This is my sentence:

Human used collaborative filtering since the beginning of the history. For example, while discovering fruits, if a man was hungry and he found a new fruit, he would check what happened to the other people who have eaten it before in order to decide if it is healthy of poisoned.

Actually it is the whole context I have. My question is: is it correct to use past tense like i did ? or it is better to use present because it is a fact?

  • The past tense show completed actions with no present results. If you intend to focus on situations which are permanent in the present, use the present perfect tense instead, or the present simple for facts.
    – Schwale
    Aug 5, 2016 at 15:05
  • There's a couple minor issues not related to tense in your sentence, btw - "Humans used" not "Human used", and "healthy or poisoned" not "of". Maybe just typos though :) I would also consider using "poisonous" instead, as "poisoned" implies it was deliberately made bad to eat.
    – user812786
    Aug 5, 2016 at 15:07
  • @whrrgarbl thank you, I've asked a new question, could you check please? Aug 5, 2016 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


The way you wrote it sounds "most correct" to me, as a native English speaker. Since your context is talking about history, it makes sense to describe the historical scenario of finding a new fruit in the past tense. This doesn't happen often in present time, so it would be grammatical but odd to describe it happening in present tense.

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