is/was

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davidw55555

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Which one is correct?

That is precisely what I meant when I said, "intentional."

That was precisely what I meant when I said, "intentional."
 

MikeNewYork

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davidw55555 said:
Which one is correct?

That is precisely what I meant when I said, "intentional."

That was precisely what I meant when I said, "intentional."

Either can be correct. I think the second would be more common.
 

Casiopea

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shopping20 said:
what's the difference? I think the first one sounds better.

Max: You think Sam did it on purpose?
Sam: That is precisely what I meant when I said, "intentional."
=> Sam uses 'is', present tense, as a reference to what Max has just said.

Max: You think Sam did it on purpose?
Sam: That was precisely what I meant when I said, "intentional."
=> Sam uses 'was', past tense', as a reference to what Sam had said in the past.

All the best,
 

MikeNewYork

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shopping20 said:
what's the difference? I think the first one sounds better.

That is precisely what I meant when I said, "intentional."
That was precisely what I meant when I said, "intentional."

In this statement, the speaker is referring back to a word he used in the past. IMO, opinion, he is talking about what he meant at the time he said it. The past tense is more logical. The present tense can be used here to reaffirm that the speaker has not changed his mind, but that can also be inferred from the past tense version. I wouldn't call the first an error.
 
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