General Writing and Grammar Help/English

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Question
Which and which of these sentences are
1. ‘One of the things I said yesterday is/ was…”

2. That thing you said is/was true

3. I am/was the one that visited.

4. “If you had been there my brother would not have died.”

5. “If you were there my brother wouldn't die OR wouldn't have died.”
Hoping to hear from you.
Thanks a million.

Answer
Dear Charles:

Which and which of these sentences are
1. ‘One of the things I said yesterday is/ was…”

*** Use WAS - the past tense

2. That thing you said is/was true

*** WAS -- the verb "said" is the past tense

3. I am/was the one that visited.

*** WAS -- to go with the past tense "visited"

4. “If you had been there my brother would not have died.”

*** This sentence is correct.

5. “If you were there my brother wouldn't die OR wouldn't have died.”

*** In this sentence "wouldn't die" is the correct choice.  

*** Charles, these sentences have been taken out of context.  If I knew the framework in which they are used, I may offer different answers.  On what you have given me, I stand by the choices that I posted above.  

Let me give you one example:  The first sentence clearly refers to what I SAID YESTERDAY.  That would make it past tense.  However, if TODAY I am referring to what I said yesterday and I want to "update" it, then I would write, "One of the things I said yesterday is, after further consideration, actually wrong."  I would use the present tense "is," because my context shows that [today] I have changed my mind.

So, some of the answers I have given you MIGHT CHANGE, if I knew the circumstances.  If you want to send me more questions in which the situations are clearly stated, I would be glad
to comment on them.

Ted Nesbitt  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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