Riddle: It 'is / was' a kind of ... animal

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Doggie doggie, May 20, 2009.

  1. Doggie doggie Senior Member

    chinese
    Dear all, I am trying to write an English riddle, but I am not sure if was should be substituted for is? Thanks.
     
  2. manon33 Senior Member

    English - England (Yorkshire)
    'It is' is the standard format for introducing a riddle, since it implies 'The answer to this ridddle is' (rather than 'was').

    However, as woolly mammouths (or whatever) are indeed extinct, I can see why you might feel it appropriate to say 'It was'.

    It depends whether you want the 'It' to refer to 'the answer', or 'the animal'.
     
  3. Doggie doggie Senior Member

    chinese
    Thanks manon33, one more question, why did you not say "as wooly mammoths were extinct"?
     
  4. MichaelW Senior Member

    English (British)
    "As woolly mammoths were extinct" would imply here that they had been extinct in the past, but are now no longer extinct.
     
  5. ML123 Member

    English - England
    to make it even more riddle-like:

    I am a kind of elephant...etc....What am I?
     
  6. Doggie doggie Senior Member

    chinese
    Thanks, guys.
     

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