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What is the meaning of ‘It was the best ever?’ Is it different to ‘It is the best ever?’

I am just confused by simple past and it last ever. ( It was the best ever)

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  • Do you know the difference between simple past and simple present?
    – gotube
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 17:06
  • I kind of know. I am just confused by simple past and it last ever. ( It was the best ever) Commented May 29, 2023 at 17:08

3 Answers 3

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A meal in a restaurant:

This is the best ever. [as we enjoy it now.]

That was the best ever. [when we refer to the meal in the past]

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"Ever" means "of all time", but the exact meaning changes with the tense.

When used in the present, "ever" includes up to the present. When used in the past, it may include the present, or it may only include the time up to that point in the past.

So, "It is the best ever" means it's the best of all time, up to the present. "It was the best ever" means either it was the best up to that point in time, and a better one may have happened since then, or it includes up to the present.

So, "Michael Jordan was the best player of all time" could mean that at he was once considered the best player of all time, but someone else has since surpassed him, or it could mean he is still the best of all time, just no longer active.

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  • If it is used for forever? It was hate forever. ( If it’s possible to exist this meaning) vs It is hate forever. Commented May 29, 2023 at 17:55
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    Are you asking about "ever" or "forever"? They're different words. Your example sentences don't make sense.
    – gotube
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 20:35
  • So I will better start a new question.. Commented May 30, 2023 at 14:47
  • Not sure I agree with that. If I say "Michael Jordan was the best ever" I don't mean he was the best up to then, and there may have been someone better since. I mean nobody, before or since, has ever been as good as he was at his prime - but he is no longer the best player. I think I would say the same about a meal, since the meal no longer exists - but it was the best ever.
    – nasch
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 19:54
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    @nasch Good catch. I agree it could mean he's still the best ever, and I have edited my answer. I think it could also mean he once was considered the best ever, but has since been surpassed, that it's ambiguous which it means.
    – gotube
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 23:42
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Use "is the best ever" if the thing is currently happening, or ongoing.

"This salad is the best ever" (current)
"Peaches are the best fruit ever" (ongoing)
"Reading is the best hobby ever" (ongoing)

Use "was the best ever" if the thing was specifically something in the past.

"That salad we ate last year was the best ever."
"That vacation was the best ever."


In the context of a person, use "is" if the person is still in the role/relationship you are talking about, and "was" if they're not in that role/relationship anymore.

"Mr. Smith was the best teacher ever."

This implies that Mr. Smith is no longer the speaker's teacher. This is correct even if Mr. Smith is still working as a teacher, as long as the speaker's relationship to Mr. Smith has changed.

"Shohei Ohtani is the best baseball player ever"

Here, "was" feels wrong because Ohtani is still playing baseball.

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  • Note that for people, sometimes both can be correct. "Bach is the best composer ever" and "Bach was the best composer ever" are about the same, and both feel correct to my ear.
    – Kaia
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 19:57

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