[Grammar] ABC was/is the organization which issued/issues

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ansonguy

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Yesterday, I made up a sentence and discussed it with my friends after work. I have written it down below.

(ex) Last year, I found out that ABC was/is the organization which issued/issues teaching certificates.

We think that it can be either the simple past or the simple present depending on how you interpret the sentence.

It can be "ABC was ... issued" because I got the information last year. You have to be consistent in the tense you use in the sentence. The consistency allows you to use the past tense all the way.

It can also be "ABC is ... issues" because we think "what if" ABC is still operating and issuing certificates. If you used the past tense in that part of the sentence, people would think ABC is no longer the issuing office.

Because we are not native English speakers, we are not sure about the correct tense to use. Please help us. Thank you very much.
 
J

J&K Tutoring

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Let’s look at the same construction in a different situation: Tom was/is the guy who ate/eats the last cookie and see if there are any differences. I’ve shortened your original sentence a bit.

1a. ABC was the organization which issued teaching certificates.
1b. Tom was the guy who ate the last cookie.
2a. ABC was the organization which issues teaching certificates.
2b. Tom was the guy who eats the last cookie.
3a. ABC is the organization which issued teaching certificates.
3b. Tom is the guy who ate the last cookie.
4a. ABC is the organization which issues teaching certificates.
4b. Tom is the guy who eats the last cookie.

Now what do you think? Which sentences work and which ones don't?
 
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