For Valentine's, why don't you try this restaurant round the corner? I went there yesterday with my wife, the food and the ambience are great!

Is the above sentence correct? Shouldn't it be were instead of are? Or are both correct?

And if instead of yesterday it was ten years ago, then how different would the answer be?

  • 1
    The comma after "wife" should be a semicolon, but this is too tiny an edit to record. – Davo Feb 16 '17 at 16:45
  • To recommend the place now, aren't you suggesting the food is good now? You are not recalling your experience other than to say, "Go there for food and ambience that are great!" – Yosef Baskin Feb 16 '17 at 21:22
  • To CYA, say "were". Anything can happen to a restaurant overnight. Say "were great then" for the ten year ago case. – ab2 Feb 17 '17 at 0:45

Both are and were will be correct, but using are it gives the connotation that the food is usually good because you have tried it more than once or perhaps you have heard that it is good often. Using were it would imply that precisely that day the food and the ambience were good.

If it was ten years ago, the answer would be more necessarily using were considering that in this case specifies a certain occasion in the past.

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  • +1 for the first paragraph. Your second paragraph is comprehensible, but the grammar could be improved. – WS2 Feb 16 '17 at 21:35
  • Could you tell me how to do it? Thanks you for advice!! – Daniel Feb 16 '17 at 23:36
  • How about: If it was ten years ago, the answer would be were, since it would be about a past occasion, and have little relevance to the present. – WS2 Mar 31 '17 at 16:04

As the greatness of food and ambience are somewhat subjective, you can sidestep the question by saying, "My wife and I went there yesterday, and we enjoyed the food and the ambience."

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