was doing.... In a conversation, a student says:"I was hoping to get the English composition course out of the way" If she said: I am hoping... ... is this right? and if I want to ask a question, "I was confused about..." and "I am confused about... ..." which one is better? Thanks a lot:)
Sep 11, 2018 5:33 AM
Answers · 7
composition. "is" versus "was" is a matter of time. If I hoped to get the composition course out of the way but I do not hope for that now or I failed to do it or even if I doubt I can do it, then "was" is great. But If I continue to hope to get it out of the way or, in another expression, if I still want to get it out of the way, then "am" is perfect.
September 11, 2018
'I was' implies that you no longer think or feel that way. 'I am' implies that you still feel that way.
September 12, 2018
What the others have said is true. Perhaps another way you could think about it, is to rewrite your sentences in more of a Chinese way, with explicit time statements. I am now hoping I can... Yesterday I was hoping I could... I am now confused about... Last week I was confused about... If I understand Chinese correctly, if you use a verb with no time statement, it could be any time. It isn't clear when it is. So you frequently use a specific time to make it clear. In English, you have to use a tense. When you use a tense, that tense automatically gives us more information about the time, than it does in Chinese. If we use a present tense, 'now' is automatically implied by the tense. If we use a past tense, we know that it was some time in the past. We don't know when, but we do know it is not now. So, in the case of 'I was hoping...', we know it was in the past. It might have been yesterday, it might have been last week, it might have been a few hours ago. We don't know when, but we do know it was the past, and we can assume that since the speaker did not use a continuous tense, that it is _not_ true now.
September 11, 2018
I was confused about that answer you gave. But now I understand it. I am confused about that answer. Can you explain it again, much more slowly for me?
September 11, 2018
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