+0
A. We have milk, eggs, meat and vegetables. So those are what are on the list.
B. We have milk, eggs, meat and vegetables. We should bring them all to her house. So those were what are on the list.

1. Is sentence A correct with 'are' because summarizing with 'so' comes right after saying what are included in the list?
2. If A is correct, is it also possible and natural to say 'were' instead of 'are', although only seconds have passed?
3. Is sentence B correct with 'were' because summarizing with 'so' did not come right after saying what are included in the list?
4. If B is correct, is it also possible and natural to say 'are' instead of 'were'?
5. I'm not sure about my interpretations. If it's wrong, please advise what is the difference of saying 'are' and 'were' in each sentence above.

Thank you in advance much for your assistance.
1 2
Comments  
Judging only from the context you have presented to us:

1. Is sentence A correct with 'are' because summarizing with 'so' comes right after saying what are included in the list?-- No; it is correct because those things are currently on the list.

2. If A is correct, is it also possible and natural to say 'were' instead of 'are', although only seconds have passed?-- No; because those things are currently on the list.
3. Is sentence B correct with 'were' because summarizing with 'so' did not come right after saying what are included in the list?-- No; because those things are currently on the list.
4. If B is correct, is it also possible and natural to say 'are' instead of 'were'?- B is not correct.

5. I'm not sure about my interpretations. If it's wrong, please advise what is the difference of saying 'are' and 'were' in each sentence above.-- I see no use for past tense in your sentences; all indications point to a present situation.
Thank you for answering all my questions.

I thought 'those were' or 'that was' could be used to refer back to what was/were said earlier, but here, the use of the correct tense, which is 'those are' is based on what is currently on the list.

Are there also instances when 'those were' or 'that was' is used because it just refers to what was/were said earlier?
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I'm sure that it so, but probably not so likely if it is in nearby text.
In those other contexts, is one sentence apart enough to justify the use of 'those were' or 'that was'?
Or is it a matter of time like if it was said at least a minute ago, then we could use 'those were' or 'that was'? If so, "those are" or "that is" would be wrong, then.

I'm sorry if this sounds I'm overanalyzing, because it's really confusing. My native language only use one tense for either cases.
I don't see that we can judge it by time, but if you give me more examples, I will pass judgement.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I met her in the summer of 2000. She was 20 and I was 21, then. After our first date, we went on seeing each other everyday, not missing a single day. She introduced me to her parents, and then, a month had passed, we got engaged and married after 6 months. Now, we are going to celebrate our anniversary tonight. And that was the story of my life.

1. In the text above, is 'that was' correct because I'm talking about past events in my life?
2. Or it should be 'that is' because the story of my life never changes and will always be as it was?

Thank you in advance for your enlightening me on this. Please feel free to correct my grammar in my example.
Still 'that is', to my mind. The story is right there, present and evident.
Mister MicawberStill 'that is', to my mind. The story is right there, present and evident.
That makes sense to me. Thank you for your explanation.

I really can't think of an example where 'that was' is correct.
Just one more try, if you could pass judgement on this, please.

Jim: I was in Paris last spring.

Chloe: What did you do there?
Jim: I went there to see the Eiffel Tower. I really had a good time.
Chloe: Wow, that was cool.

1. Do you think 'that was' is correct here?
2. If so, is it because 'that' in 'that was' refers to what Jim did last spring (far from now)?
3. Or is it because Jim's activity was said earlier in the exchange?
4. However, I also think 'that is' is possible because Jim's story was told to Chloe right there, present and evident. Would you agree? I'm confused.
5. If 'that was' in my example is still incorrect, could you please give an example where it is appropriate?
6. Is there some grammar rule that tells when to use 'that is' and 'that was'?

Thank you in advance for your help and patience.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Show more