Is it okay to say was even though it still is the case?

He had his xray this morning and it was normal.

He had his xray this morning and it’s normal.


1 Answer 1


It is correct to say "it was normal". You are reporting the interpretation of the x-ray photograph made by the doctor, and that interpretation happened in the past.

You could use the present tense, and that would be common if the photograph was available to show

He had an x-ray this morning. Here is the photograph. Fortunately, everything is normal.

  • I find it interesting that we'd be very unlikely to use was in your example - but that's entirely because it clashes so badly with preceding Here is... It would be fine with I've just seen the photograph. Fortunately, everything was normal - even though we often say Present Perfect implies "strong connection to time of speaking", that's not enough to prevent us using was there (though is would be equally natural). Sep 8, 2019 at 16:36
  • 1
    (There is of course no need for contextual props such as having the xray itself to hand to justify using present tense. It's effectively just an optional stylistic device that can be used to introduce "immediacy" to the statement.) Sep 8, 2019 at 16:39

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