Today [is/was] the first time...

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bennyfriendly

Senior Member
korean
I have made up (1) below.

(1) For the past three days, construction work has woken me up. Thank goodness. They didn't work this morning. Today is the first time I got a good sleep.

(2) For the past three days, construction work has woken me up. Thank goodness. They didn't work this morning. Today was the first time I got a good sleep. (my non-native English speaking friends' revision)

My friends think "was" is correct because you already woke up from your good sleep. I don't agree with them. I think "is" is more appropriate because it's a fact that still applies to today.

Which tense of "to be" is correct? Thank you very much for your time and help.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The problem is not the verb - the problem is "today." You sleep at night. thus you should use "last night", and it will be obvious that it should be "last night was..."

    For the past three days, construction work has woken me up. Thank goodness that they have finished. Today/Tonight will be the first time I will get a good night's sleep.
     
    Last edited:

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    You can use either. Today still is the first time, but if you phrase it differently it would have to be "last night was the first time".

    Use of the past tense tends to be very precise with actions, and if an action took place only a fraction of a second ago, you could not use the present tense. However, it can be very flexible indeed when it comes to the verb "to be", so if you use a time reference which also applies to the present, you can often use the present tense.
    Thank goodness. They didn't work this morning
    This should be one sentence.
     
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