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Hello,

I have came up with this example and have the following questions.

I checked the report and found out that the balance for last year is GBP 1,000.

1. Can 'is' be used above because the balance for last year didn't change and holds true up to the present?
2. Let's say the balance is being asked by someone at the present, therefore can I use 'is' because it is relevant to a question being asked presently, although it refers to a figure for last year?
3. However, if I use 'was' above, it doesn't necessarily mean the balance for last year has changed. Would you agree?

4. If the answer to #3 is yes, then I would say 'is' gives more emphasis to the trueness or 'being true' of a statement at present, than 'was' does. Would you agree?
5. 'Was', though, is more idiomatic than 'is' for tense matching in the sentence above?

Thank you in advance.
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What is or isn't true isn't always the main consideration in choosing the tense in English. The sequence of tenses seems to call for the past tense or the preterite in many cases when (foreign) common sense prefers something else:

I knew that he lived in New York.
- He may or may not live there now.

I knew that he lives in New York.
- He lives in N.Y. now.

For a universal truth, exceptions are tolerated:
Everybody knew that the earth is/was round.

CB
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AnonymousI checked the report and found out that the balance for last year is GBP 1,000.

1. Can 'is' be used above because the balance for last year didn't change and holds true up to the present?
2. Let's say the balance is being asked by someone at the present, therefore can I use 'is' because it is relevant to a question being asked presently, although it refers to a figure for last year?
3. However, if I use 'was' above, it doesn't necessarily mean the balance for last year has changed. Would you agree?
4. If the answer to #3 is yes, then I would say 'is' gives more emphasis to the trueness or 'being true' of a statement at present, than 'was' does. Would you agree?
5. 'Was', though, is more idiomatic than 'is' for tense matching in the sentence above?
If you just remember that backshifting is always correct, you can save yourself all the angst you seem to be putting yourself through over this issue! Emotion: smile

was is idiomatic and correct, and it has the same force as is in your sentence.

CJ
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Thank you for your examples and explanations. I really appreciate them.

I checked the report and found out that the balance for last year is GBP 1,000.
I checked the report and found out that the balance for last year was GBP 1,000.

If I've understood your explanation correctly, the past tense 'was' is more preferred because of the sequence of tenses. However, using 'is' doesn't make the sentece incorrect. How are the sentences above different then in meaning?
AnonymousHow are the sentences above different then in meaning?
I see no difference in meaning, nor do I actually think that either tense is preferred. That doesn't mean that everybody agrees with me, though!Emotion: smile

CB
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Others might have a different opinion, but still, I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this. Nevertheless, I do believe both tenses in the sentence have the same intent as you've explained.

Thank you so much for your assistance.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.