All Europeans shared/share common ancestors from...


English - Canadian
"All Europeans shared/share common ancestors from 1000 years ago."

I know you can use "share" here, but I've seen "shared " used in some articles that shared the research. Is it correct to use "shared" here because Europeans still exist and they can't stop having common ancestors?
  • sandpiperlily

    Senior Member
    I agree that you should use the present tense, because we are talking about something present-day Europeans do (share ancestors). (Though it was certainly more than 1000 years ago!).

    If I were to see the past tense ("all Europeans shared common ancestors") I might guess that they were referring to some point in the past. For example: "In the year XXXX, most Europeans shared common ancestors who lived around year Y; however, this was no longer the case after trade and colonization brought more people from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe whose common ancestors with Europeans lived farther in the past...")


    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Español
    The articles that used past tense was probably to avoid shift in verb tense.
    This might help you:
    I got it from another thread:

    1. I told her that no American ten-year-old did homework on a Friday afternoon. (Reported speech: matching simple past) (the use of "did" in this sentence does not necessarily mean that now American ten-year-old do homework on Friday afternoon.)

    2. I told her, "No American ten-year-old does homework on a Friday afternoon. (Direct quotation of what she said. No need to match.)

    3. I told her no American ten-year-old does homework on a Friday afternoon. (Technically incorrect in writing. In speech sounds exactly the same as 2.
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