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Carol was one of my sister's best friend.

Does this mean that Carol is not the sister's friend anymore? What do you think?

Thank you.

Best wishes,

PBF
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PeaceblinkfriendCarol was one of my sister's best friend.

Does this mean that Carol is not the sister's friend anymore? What do you think?
PBF
You're right.

Carol was one of my sister's best friends.
Carol was one of my sister's best friends.

This is a statement about a situation that existed in the past. It says nothing about the present, so we cannot conclude anything from this statement about any friendships that exist in the present.

Compare:

People love to eat chicken in France.

Does this mean that people do not love to eat chicken in Spain? Certainly not. This is a statement about a situation that exists in France. It says nothing about Spain, so we cannot conclude anything from this statement about chicken-eating in Spain.

CJ
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Depends on context:

Carol was one of my sister's best friends, but she died that year.
Carol was (had been) one of my sister's best friends until they had a terrible row.
Marius HancuDepends on context:

Carol was one of my sister's best friends, but she died that year.
Carol was (had been) one of my sister's best friends until they had a terrible row.
I agree because the verb 'was' is used. It plays an important part in determining whether the friendship still exists.
PBF's question is "Carol was one of my sister's best friends."
Does this mean that Carol is not the sister's friend anymore? (sister's friend, not sister's best friend).

This means that Carol isn't the sister's best friend now, but they might still be friends.

This is my impression, on second thoughts.
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Carol was one of my sister's best friend[ s ].
Does this [sentence] mean that Carol is not the sister's friend anymore?
I know this post will seem to be perversely harping on a small point, but indulge me for a moment if you could.

I don't think context makes a difference, if we take the poster's question exactly as written.
It's not a question about what the sentence wouldmean in various contexts, i.e., if we changed the sentence by adding more information! Emotion: smile

If we are allowed to invent more information, we can equally well say

Carol was one of my sister's best friends, and she still is.

The very fact that we can also say this without violating any logic means that the original sentence we are analyzing is silent on the matter of what the relationship is in the present. I see a difference between implying different things in different contexts and not having an implication, and I don't believe the sentence in question, on its own, has any implication about the present situation.
________

To illustrate with another example, we can say that sentence 1 below could logically imply sentence 2.

1. Thomas placed a dozen tomatoes in the box.
2. The box is now empty.


How so? Because we can say it depends on context:

Thomas placed a dozen tomatoes in the box, and then removed them. Emotion: smile

But is that 'fair'?

The fact remains, I think, that if Thomas placed the tomatoes in the box at some time in the past, we have no idea of the state of the box now, because the sentence doesn't tell us anything about the present state of the box. All we know is that it contained the tomatoes immediately after Thomas put them there! It's not a question of sentence 1 meaning different things depending on context. The meaning of that sentence does not change, even though subsequent events may intervene to change the situation. There's a difference.
_______

I don't think, by the way, that this example is comparable to the idea that bank means different things depending on context (a river bank, or a bank full of money). I agree that this would be true context dependence.

CJ

Oh My, this is confusing.
I think (not sure though) in Italian I can say "That was my sister's best friend" even if she is still my sister's best friend. I can say "This was a photo..." even if it IS a photo...
This was the photo I was talking about, Jim. You know, we were talking about my grandpa, a good photographer. Well, this was the photo he took with his old Minolta 8850 when we went to Nevada, 15 years ago. That was an amazing experience! It's been 15 years... seems like yesterday! Look at that: that was my great car, yeah... and the one in white was my uncle from Reno... and the girl was one of my sister's friend... I was the one dressed like a police officer! Thank God no one saw me...

Note: you can see the photo, it's here. I still have that great car, I'll never change it, it's the best. My uncle from Reno is still alive. That girl is still my sister's best friend now. I am the one who talks in the above example, and I'm alive.

Since the past tense doesn't imply anything about now, would you find those past tenses I used ok? Emotion: smile

PS: by the way, I'm not the one dressed like a police officer.

Since the past tense doesn't imply anything about now, would you find those past tenses I used ok?
Of course! You can tell us whatever you want. You can tell us about something in the past or you can tell us about something in the present, or whatever combinations you'd like. Just don't expect us to infer by logic from the grammar anything about the past from the present tense statements or about the present from the past tense statements! (As I argued by analogy earlier, this would be like inferring things about Spain from statements about France.) We may, however, infer these things in other ways -- from what we see with our own eyes, from other information we already know, and so on. But this sort of inference is not inference from grammatical structure.

CJ
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