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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    Past Tense Or Present Tense?

    Example 1:

    Clark Gable is dead but he's still my favorite actor. should I say
    "Clark Gable is my favorite actor"
    "Clark Gable was my favorite actor"

    Example 2:

    Clark Gable and Howard Hickman are both dead. But I'm talking about their present-day popularity . should I say:

    "Howard Hickman is not as well-known as Clark Gable "
    "Howard Hickman is not as well-known as Clark Gable"
    both should be the latter choice, right?

    And last time we talked about "universal truth" how about this one:

    "She said she loved him."
    "She said she loves him"
    Maybe I should use the first one. But that one always make me think she no longer loves him.

    Would love to hear your advice. Thanks in advance

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    Re: Past Tense Or Present Tense?

    1. The present tense is the natural choice here. 'Was' would suggest that you used to like him but now prefer someone else.

    2. (You have posted the same sentence twice!)

    3. 'Loved' is the form strictly required by tense concord rules. (It does not refer to the relative past, which would be 'had loved'). The present tense here would, however, be considered unexceptionable by the majority of speakers, at least for informal use.

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