I went to see the movie Black Panther this morning. At night, my friend asked me about the movie. Should I say "The movie was great." or "The movie is great."?

  • It's not exactly the same as I told him my name was Unni, but the same general principle applies that the choice of tense depends on the temporal perspective of the speaker (time of speaking, or time being spoken of). Feb 17 '18 at 18:17
  • So if i say movie was great, does it mean the movie is not great now? :( @fumblefingers
    – Unni Babu
    Feb 17 '18 at 18:18
  • Not at all! You could in theory contrive a context like When I saw the movie 40 years ago it was great. But times have changed, and everyone today agrees it's an absolutely appalling piece of racist claptrap. But mostly we assume a good movie is, was, and always will be a good movie, so it doesn't matter if you give your opinion of it relative to what you thought when you saw it, or what you think "now". Feb 17 '18 at 18:36

You could use either. In practice, you would probably match the tense of the question.

Friend: Did you enjoy yourself last night?
You: Yes, I saw Black Panther, and it was great.

Friend: What do you think about Black Panther
You: It's a great movie.

If you are talking about the movie say "It is great". If you are talking about your night out say "It was great".

  • 1
    Yes, although I'd say rather match the tense to what you've got in mind: If you elect to give your opinion of the movie say "It is great". If you choose to comment about your night out say "It was great". Feb 17 '18 at 21:55

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