I have a question that makes me confused for a long time. In the speaking test at school, I said: "India exported the most rice in the world". Then, my teacher said I should use: "India exports the most rice in the world", instead. But I used past simple just because I think this country used to export the most rice but now it didn't. Please explain to me! I'm sometimes really confused with the present simple. Thank you in advance!!!

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    You need to first know if the statement is still true or not. If it isn't still true, then any present tense is wrong. If it was true, but isn't now, then something in a past tense should be used. (It doesn't need to be the simple past, but it could be.) You were actually debating both facts and grammar with your teacher at the same time, and you needed to settle the fact issue before settling the grammar issue. – Jason Bassford Aug 8 '19 at 3:32
  • Thank you for your answer! It's really helpful for me. But I still don't understand a little bit: If my teacher and I think the fact is different from each other, for example, my teacher thinks the fact is true and he uses present simple while I think the fact is no longer truth and uses the past tense. How can I solve this problem? I'm completely struggling with tense.! – lng Aug 8 '19 at 4:02
  • You are both correct based on your interpretations of the fact. In short, neither one of you is using incorrect grammar when describing your belief. Your teacher can only challenge you on your belief of the fact. But if they teach English, then that doesn't seem appropriate. In terms of grammar, what you wrote is fine according to the belief you held. Only if they teach economics (or something else that would make them an expert on India's global exportation of rice)—or if they can point to some authoritative source—could they reasonably claim you are wrong. – Jason Bassford Aug 8 '19 at 13:58

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