Present or past?

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  • maotouying
    Participant
    7 November, 2008 at 8:39
    • Total posts: 1

    Recently, a chinese friend asked me a question, which I thought I could answer correctly but on reflection I thought maybe it could be answered by another tense.

    He showed me a passage by some author and he had to answer some questions about it.

    One question said what does it tells us about the author’s attitude to the topic in the passage.

    I thought it should be: what did it tell us about the author’s attitude.

    Which is correct or are both correct?

    Maotouying

    tamzin
    Participant
    9 December, 2008 at 16:19
    • Total posts: 10

    Reply To: how to decide which tense to use in the topic below

    You can use the present simple in this context quite correctly, as you are referring to something that is always true – the writer’s attitude has not ended, but is a general truth. Therefore, the present simple is correct but the past simple is not.

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