1. “The meeting is canceled.“ “Who told you that?“
  1. “The meeting was canceled.“ “Who told you that?“

What's the exact meaning of "The meeting is canceled."?

As a non-native English speaker, I think the second sentence whose verb is "was" looks more logical and natural than the first sentence.

Is there any difference between those two?

1 Answer 1


We can use the present tense to discuss events scheduled or arranged for now or the future.

I am going (or I go) to Japan next Tuesday.

The meeting is arranged/booked for 2 PM

The meeting arranged for 2 PM is cancelled.

Meeting room 3 is booked for 2 PM to 3 PM tomorrow.

You arrive at the meeting room at 2 PM and are told 'The meeting is cancelled' or 'The meeting is postponed until 3 PM'.

Of course, it is also true use the present perfect to say (e.g.) that 'the meeting has been booked, arranged, cancelled, or postponed [by someone]'. This is because the consequences of the action (e.g. scheduling, cancellation, postponement etc) extend to the present. (Clarification thanks to @Javalatte)

The present simple tense: future plans and scheduled events

  • Agreed. We use present perfect (has been) rather than past simple (was) because the consequences of the action extend to the present.
    – JavaLatte
    Jul 20, 2022 at 7:13
  • You could also have (at 1 pm) The 3pm meeting was cancelled at 9am.
    – Peter
    Jul 20, 2022 at 7:24
  • @Peter - You could also have (at 1 pm) The 3pm meeting is cancelled. It was done at 9am by Peter Jones. Jul 20, 2022 at 7:35

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