1

A few weeks ago, I sent a message to a foreign friend when I heard a earthquake happened in her country. But the message didn't send successfully.

Today she contacted me, I gave her a message like this

Actually I sent you a message to ask if you are alright when I heard the earthquake news ...

  • Is it right to use "are " in my above sentence?

  • I chose the present tense because I wanted her to know I sent her message immediately when I heard the earthquake news, if I use "were", does it sound like I gave her the message a few days after the earthquake?

  • 2
    A forefinger friend? Are you using a mobile by any chance? These pesky predictive texts do come out with the strangest answers :) :) – Mari-Lou A Dec 26 '16 at 8:59
  • Hi , Mari-Lou A , yes , I meant foreign , what a silly mistake I made , ha ha !!I Thank you for reminding me 👍 – Cheng Shih Ming Dec 26 '16 at 9:12
  • You should use "were" to me. – Abbasi Dec 26 '16 at 9:44
5

Actually I sent you a message to ask if you are alright when I heard the earthquake news ...

If you wanted to know if your friend is safe and sound now, you can ask:

  • How are you?; Is everything OK?; Are you all right?
  • Did you get hurt?; Were you hurt?

But if you are talking about your friend's well-being in a message that you sent in the PAST, then the past simple is preferred.

Actually I sent you a message to ask if you were all right when I heard the earthquake news ..

It is not possible to know when the OP sent this message, it could have been as little as an hour ago, or as long as a week. Usually the past simple tense is preferred for actions or events that are completed in a specific point in the past.

3

You are talking about the past, no matter the earthquake happened recently. So You use "were" instead of "are". Moreover,the use of the noun "news" means that you are referring to the information or reports of the recent events. However, to convey your message more properly, you can add the phrase "as soon as, when, soon after, or immediately after" as follows:

As soon as/Soon after/Immediately after/When I heard the earthquake news, I sent you a message to ask if you were all right.

The use of "all right" is more common than that of "alright".

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