So, the smallest of things give rise to questions in my head. And, I was wondering which of the following was the correct one. (or will it be, "which of the following is the correct one"?)

What I was going for was


What I was going for is

Should I keep the tenses in agreement, or could I use the tenses as I please (here as well, will it be "could I use the tenses as I pleased?" I keep finding myself in doubt when trying construct sentences of this sort knowing that it wouldn't make a huge difference if I used either of the sentences.

  • Smallest is neither singular nor plural; it is an adjective.
    – user230
    Dec 9, 2015 at 20:28
  • @DaaaahWhoosh -- It is possible to have several things that are equally small. They could be the smallest things being talked about.
    – Jasper
    Dec 9, 2015 at 21:53
  • Complete(d) sentences would be nice.
    – user20792
    Dec 9, 2015 at 23:19

2 Answers 2


Which if the following is the correct one?

Since you are currently looking for the answer to your posted question.

1) What I was going for was...
2) What I am going for is...
3) What I was going for is...
4) What I am going for was...

#1 you were trying to do something but have now stopped
#2 you are still trying to do something
#3 is not quite correct, but it's meaning can be understood to be the same as #2
#4 is incorrect and does not make sense


The answer lies in the continuity of your action. If you were 'going for something' and you've already completed it, you should use 'was'. If whatever you were 'going for' is still not over, you should use 'is', which means you may still "go for it" again.

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