Was and is

Which is correct?

a. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

b. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

c. It is the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

When you say

It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”,

you are referring to something you saw in the past,

but the statement is still true at the moment you speak,

that is, you have not so far seen anything more beautiful than it.

When you say

It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.”,

you are also referring to something you saw in the past.

The statement means that at the time you saw it,

you had not seen anything more beautiful,

but now you may or may not have seen something to surpass it in beauty.

You can expand the sentence in two ways to convey the two different possibilities:

It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen at that time,

and is still the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.”

OR “It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen at that time,

but since then, I have seen many things that are more beautiful.”

We don’t usually use “It is” with “had ever seen”,

as in your third sentence.

But we can use “It is” with “have ever seen”.

If you are speaking now about something you are seeing now,

Example:

 A Flame of the Forest tree in full bloom, you may exclaim:

It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: