Matt
I kept telling her that he was a bad person. OR I kept telling her that he is a bad person. I kept telling her that he was a bad person. >> He is still bad and alive but I use "was" so it agrees with the former clause. I kept telling her that he is a bad person. >> This is incorrect even if he is still bad and alive right now in the present because it has to agree to the first clause. Do I understand correctly?
Sep 16, 2018 6:04 AM
Answers · 1
Hi Matt, you're right, the first example is more grammatically correct than the second, but most native English speakers would have no problem with the second version since we would assume that you are talking about someone who is still alive and still bad and not be bothered by the mismatched verb tenses. In fact, most people would probably also assume that the person you are talking about in the first version is probably still alive and that the past tense is more about when you warned her about him and less about the state of his existence at the moment. Hope that helps.
September 16, 2018
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