I couldn't load all the boxes because my car was too small.

There were a few boxes to take to somewhere using my car. But as my car was too small, which is the same car of mine still now, I couldn't load all the boxes into my car. Regarding the fact the car used at that time is still the same car of mine now, can I also speak as follows? If then, which is more natural to say?

I couldn't load all the boxes because my car is too small.

  • 1
    Yes, it's possible. – user178049 Mar 23 '17 at 8:04
  • @user178049 Thank you. But can you give more detail regarding any difference between them? – Smart Humanism Mar 23 '17 at 8:12
  • 2
    As you yourself stated, the latter is used if you think that the statement is still true. But I believe that even though the statement is still true, past simple is stil fine in the sub clause. – user178049 Mar 23 '17 at 8:14
  • 1
    I agree with user178049 that both are used in spoken English, but I do think simple present is the only technically-correct one if you want to convey that your car is still too small. If you use simple past, the listener would have to ask, "So is your car still too small now?" to clarify. – Teacher KSHuang Mar 23 '17 at 8:49

As user178049 and Teacher KSHuang stated in the comments, it is correct to use the present tense in the subordinate clause, even though the main clause is in past tense, as long as it is still true or valid until now.

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