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    #1

    Grammar

    A,'I met a funny guy yesterday.'
    B,'Who___he?'
    A,'Well, he___John,he___a teacher, and he___a American.'
    Either "Is" or "was" is fine with above blanks, right?

    I saw this from a movie:
    In order to get a precious stone, A kidnaps B's daughter to force B to help him. Having gotten the stone, A is about to shoot B. After a heavy fight, B get the stone and A's gun. Then, B points at A, holding the stone,asking A,' Was this really worthwhile?'
    Since the stone still exists, why use "was",not "is"?

    Please.

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Grammar

    A: I met a funny guy yesterday.
    B: Who (was it that you met yesterday)?
    A: Well, his name is John. He is a teacher, and he is American.

    Was [stealing the stone] really worthwhile?

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    #3

    Re: Grammar

    A,'I met a funny guy yesterday.'
    B,'Who was he?'
    A,'Well, he was John,he was a teacher, and he was American.'

    All 'was' above are totally wrong? Please.

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    #4

    Re: Grammar

    I think both 'is' and 'was' could be used.

    The present tense could be used 'to express a general truth'.
    The past tense could be used to describe something which happened in the past(yesterday).

    not a teacher

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    #5

    Re: Grammar

    Thank you. Can you help me as below:

    I saw this from a movie: In order to get a precious stone, A kidnaps B's daughter to force B to help him. Having gotten the stone, A is about to shoot B. After a heavy fight, B get the stone and A's gun. Then, B points at A, holding the stone,asking A,' Was this really worthwhile?'

    Since the stone still exists, why use "was",not "is"?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzle View Post
    Thank you. Can you help me as below:

    I saw this from a movie: In order to get a precious stone, A kidnaps B's daughter to force B to help him. Having gotten the stone, A is about to shoot B. After a heavy fight, B get the stone and A's gun. Then, B points at A, holding the stone,asking A,' Was this really worthwhile?'

    Since the stone still exists, why use "was",not "is"?
    Possibly "this" doesn't refer to the stone. It means the whole caper - the plot, the kidnap, the fight, etc. Was that really worthwhile to A, when all he got for it was to be on the wrong end of a gun, without the stone (though it's difficult to be sure without seeing the movie, B's tone of voice; his attitude, etc.)

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    #7

    Re: Grammar

    First, B gets the A's gun, then takes the stone from A's pocket, and says the sentence. lastly, B throws the stone away.

    I think B refers "this" to "the stone", he means,' is this stone really worth all the things you did.'

    Could it be that B decides to throw it away, then he uses "was"?

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    #8

    Re: Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzle View Post
    First, B gets the A's gun, then takes the stone from A's pocket, and says the sentence. lastly, B throws the stone away.

    I think B refers "this" to "the stone", he means,' is this stone really worth all the things you did.'

    Could it be that B decides to throw it away, then he uses "was"?
    Well you said it was a precious stone. Obviously if B threw it away, then "this" probably refers to the stone. If he's thrown the stone away, "was" is appropriate. If it's no longer precious, and it's been thrown away, then in that sense, it no longer exists as a precious stone, or as anything that concerns A or B.

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    #9

    Re: Grammar

    Firstly B says.' was this really worthwile,' , secondly B throws the stone away, for he thinks the stone brings the sins.

    "was" could be used this way? I mean it can be used advance?

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    #10

    Re: Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzle View Post
    Firstly B says.' was this really worthwile,' , secondly B throws the stone away, for he thinks the stone brings the sins.

    "was" could be used this way? I mean it can be used advance?
    Yes, you can use "was" in this sense.
    You can say "My ex-wife was a real bitch", even if she's still alive and still a bitch. That assumes that you have nothing more to do with her. If she is after you for alimony, she's still in your life, so you'd use "is".

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