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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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      • Russian Federation
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      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
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    #1

    how old you are versus how old you were

    Is there any difference in use between these sentences in the following situation (a person asks another one about his age):

    1) Didn't you hear me? I asked how old you were.
    2) Didn't you hear me? I asked how old you are.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • UK
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      • UK

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    #2

    Re: how old you are versus how old you were

    I would use the second if I had asked for someone's current age and the first if I had asked something like "How old were you when you learnt to swim?"
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 25-Mar-2016 at 21:32. Reason: Fixed error. Thanks Tarheel.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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      • Australia
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    #3

    Re: how old you are versus how old you were

    I'd back shift, as usual.

    A: How old are you?
    B: What? I didn't hear you.
    A: I asked you how old you were. / I said, "How old are you?"

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