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  1. milan2003_07's Avatar
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    #1

    has always been / was always the largest Orthodox church ...

    Dear friends,

    When speaking about St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg I always say that this church is the largest Orthodox church in my city. I often say a phrase like this:

    1) St. Isaac's has always been the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg.

    2) St. Isaac's was always the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg.

    Will it make any difference if I say phrase 2 instead of phrase 1?

    Thanks
    Last edited by milan2003_07; 30-Jul-2015 at 23:16.

  2. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: has always been / was always the largest Orthodox church ...

    Hello milan2003_07,

    The difference between the two is whether St. Isaacs is still the largest Orthodox church in the city.

    1) Is saying that St. Isaacs has always been (and is still) the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg.

    2) Is saying that St. Isaacs was always the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg (until another bigger church was built).

    So, I think sentence 1 is correct for your purposes.

  3. milan2003_07's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: has always been / was always the largest Orthodox church ...

    Thanks! That makes sense and in fact I was also thinking about the current status of St. Isaac's. Well, it's still the largest church in the city, but I sometimes want to say the following phrase:

    "St. Isaac's has always been the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg, but now there is another bigger functioning church in the city".

    Is it possible to say so or we need to use "was always" in the sentence above?

    Thanks



    Last edited by Rover_KE; 31-Jul-2015 at 08:09. Reason: Deleting unnecessary quote.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: has always been / was always the largest Orthodox church ...

    If there is a bigger Orthodox church now, use "was".

  5. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: has always been / was always the largest Orthodox church ...

    Quote Originally Posted by milan2003_07 View Post
    Thanks! That makes sense and in fact I was also thinking about the current status of St. Isaac's. Well, it's still the largest church in the city, but I sometimes want to say the following phrase:

    "St. Isaac's has always been the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg, but now there is another bigger functioning church in the city".

    Is it possible to say so or we need to use "was always" in the sentence above?

    Thanks



    As Mike said, you could use "was", or you could use "was always":

    "St. Isaac's was always the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg, but now there is another bigger functioning church in the city".

    That works for me in BrE anyway. It would indicate the fact that it held that position as largest church in the city for many years before the new church was built.

  6. Skrej's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: has always been / was always the largest Orthodox church ...

    I would suggest rephrasing the sentence into something less unwieldy, such as:

    Historically, St. Issac's was the largest Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg, up until the building of St. NewChurch in 1910 (or whichever year the newer, bigger church was built.)

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