It was / is in Paris that she was brought up.

It was / is in this house that he lived.

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    It's actually kind of an interesting question... consider the sentence "This is the place where he lived" – reas0n Jun 10 '16 at 16:24
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    @nicael: You may not like the usage, but most of the 80 written instances of It is here where he first are followed by a past tense verb form. English isn't like computer languages or mathematical equations - it doesn't have to be (temporally or otherwise) consistent to the nth degree. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 10 '16 at 16:28
  • @Fumble Let me agree with you, I got the sentence slightly differently. – nicael Jun 10 '16 at 16:52

Both of you sentences are placed in the past

she was brought up
that he lived

so using "was" would be correct.

You may be getting confused since, for example, a tour guide might say

It is in this house, that he spent his early years.

since they may be trying to emphasize the location, it is understandable, acceptable, and does get used.

  • @FumbleFingers I agree, that's why I gave the example using "is" which might be confusing to an ELL since they would probably have been taught to use the past tense. I wouldn't say using "is" is the "most common usage" either, only that it does happen. There are a lot of gotchas in English which an ELL'er could get confused by. – Peter Jun 10 '16 at 17:10
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    I didn't mean to imply It is here that X happened is a "common" usage - my guess is that It was here... would be far more common. I'm just saying that neither tense is inherently either correct or incorrect, so it's misleading to characterize one as being not as correct as the other. Purely speculation, but I suspect using is is more likely if the speaker & audience are literally at the relevant location (as opposed to "here" figuratively referencing whatever is currently being spoken of). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 10 '16 at 17:17
  • Correct, that's why I said used by a tour guide. I was meaning "not as correct" since formally in school one would be taught to use the past tense. – Peter Jun 10 '16 at 17:20
  • It is/was in this house both emphasize the location, so what's the difference? – V.V. Jun 10 '16 at 17:23
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    @V.V.: The difference is that present tense emphasizes the "here and now" attribute of the location (i.e. - the referent is right here, as I speak, in this place). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 10 '16 at 17:27

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