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"Oscar Wilde wrote the novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

(Rewrite this sentence, using the noun from of the verb "wrote".)

[1] Oscar Wilde was the writer of the novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray".

[2] Oscar Wilde is the writer of the novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray".

If [2] is right, please explain whether it's ok to change the tense of the original sentence. If [1] is right, please explain why [2] isn't correct.

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2 Answers 2

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Both your sentences are grammatically correct, but their meanings are slightly different.

The first sentence means that the writer is dead, but the writer is still alive in the second sentence.

The original sentence doesn't imply whether the writer is alive or not.

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Oscar Wilde is the writer of the novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

is certainly correct since he is always the author of the book. The author hasn't changed even if he is dead now. Has he/she?
As per your main sentence:

Oscar Wilde wrote the novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

It could be correct, but it depends on whether you have mentioned the exact time she/he wrote the book or not. Also, it can be used if the time is specific and so clear to the reader, but you have not mentioned that. IF none of this exists in your text then, it is strongly advisable to use "present perfect".(In case you don't know, present perfect can be used for the past events, whether distant past or near, if we don't mention the time that the event occurred.)

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