Let's say I collected my mummy's money two hours ago and she asked this question:
"Who collected my money?"

Which would be the proper way to respond:

  • "I'm the one who collected the money"
  • "I was the one who collected the money."

Please explain!

  • Who collected her money, you mean. You can use either one. But this boils down to correcting text or editing it.
    – Lambie
    Oct 6, 2023 at 14:38
  • 2
    @Lambie the possessive isn't necessary since it's clear from context whose money it is/was.
    – relaxing
    Oct 6, 2023 at 16:47
  • Not relevant to the answer, but I assume you are an adult (or at least 16+) Using "mummy" like that is childish. Adults say "mother" or casually "mum" / "mom"
    – James K
    Oct 6, 2023 at 19:55
  • 1
    Questions asking if something is correct may be helpful to you in the moment, but they're not questions about learning English. Please edit your question to tell us what aspect of learning English you are actually asking about so we can explain why the answer is the way it is. For instance, do you want to know whether it's correct to use simple present or simple past when asking about who did something in the past?
    – gotube
    Oct 7, 2023 at 1:59

3 Answers 3



You don't in normal conversation repeat elements that are in the question. So the proper way to use a shortened sentence

Who collected my money?

I did.


Who collected my money?


A full sentence repeating "collect the money" isn't required and would be considered a strange way to answer. Other possibilities: "That was me", "I collected it".


Either is correct and they mean the same thing.

"Collected" is past tense, so the action was in the past. At the time the collecting was done, you were the one who did it, so you could say "I was". But you are still the same person now, so it is also correct to say "I am".


Both sentences place the collection of the money in the past:

... who collected the money.

The past tense "I was the one" refers to the situation in the past. For example:

Cousin Joe and I were drawing lots to see who should collect the money. I drew the shorter straw, so I was the one who collected the money.

The present tense "I am the one" refers to the current state of affairs. You are the person responsible for carrying out that action, and your responsibility extends into the present.

I am the one who collected the money. If there are to be any consequences for that action, I am the one who must suffer them.

P.S. But I do not really understand what "to collect mummy's money" means. Does it mean "to remove the money surreptitiously from her purse"? Or does it mean something like "Went to a person for whom your mother did some work, and asked for payment"? Or "to gather up some loose coins or hers, from her desk, for example, or perhaps some paper bills from the pocket of a blouse in the laundry basket"?

You must log in to answer this question.

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