Is and was

Questions from teachers about English grammar and usage

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Is and was

Unread post by jadhoot » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:47 am

I'm having an argument with colleagues on the use of 'is' at the end of the following sentence:
"One of the interviewers asked me who my favourite author is."

Is it grammatically correct?

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Re: Is and was

Unread post by marcchehab » Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:12 pm


Good question. Ask a native speaker :) Here are my thoughts.

My Cambridge Advanced Grammar in Use says, that your tense has to be appropriate at the time you are reporting. So, I would say, 'was' is more common, because nobody wants to stress his/her still being a fan so much. But 'is' should be correct. I can't see a reason why it shouldn't be.

Please keep me informed.

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Re: Is and was

Unread post by harvest » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:18 am

I agree with marcchehab,
Was is more common because the sentence form is indirect speech or reporting speech.

if the main verb is past, sub clause past
e.g :

the foreigner asked me, 'Where is the nearest bank?.' direct

indirect : the foreigner asked me where the nearest bank was

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