what you did <is><was> wrong

kevin1109

Member
cantonese-hong kong
I am quite confused about what is the difference in meaning between the 2 sentences? Do they have the same meaning?
1. The only reason why you are upset is because what you did was wrong.
2. The only reason why you are upset is because why you did is wrong.
Many thanks!
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    No real difference in meaning. We may assume that the thing they did is still considered "wrong".

    What you did was wrong.
    What you did is wrong.

    It's more natural to use the past tense, since the act is finished.

    What you are doing is wrong.
    What you did was wrong.
     

    kevin1109

    Member
    cantonese-hong kong
    No real difference in meaning. We may assume that the thing they did is still considered "wrong".

    What you did was wrong.
    What you did is wrong.

    It's more natural to use the past tense, since the act is finished.

    What you are doing is wrong.
    What you did was wrong.

    Dose the sentence 2 emphasizes the behaviour is still wrong right now? Or they both do?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I would use (1) if the other person did something wrong in the past.

    I would not understand "What you did was wrong" to mean that "it was wrong then but it isn't wrong now".
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I find nothing at all wrong with "the reason why...", but "the reason why is because..." is too much even for me.
    (I think there are several threads that deal with all this.)
     
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