"I've never had the courage to say in a public space that I was bisexual."

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ArthurNight

New Member
Turkish - Turkey
"I've never had the courage to say in a public space that I was bisexual."

I was wondering whether the sentence is grammatically correct, especially the part "that I was bisexual.".

Thanks!
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    In what context did you find this sentence, ArthurNight? Did you write it yourself? Does the speaker still consider himself/herself to be bisexual?
     

    ArthurNight

    New Member
    Turkish - Turkey
    In what context did you find this sentence, ArthurNight? Did you write it yourself? Does the speaker still consider himself/herself to be bisexual?
    Hi Florentia52!

    I've heard it in a TED talk by Elif Safak, and yes, I believe the speaker does still consider herself bisexual,

    thanks!
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    If Ms. Safik still considers herself to be bisexual, then the backshift is optional. To my ears, "...that I was bisexual" sounds better, but "...that I am bisexual" wouldn't be wrong.
     

    ArthurNight

    New Member
    Turkish - Turkey
    If Ms. Safik still considers herself to be bisexual, then the backshift is optional. To my ears, "...that I was bisexual" sounds better, but "...that I am bisexual" wouldn't be wrong.
    Same here! I was surprised - and the reason why I've asked it in the first place - when someone said she should have used the present perfect tense instead of this. It sounds better to my ears as well!

    Thanks for the help! Much appreciated.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    It's grammatically correct; indeed it follows strictly the practice, in reported speech, of following a past main verb with a past subsidiary verb.

    She could say I am, since it is still true at the present moment, but the whole drama lies in her fear at that time, and the contrast with what she feels now, so it would obscure the point to put this in the present tense.
     

    ArthurNight

    New Member
    Turkish - Turkey
    It's grammatically correct; indeed it follows strictly the practice, in reported speech, of following a past main verb with a past subsidiary verb.

    She could say I am, since it is still true at the present moment, but the whole drama lies in her fear at that time, and the contrast with what she feels now, so it would obscure the point to put this in the present tense.
    Thank you so much Keith!
     
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