The wedding banquet is/ was memorable.

kachibi

Senior Member
Chinese
Context: academic English, texbooks, grammar, etc.

Say, it's now 10 years from the wedding banquet and I want to say the banquet still impresses me now. Should I say:

1) The banquet in 2010 is still memorable.

2) The banquet in 2010 was still memorable.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    No, that doesn't work.
    "Memorable" does not mean "I remember".
    "Memorable" means "the kind that people often remember for a long time".
    So a "memorable event" is an event that many people will remember, for years.

    If you want to say that you still remember something, say:

    3) I still remember the banquet in 2010. :tick:
     

    kachibi

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    What I mean by "memorable" is impressive, worth remembering, etc., but not "I still remember..."

    We often use "memorable" to talk about some unforgettable experiences.

    So, I want to ask, if I want to say a past event is still unforgettable to me now, after that past event, should I use "is" or "was"?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    should I use "is" or "was"?
    If you are talking about calling the banquet "memorable", use "was":

    That banquet in 2010 was memorable, wasn't it?

    The banquet is not happening now. So it isn't the subject of any now verb.
    It isn't big, or small, or memorable, or expensive, or anything else in 2020.

    But it can be the object of a "now" action (an action that happens in 2020):
    - I still remember it.
    - Do you still remember it?
    - I'll bet Susan Johnson remembers it!
     

    kachibi

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Yes, good, so depends which comes first--the banquet or the person (who think it is impressive), if it is the banquet, since it is a past thing, so it must come with "was", even though "memorable" is something current:

    The banquet was memorable.

    And hence for all past events/ people, even though the compliments (i.e., "memorable" here) are current, the events/ people must be followed by "was" since the event IS NOT HAPPENING NOW.

    And if "people" comes first, since their act of remembering things is "current", so the corresponding verb must be present, and hence:

    I still remember the banquet in 2010.

    Is my summary above 100% correct?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "Memorable" doesn't have to be past. Instead, "memorable" always describes the event. But the event can be in the past, in the present, or in the future. For example:

    The 2021 reunion will be memorable. People will remember it for years.

    Like "impressive", the word "memorable" is an adjective describing the event. "Impressive" means "will impress people". "Memorable" means "will be remembered by people".

    "Remember" is always a mental action. It is done by a person in their mind. Of course, it has to happen after the event. "Remember" means "think now about something in the past".
     

    kachibi

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    "Memorable" doesn't have to be past. Instead, "memorable" always describes the event. But the event can be in the past, in the present, or in the future.

    Yes, I know it is not necessarily "past", what I refer to is the example (the "2010 banquet" example) I gave above. I mean whether to use "is" or "was" depends on the event--happening now or happened in the past, but does not depend on the adjective" memorable".
     
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