Example 1

The best thing I have ever done was/is come to Australia.

What are the differences in meaning?

Example 3

The only gambling I have ever done was/is playing Roulette.

What are the differences in meaning?

1 Answer 1


They're both grammatically correct.

The difference in meaning between them is very similar to the difference in meaning between simple past and present perfect. The simple past refers to a finished event in the past without any other nuance, while the present perfect refers to an event in the past to give information about the present.

So, in your first sentence, since the person is in Australia at the moment of speaking, there is a clear present result, so "is" makes a lot more sense.

In the second example, "was" suggests that the speaker no longer gambles, while "is" suggests that the speaker may still gamble.

That said, both "was" and "is" are technically correct in both situations, just not necessarily the more natural choice.

  • 1
    Is the come to Australia correct? I would have though it needs to be coming regardless of whether one puts is or was in front.
    – quarague
    Jul 3 at 7:45
  • 2
    @quarague To my Canadian ears, it's 100% natural, as is "coming".
    – gotube
    Jul 3 at 21:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .