Mrs K <is, was> the deceased's sister. Mrs K is still alive.

preciso

Member
Canada (English)
I don't know if I should start a new thread for this or not, but what if I refer to a living relative of a dead person?

Mrs. K, a resident of CA, was a sister to the deceased.

or

Mrs. K, a resident of CA, is a sister to the deceased.
 
  • Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    "was a sister" seems to suggest that the sister is also deceased.

    But the same principle may apply as discussed in the previous thread, though it's hard to imagine how the emotional attachment can be so strong.

    Certainly, if you were looking at a family tree, discussing the relationship between two deceased persons, you would say "was." And I suspect you would say "is" if the subject were someone still alive.
     
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