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The past tense is silent with respect to whether the past assertion is now true. There is no implication that it is or may be no longer valid. "I suggested that the word zeitgeist was of German origin" is simply a statement of what was suggested, without reference to the present. You do not have to change was to is if your intention is to recount or relate what you had suggested.

This is a comment to a question done by MrTROMANO I just would like to know why he used "had suggested" , why did he use past perfect , seems strange as in the other sentence he used past simple , is it to emphasize the suggestion or does it mean you had suggested before you asked the question

  • It might "seem strange" to you as a non-native speaker, but most native speakers don't pay anywhere near as much attention to whether and how Past Perfect is used as learners do. Strictly speaking it's at the very least "unnecessary" in your specific example, but I don't think that makes it "incorrect". And I'd probably never have noticed that extraneous had if you hadn't flagged it up. Semantically it's perfectly reasonable, since any hypothetical "need to change" could only occur after making the suggestion using the "original" verb form (at a time further back in the past). – FumbleFingers May 17 '17 at 17:11
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As @FumbleFingers said, native speakers often pay little attention to past simple vs past perfect, and it wouldn't be incorrect to use other tenses here. However, I think it is best as written. Here's why:

The first occurrence doesn't have a person explicitly involved, so I can't easily follow the same phrasing [person] had suggested that we find later in the paragraph. I could use had been suggested instead (unless I'm mistaken and that's some other tense!). But I find this extra wordiness makes our sentence less concise, and perhaps adds unnecessary emphasis to this phrase.

"I suggested that the word zeitgeist was of German origin" is simply a statement of what had been suggested, without reference to the present.

For the second occurrence, I find the sentence to end slightly abruptly without the had. In some cases, such abruptness could be desired, but I don't think that's a good thing here.

You do not have to change was to is if your intention is to recount or relate what you suggested.

And finally, I don't find the change in tense to be jarring: the difference between past simple and past perfect is minor, and is not being used here to denote any real difference or emphasis.

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