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Thread: Are or Were?

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    #1

    Are or Were?

    "I like your new shoes. Are they expensive?"

    If I said "Were they expensive?", would you consider "were" a correct alternative?

    Thank you.

    WW

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    #2

    Re: Are or Were?

    Were would be more natural.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Are or Were?

    Hi GoesStation.

    Would the present tense be unacceptable?

    I guess I could also ask, "How much do they cost?" - "They cost 50 euros."
    The present tense here would mean, as I understand it, "If I went to the shop where you bought those shoes, I too would spend 50 euros."
    Do you agree? If so, what's the difference between this new sentence and the one in #1?

    WW

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    #4

    Re: Are or Were?

    The present tense works, but the past sounds more natural.

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    #5

    Re: Are or Were?

    Hi Tdol.

    Could you please explain to me what exactly you mean by "the past sounds more natural"?
    Would a native speaker ever use the present tense?

    WW

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    #6

    Re: Are or Were?

    The past tense refers to the act of purchasing, which makes it more natural as that is in the past.

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    #7

    Re: Are or Were?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Whitman View Post
    Hi GoesStation.

    Would the present tense be unacceptable?
    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Whitman View Post
    Hi Tdol.


    Would a native speaker ever use the present tense?
    We are always reluctant to say 'never', but as you seem determined to get a definite answer, I'll stick my neck out and say 'No - the present tense is not acceptable and a native speaker would never use it'.

    Let's see how many native speakers write in to say 'I'd use it all the time'.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 26-Dec-2016 at 23:30.

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