[Grammar] What's the best film you've ever seen?

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Andie42

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In a question such as the one in the thread title (who's the most interesting person you've ever met / what's the most boring job you've ever done / what's the strangest interview you've ever had, etc.) do you always use what's? Is it ok to ask what was? Since, in fact, you're talking about past situations, I feel it makes more sense to use was.
 
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Tdol

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You can often use was - What was the best film... is fine. However, if you're asking about the most interesting person, then the present sounds better as the person may well still be alive, so putting them into the past could sound a bit strange.
 

Andie42

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if you're asking about the most interesting person, then the present sounds better as the person may well still be alive
So you could use the same explanation for questions related to, for example, songs, books, etc. I mean, after all they're still there for you to listen to and read. Would that make sense? :?:
 

Jay Louise

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I would say "what is" when asking about something like music, movies or books. A favorite thing can change daily so you want to know what their current opinions are, not what they liked last week.

When asking about experiences I would say "what was".

I would ask "Who is your favorite actor or author?" but "Who was your favorite teacher in school". One is asking a current opinion that might change the other would be asking about your experiences in the past and assumes that you are not still in school. I would hope that boring jobs and strange interviews would relate to past experiences.

Meeting interesting people could go either way. You are asking them about their past experiences with meeting people and their current opinion on who is the most interesting.
 
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