a judgement made in the past.

    What do you think of this?

    Many thanks

    Richard

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • American English
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    #2

    Re: You were right. or You are right.

    If he made the observation just a few minutes ago and you're still having the same conversation, then "you are right" is fine.

    Just in case your example is not fictional "You were right" is also the right thing to say to your girlfriend. It doesn't matter that you were right and she was wrong. Just say it anyway.
    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.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: You were right. or You are right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Just in case your example is not fictional "You were right" is also the right thing to say to your girlfriend. It doesn't matter that you were right and she was wrong. Just say it anyway.

    • Member Info
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      • Hungarian
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    #4

    Wink Re: You were right. or You are right.

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It must be a "chick thing", or something... They are always right (#1), especially those who had the opportunity to fire a 50-caliber machine gun. (Presumably an M2 Browning. )


    PS: In case they happen to be wrong, see rule #1. (I'm ducking my head now... )

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: You were right. or You are right.

    I read a great line recently.

    Women always have the last line in any argument. Anything said after that is simply the start of a new argument.

    (In truth, I very rarely argue with anyone, my husband or anyone else, but that line was good enough to share in this thread.)
    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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