I have a question about verb form.. In this example,

We started playing a basketball game on Monday(today is Thursday). The manager changed the game and we should play a soccer game but I played a basketball game because I did not know I had to play a soccer game.

So, which one makes sense or do both make sense?

  1. I thought we were playing a basketball game. I did not know that we were playing a soccer game.
  2. I thought we are playing a basketball game. I did not know that we are playing a soccer game.

I want to use thought and did not know

  • I presumed that the original Manage should read The manager (BrEng for the coach of a soccer (football) team). If the edit is wrong, please feel free to revert it back.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 17, 2022 at 12:51
  • Your example makes no sense, because you can't play basketball on a football pitch! It's I thought we were and I think we are. Feb 17, 2022 at 13:02
  • @KateBunting you can play soccer on a basketball court though.
    – Eli Harold
    Feb 17, 2022 at 14:07
  • The second one does not make sense. I use the first.
    – Eli Harold
    Feb 17, 2022 at 14:07

2 Answers 2


The second one doesn't make sense. ('Thought' is past but 'are' is present.)

The first one is correct.

I think we are...(present)

I thought we were...(past)

  • The first one, which you say is correct, reads "I think we are" but the OP hasn't written that and it would be odd to say "I think we are playing a basketball game. I did not know that we are playing a soccer game.” You probably meant to say that the first sentence in the OP's question is correct. I think this answer suffers from a lack of clarity and explanation even if the OP has selected it.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 17, 2022 at 16:35
  • The first sentence 'π—œ π˜π—΅π—Όπ˜‚π—΄π—΅π˜ π˜„π—² π˜„π—²π—Ώπ—²...' is correct. The second sentence '𝑰 π’•π’‰π’π’–π’ˆπ’‰π’• π’˜π’† 𝒂𝒓𝒆...' makes no sense. Thank you for your contribution to my comment. Feb 17, 2022 at 18:06
  • But the first sentence in your answer reads I thought we are (present)... that was my point. You could edit and say "the OP's first sentence".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 17, 2022 at 18:26

"I thought we are playing ..." doesn't make sense. "Thought" is past tense. "Are" is present tense. How could you have thought in the past that this is what you are doing now?

You could have thought about what you believed you would do in the future. But in that case we use future tense with an infinitive. "I thought we were going to play ..."

But usually, even if the game is in the future, we use past tense. "I thought we were playing ..." In this case "were playing" doesn't necessarily mean that the playing is in the past, but rather that the intent to play is in the past. It would, I suppose, make more sense to say, "I thought we were planning to play ..." And indeed people say that. But they also say simply, "I thought we were playing ..."

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