The source is BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1535_questionanswer/page42.shtml

At the beginning, it uses simple present:

This is a very interesting question,

Why does it use simple past here:

Now, the other phrase from Abdallah's question was, "It's high time we went". This is quite an unusual structure because it has what looks like a simple past form - "went", the past of the verb "to go."

1 Answer 1


I'm not a language expert, just a native trying to help but, they are talking about the question as it has been received so is is used. Then later when was was used, it's because they have already spoken about the question and are referring back to it in the past because that was when it was first adressed.

After reading my answer, I just noticed that I did the exact same thing they did with my use of is and was.

So I'm pretty sure that they use is when first coming to the question like they have just been asked and then was when talking about it because it has already been spoken about so it is in the past.

I hope that has helped.

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