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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    is or was?

    is or was?

    Shakespeare is/ was a writer.


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    #2

    Re: is or was?

    What do you suspect?

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #3

    Question Re: is or was?

    Quote Originally Posted by sash2008 View Post
    is or was?

    Shakespeare is/ was a writer.
    I personally think that, in this case, the sentence should read:
    Shakespeare was a writer.

    What about you, svartnik?


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    #4

    Re: is or was?

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    I personally think that, in this case, the sentence should read:
    Shakespeare was a writer.

    What about you, svartnik?
    Generally speaking, Shakespeare lived in the past --> past tense.
    Philosophically speaking, his memory and works of art will always live; thus, I would not frown upon the use of the present form of 'be'.
    As I perceive it, everything is possible if you are a good philosopher and can put a conceivable reason to anything.

    "There are no facts, only interpretations"

  3. mara_ce's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: is or was?

    Quote Originally Posted by sash2008 View Post
    is or was?

    Shakespeare is/ was a writer.
    In my opinion, when someone is dead, he/she was. In Spanish too.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: is or was?

    Quote Originally Posted by sash2008 View Post
    is or was?

    Shakespeare is/ was a writer.
    Without context you'd use 'was'.
    But:
    Shakespeare is a writer who has been enjoyed by many generations of readers.
    Use 'is' if you're talking about him in a more abstract way like this.
    Shakespeare is my favourite writer. Obviously, because if you use 'was' you mean that he no longer is.
    Shakespeare is the writer most admired by English readers.

    You can use the present in the following:
    In this line, Shakespeare is trying to say ...
    In Hamlet, Shakespeare tells us about .... (better than 'told' us).

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    #7

    Re: is or was?

    Last edited by ptetpe; 14-Jul-2009 at 12:36.

  5. Senior Member
    Interested in Language
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    #8

    Re: is or was?

    Many thanks.

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