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  1. Member
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    #1

    the name of my secondary school is/was SLS

    context: I am at university. Several years ago I was at senior secondary school.

    To tell my foreign friends, which tense should I use?:

    The name of my secondary school is/was SLS.


    My studying there is past, so WAS seems correct; but obviously its name has remained unchanged, so IS seems correct.

    Could anyone help me please?

    ========================

    In my college(we use a collegiate system), when we talk to foreigners, they will say 'I AM from America', because the status of being from that place never changes, but how about this:

    You are/were from an international school.

    The person I am talking to is in my college and she STUDIED in an international school two years ago.

    ===========================

    The following question is also related to the present-past tense, so I hope to include it in this thread.

    I know when we refer to a dead writer's work, we can say 'the writer uses/thinks....', which is the present tense, but how about:

    The writer wants/wanted to show....


    (I am not sure whether the act of WANTING is one single act in the past, which needs a past tense verb; or is an act that can be frozen in his work, which needs a present tense verb.)

    Once again please forgive me, this Chinese student, whose mother tongue is free from inflection, for raising questions about tenses so frequently.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: the name of my secondary school is/was SLS

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson13 View Post
    context: I am at university. Several years ago I was at senior secondary school.

    To tell my foreign friends, which tense should I use?:

    The name of my secondary school is/was SLS.


    My studying there is past, so WAS seems correct; but obviously its name has remained unchanged, so IS seems correct.

    Could anyone help me please?

    ========================

    In my college(we use a collegiate system), when we talk to foreigners, they will say 'I AM from America', because the status of being from that place never changes, but how about this:

    You are/were from an international school.

    The person I am talking to is in my college and she STUDIED in an international school two years ago.

    ===========================

    The following question is also related to the present-past tense, so I hope to include it in this thread.

    I know when we refer to a dead writer's work, we can say 'the writer uses/thinks....', which is the present tense, but how about:

    The writer wants/wanted to show....


    (I am not sure whether the act of WANTING is one single act in the past, which needs a past tense verb; or is an act that can be frozen in his work, which needs a present tense verb.)

    Once again please forgive me, this Chinese student, whose mother tongue is free from inflection, for raising questions about tenses so frequently.
    With your first question, I would find it quite unnatural to say "The name of my secondary school is/was ..." I would expect to hear "I attended XXX Secondary School" or "I went to XXX Secondary School". If you must construct it the way you did, then I would say "The name of the secondary school I attended is XXX".

    For your second question, I find "You are/were from an international school" very unnatural. We don't say that someone is from a school. "You went to (or "attended") an international school".

    Alive or dead, we use the present and the past tense to refer to what writer's want/wanted to say. There is no rule.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Zhuang
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      • Bangladesh
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    #3

    Re: the name of my secondary school is/was SLS

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    With your first question, I would find it quite unnatural to say "The name of my secondary school is/was ..." I would expect to hear "I attended XXX Secondary School" or "I went to XXX Secondary School". If you must construct it the way you did, then I would say "The name of the secondary school I attended is XXX".

    For your second question, I find "You are/were from an international school" very unnatural. We don't say that someone is from a school. "You went to (or "attended") an international school".

    Alive or dead, we use the present and the past tense to refer to what writer's want/wanted to say. There is no rule.
    Thank you.

    In fact, in conversation, I can use other phrases and structures to express the same meaning when I am torn between choices, and all of my classmates will do so. But this is not my style. If I find something I don't understand, I should find out the reason behind.

    Another good thing is I have learned that native English speakers will not say "from an international school". When I was typing the post, the thing in my mind was that foreigners will say "which college are you from", so I used it. Thank you for corrections.

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