Past tense or not past tense?

dian   Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 07:13 GMT
This is the situation: I read about an article on a website yesterday. Today, I want to give a comment about the article I read.

This is my sentence: I read an article that was written by Mr. XYZ. It was [or it is? 1.] a diffcult article to understand because it was written by a writer who always used [or uses? 2.] difficult words.

Case number 1: I use "it was" instead of "it is". Past tense is used because it refers to the article I read yesterday. Is it correct?

Case number 2: I use "who always used" instead of "who always uses". Past tense is used because it refers to the writer of the article. I read his article yesterday that is why I use past tense for the case number 2. Is it correct?

Thank you.
Jim   Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 07:21 GMT
1. Use "it was" instead of "it is" because he isn't still writing it.

2. Use either. If you say "who always used", you mean in that article. If you say "who always uses", you mean in everything (s)he writes..
dian   Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 08:57 GMT
After reading your answer, I think I need to refresh my knowledge about past tense. Now, I want to write a different example.

This is about football. I want to tell you about a football club named Chelsea. This club is owned by a very rich person. One of the richest person in the world. He has spent more than one hundred million pounds to buy some new players. With these new good players, their trainer must rotate them so often, so that the players got their fair chance to play, based on the trainer decision.

I want to write a sentence to illustrate a situation. This is my sentence: The trainer changes [or changed?] his formation too often so that he cannot build a solid team.

I tend to use the word "changes" in this statement because of the following reason: he is still Chelsea's trainer even though at the time of speaking he is currently not on the field to train his players. Is my reason correct?
Lou   Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 13:00 GMT
dian, I would say, in case 2, 'who always uses' - meaning as a matter of habit, or 'who has always used' - meaning from the beginning of the writer's career up to the present, and possibly continuing.
dian   Thursday, October 23, 2003, 05:49 GMT
I have another case (I play a role as a football coach). Yesterday, we beat our opponent. Today, when speaking to journalists: "I am happy now because we were [or are?] able to beat them. It was a very difficult game".

I will pick "we were able..." instead of "we are able..." because my team beat our opponent yesterday. What do you think?
Jim   Thursday, October 23, 2003, 07:28 GMT
"One of the richest people in the world." not "person".

I'm not too sure what you are trying to get at with the changing and rotating bit. A good idea, for clarity, sometimes, is to keep your sentences short. I'll paraphrase what I think you wanted to say using short sentences to show what I mean.

He has spent more than one hundred million pounds to buy some new players. So he has ended up with a team full of good players. These players must be rotated often so that each gets fair chance to play. With all this rotation the trainer has difficulty in building a solid team.

Also you ask whether to use "changes" or "changed". Yes, use "changes" because, as you say, "he is still Chelsea's trainer" and he is still doing these rotations, though not right now. You can use the present tense for habitual things even though you might not be doing them right now. I can say "I sleep." even though I'm not sleeping now.

"I am happy now because we were able to beat them. It was a very difficult game." is what you'd say. You'd be talking about yesterday's game not a general fact. One game doesn't prove a general fact.
dian   Thursday, October 23, 2003, 10:13 GMT
Thank you for your explanation.

I just want to make sure that my reason is correct. If the reason is correct, then it has given me a solid foundation in my understanding about past tense.