of whom my father <was><is> a fan

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Sarp84224

Senior Member
Hindi
I want to use a scenario in which something happened in the past, but the reason is still the same. I’m not sure which tense to use.

My father named my dog Rocky from the film because he is a big fan of Rocky.

My dog was named Rocky from the famous film, of whom my father was a fan.

My dog was named Rocky from the famous film, of whom my father is a fan.

The action (naming my dog) happened in the past, but my father is still a fan of Rocky. What tense should I use?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    They both sound right. There's not much difference.

    But the film isn't a 'who(m)': use 'which' or reword it so that 'whom' refers to the character, not the film.
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    "My dog was" suggests that your dog is dead.
    I suggest "We named our dog Rocky because my dad is a fan of the film character" In other words, your original sentence is by far the best;)
     

    Sarp84224

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    "My dog was" suggests that your dog is dead.
    I suggest "We named our dog Rocky because my dad is a fan of the film character"
    Does it?

    Compare it to the following:

    John was named after his grandfather.

    Isn’t “was” just implying that the action of naming the dog happened in the past?
     

    Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    You can use either, for the reasons you state: he was a big fan when he named the dog, and he is still a big fan now. (no, using 'was' doesn't imply your father is dead. It could imply that your father is no longer a fan of Rocky – but that doesn't matter because you are talking about why the dog was called Rocky – in the past). I don't even agree that 'My dog was' implies that the dog is dead. We say 'I was named Jane because it was my mother's name.

    But your sentences as a whole are not grammatical.

    You need 'of which' (the film) not 'of whom" (a person – you are not referring to the character 'Rocky' but to the film called 'Rocky').
     

    Sarp84224

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    You can use either, for the reasons you state: he was a big fan when he named the dog, and he is still a big fan now. (no, using 'was' doesn't imply your father is dead. It could imply that your father is no longer a fan of Rocky – but that doesn't matter because you are talking about why the dog was called Rocky – in the past). I don't even agree that 'My dog was' implies that the dog is dead. We say 'I was named Jane because it was my mother's name.

    But your sentences as a whole are not grammatical.

    You need 'of which' (the film) not 'of whom" (a person – you are not referring to the character 'Rocky' but to the film called 'Rocky').
    Sorry, I meant to state he was named after the person Rocky Balboa from the film Rocky. I meant Rocky the character, not the film.

    If I were to use “was” would it indicate that the naming of the dog was done in the past or the two possibilities that my father is dead or is no longer a fan of the character?

    Yes, I thought of the same analogy about when people speak about why someone was named a certain name.

    John was named after his grandfather, of whom his father loved/loves.

    Woild the choice of “loved” imply that John’s father doesn’t love his own father anymore?
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    It's logical to use "was" if whoever you are speaking to knows that your dog/John is alive, or if you say, "This is my dog, he was named Rocky after the film character" but as soon as you start a sentence with "My dog was" it's easy to assume that the dog "is" no longer.;)
     

    Sarp84224

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    It's logical to use "was" if whoever you are speaking to knows that your dog/John is alive, or if you say, "This is my dog, he was named Rocky after the film character" but as soon as you start a sentence with "My dog was" it's easy to assume that the dog "is" no longer.;)
    Do you think it’s different for dogs (or animals in general) compared to people?

    I don’t really see why in all fairness.

    Why does the “was” imply that the dog is no longer alive? Especially when it’s in the context of the dog being named rather than the dog’s health.

    My dog was nervous.
    My dog was not happy.
    My dog was small until after his first birthday.

    It’s just the simple past tense.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Why does the “was” imply that the dog is no longer alive? Especially when it’s in the context of the dog being named rather than the dog’s health.

    My dog was nervous.
    My dog was not happy.
    My dog was small until after his first birthday.

    It’s just the simple past tense.
    We assume a name lasts a lifetime while nervousness lasts a few moments. Notice that in your examples you covered this problem for "small".

    My dog was small. He was small his entire life and is now dead.
    My dog was small until his first birthday. We don't know if the dog is alive or dead.
     
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