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What do these ones mean?

1. That was the time that we went there. ('Was' refers to the time that we went?

2. That is the time that we went there. (I don't get 'is' here? Present status of it?)

Thanks.
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Hi,

Generally, I think what you choose to say reflects whether you are thinking about the past or the present.

Do you remember Italy in the summer of 1970, darling? That was the time that we went there first. I was so happy.

OR Let's go back to Italy this summer, darling, because that is the time that we first went there together. We'll have a lovely time.

Best wishes, Clive

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They seem completely interchangeable to me, especially in the context of the present, i.e., when someone has just said what you were going to say -- just before you speak, saying "That is/was what I was going to say". ("that" is more idiomatic than "this", by the way.)

In the context of telling a story of what happened yesterday, last week, last month, or a long time ago, you'll most likely say:

I did such-and-such. And then Mr. So-and-so did such-and-such. And then I said ABCDE. And then Mr. So-and-so said XYZ. That was what I was going to say. So I was disappointed that he said it first. etc. etc.

But even here, you could say, "[That's / That is] what I was going to say".

In summary, the two are pretty much interchangeable. You can use either one. There's no point in agonizing over it. Emotion: smile

CJ
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Comments  
Could you give me another example of this one:

1. This is what I was going to say. ( I don't get when to use this one.)

2. This was what I was going to say. (Same with #1, don't really get when to use it.)

And this one:

Scenario: My pal just did something really funny. And I say:

3. The funniest part was where you tried to run with your pants around your ankles.

4. The funniest part is where you tried to run with your pants around your ankles. (If 'is' is wrong here, when do I use 'is' then?)

Thanks.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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