Kai
English Grammar Hi friends are these right? I really have no idea which tense I should use in these sentences. 1. It was he who killed my brother or should it say "it is he who killed my brother." 2. he is the one who killed my brother or should it say "he was the one who killed my brother."
Nov 18, 2019 3:02 AM
Answers · 5
In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter that much. In these examples, the subordinate clause is irrelevant to the tense in the main clause. If “he” is still around now, then the present tense is better. If “he” is no longer around, we would be more likely to use the past, but we might use the present if his action was so important as to render him “immortal”.
November 18, 2019
Thank you
November 19, 2019
#1 is correct but unnatural. #2 He is ... is natural if the person is still living.
November 18, 2019
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Kai
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Hokkien), English, Indonesian, Malay, Russian
Learning Language
Chinese (Cantonese), English, Indonesian, Malay, Russian