3

Is it correct to say

What was your happiest moment in 2015?

or

What is your happiest moment in 2015?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jan 21 '16 at 10:28

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

  • 1
    2015 is over, your happiest moment is over. Therefore, it was your happiest moment. – jera Jan 15 '16 at 13:43
  • If you want to bring the question into the present, you can ask "What is your happiest memory from 2015?" or "What do you remember as being your happiest moment in 2015?" – Sven Yargs Jan 20 '16 at 17:59
  • What is your happiest moment of 2015? is fine. – GoDucks Jan 21 '16 at 16:54
6

2015 is in the past. Therefore, a "moment in 2015" is also in the past. "What" grammatically means the same as "your happiest moment in 2015", so its verb must be past tense.

Use "WAS".

  • Precisely. Upvote from me. – Benjamin Harman Jan 15 '16 at 13:52
  • 2
    It's dangerous to go alone, take my upvote! Incidentally Stanley, you could also say "What is your favourite moment from 2015?" – John Clifford Jan 15 '16 at 13:56
1

Normally we would use was, because normally we think of 2015 as complete and belonging to the past, and therefore we would use the past tense.

Using is is possible if 2015 is thought of as "present." For example, if the person you are taking to

1 thinks it is still 2015
2 too drunk to know that 2015 is over
3 has time travelled back to 2015
4 has been hypnotized to believe it is 2015
5 is reenacting 2015
6 is always in 2015

you could ask her What is your happiest moment in 2015?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy