I thought the longest river is the Nile.

Nightowll

Senior Member
Italian
Context: Your friend tells you that the Amazon is the longest river according to some studies. You don't entirely believe it because you have always thought that the longest river is the Nile. Now you aren't sure which is longer. So you say to the friend,

I thought the longest river is the Nile.

I thought the longest river was the Nile.

Which do you think you should say? Should you say "the longest river is the Nile" because it is a timeless fact (if it is correct), or should you say "the longest river was the Nile" to match the tense?
 
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