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If a sentence is past simple (record speech), and implies a constant fact. Would the fact be in present simple or past? Such as the following two sentences:

  • she told her students the Earth revolves./revolved around the Sun once a year.

  • She opined that San Francisco had/has the most beautiful views of any city in the United States.

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The answer is: it depends. She told her students the Earth revolves around the Sun once a year. [it is a general idea, a scientific fact].

She told her students that the period was finished. [not a general proposition, finished action]

She opined that San Francisco has the most beautiful views of any US city. [a general proposition]

She opined that San Francisco had the most beautiful views of any US city until an earthquake destroyed it. [past event]

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