According to the sequence of tenses in the following sentence, which should be used, 'is' or 'was'?

She got a well-paid job as she is/was proficient in both English and Chinese.

  • 'is' because she is still proficient in the languages unless she is now otherwise.
    – holydragon
    Jul 2, 2018 at 6:51

2 Answers 2


Depends on the context.

If it is recent and the effects are still applied, I'd use 'is.'

She got the job as she's proficient in both English and Chinese

But, should it be a distant past, I'd use was (especially in storytelling).

He got the job as a gym trainer as he was very strong and in shape


Although it seems logical to apply the present tense, which can imply a continuous state of being, to her dual qualifications of speaking both English and Chinese, the correct choice in context is to use the past tense of was.

The usage in the balance of the sentence is determined by the opening usage of what her qualifications were at the time, in the past, when she received the well-paid job.

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