Present/Past tense

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Ryan

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Please look at the sentences below and let me know if I have used the
past/present tense (where I have put the * marks) correctly.

1.
Lily: I saw Mary last week.
Jessica: Mary? *Wasn't* she the one who sat next to you last year?
Lily: No, that *was* Maggy. Mary *was* the one who dropped out of college
last week. She is now working for a famous publisher.

2.
The man that lived here before us *is* a famous writer. He published his
100th book yesterday.

3.
The woman that lived here before us *was* a teacher. I met her yesterday in
the street and she told me that she had resigned from her job two days
before.

4.
Jack: Only one company was taken over last year.
Matt: *Was* X the company which was taken last year?

5.
David: Look at this photo. That *is* the castle which we visited on the
first day of our trip. And those *are* the children we met. They were living
near the castle.
Lina: Oh, look at the child in the middle. *Isn't* he cute?

6.
The postcard that came this morning *was* from Aunt Mary.

7.
X: The man you saw at yesterday's party *was* David's father.
Y: I know. David told me that when I met him this morning.

8.
At a restaurant yesterday...
I *thought* I knew the waiter who served us. I tried hard but I couldn't
remember his name.

9.
Now...
I *think* I know the waiter who just served us. I will now walk up to him
and say 'Hi'.

10.
X: You should have asked the right person for the sales figues.
Y: I did. The sales manager *was* the person from whom I got the figues.

11.
A: Last week, I met a man who works for a bank.
B: What *is* his name?
A: I don't know. But I know that his wife *is* the person who is going to
interview you tomorrow.

12.
It *is* he who wrote the software in 1980. He is now living in Canada.
It *was* he who wrote the software in 1980. He passed away last year.

13.
Barcelona *was* the city that hosted the Olympic games in 19XX.

14.
The picture, which was destroyed in the fire, *was* worth millions of
pounds.

15.
The woman who just walked past *is* Mrs Harper. Mrs Harper was our Managing
Director between 1985 and 1990. She *was* the only woman to have become the
Managing Director of our company.

Thank you. :D
 

Tdol

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In number 3, I'd be tempted to put 'used to be'. In 12, the 'it is' structure seems a bit clumsy and unnecessary. ;-)
 

RonBee

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7.
X: The man you saw at yesterday's party *was* David's father.
Y: I know. David told me that when I met him this morning.

I might say "is" there. (After all, he is no doubt, still David's father.) However, I wouldn't consider "was" incorrect in that sentence.


  • A: Remember that man you saw yesterday at the party?
    B: Yes?
    A: He's David's father. (He's = he is)


11.
A: Last week, I met a man who works for a bank.
B: What *is* his name?
A: I don't know. But I know that his wife *is* the person who is going to interview you tomorrow.

I don't think anybody would say "What was his name?" (But I could be wrong.)


13.
Barcelona *was* the city that hosted the Olympic games in 19XX.

I would say "is" here, and I consider "was" incorrect. Barcelona is the city that hosted the Olympic games in 1992. That is a status that is unchangeable.

(I agree with TDOL about #12, but "is" is certainly correct there.)
 
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