Student or Learner
- Do you remember that nice couple we met on holiday? They were German, weren't they?
- I got this job because I was a good driver.
The sentences are from "Practical English Usage" on page 401.
I would like to ask whether we can use "are" (and "aren't" in the tag) in the first one and "am" in the second.
PS The situations are still true.
Last edited by Rover_KE; 28-Aug-2015 at 11:55. Reason: Correcting 'Germain'.
The second works better with the present than the first to me- I can't see much reason to keep things in the present when knowing the couple is in the past, even if their nationality hasn't changed.
You're assuming they're still alive.
They might have met them 20 years ago when the German couple were in their eighties.
I simply understood it to be a common phrase form used when people are trying to remember, or distinguish, which nice couple they had met on holiday.
They were that nice German couple, rather than the nice Italian, or French couple that they also met while they were there.
It looks like from what you are saying Mike, that it isn't used in AmE.
The author may be using a form that in BrE we take for granted. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Swan_%28writer%29
(BrE first language speaker.)