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  1. B45
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    #1

    He is/was the one who told me everything

    Talking to my friend James about what our mutual friend Michael said to me a while back.

    I said: "He(Michael) is/was the one who told me everything!" - Michael isn't present, he's somewhere else.

    What would a native say?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He is/was the one who told me everything

    Is.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. B45
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    #3

    Re: He is/was the one who told me everything

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Is.
    Why is and not was?

    What he told me happened in the past and not present.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: He is/was the one who told me everything

    He is still the person who told you.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: He is/was the one who told me everything

    That's a much better thread title, Batman.

    I would probably use 'is', but, depending on the wider context, I might say 'was'.

  6. B45
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    #6

    Re: He is/was the one who told me everything

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    That's a much better thread title, Batman.

    I would probably use 'is', but, depending on the wider context, I might say 'was'.
    In what context would you change it from it to was?

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: He is/was the one who told me everything

    I don't really think it's context-related. After I posted my first response, I realised that I was perhaps almost as likely to say "was" as "is". I can't really come up with a particular reason for choosing one over the over. In fact, I would almost certainly say "It's Michael who told me" or "He's the one who told me".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #8

    Re: He is/was the one who told me everything

    Is Michael coming back? If he's gone away permanently, then I would use was.

  8. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: He is/was the one who told me everything

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I don't really think it's context-related.
    I think it is. Otherwise, the choice would be random. Having said that, it's not necessary that we understand and can explain what the deciding elements of the context are.
    @Batman: We don't change 'is' to 'was'. We use one of the two, depending on the likely-unconscious context. The context probably includes how much we want to distance Michael for whatever reason.

  9. B45
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    #10

    Re: He is/was the one who told me everything

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Is Michael coming back? If he's gone away permanently, then I would use was.
    Michael's more of a acquaintance than a friend now because we haven't kept touch in so long but he's still around somewhere, we just don't know where he is.

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