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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    My earliest memory of my mother is/was

    In writing a narrative, I am unsure if I should use is/was in the following sentence:

    My (The?) earliest memory of my mother is/was watching her sew late into the night.

    Thank you.

  2. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: My earliest memory of my mother is/was

    It depends on the yet unknown context. If you intend to continue is the present tense use is; if in the past tense use was.

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #3

    Re: My earliest memory of my mother is/was

    My (The?)
    I would use my as it is your memory, and if you used the definite article, it would be inaccurate- some people would almost certainly have different first memories of her.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: My earliest memory of my mother is/was

    I would use "My earliest memory of my mother is ...". Unless something changes and you remember something from even longer ago, then it is (and will remain) your earliest memory of her.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: My earliest memory of my mother is/was

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    It depends on the yet unknown context. If you intend to continue in the present tense use is; if in the past tense use was.
    I don't agree. It is, as ems said, your earliest memory, and remains this unless you later remember something earlier, as in:

    For many years, my earliest memory of my mother was of watching her ... , but last year I suddenly remembered something that must have happened earlier.

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