Which word is correct?

I called you because I was a little worried. I was just hoping to see you (are / were) all right.

You are still on the phone. Which is the correct thing to say?

Thanks!

5 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    The tense of the clause verb should correspond to the tense of the main verb. In this case the other verbs are all in past tense [except the infinitive 'to see'], so the correct choice would be WERE.

    I CALLED you because I WAS a little worried. I WANTED to see if you WERE all right. 

    Alternatively, all the verbs could be in present tense.

    I AM CALLING you because I AM a little worried. I AM hoping you ARE all right. 

    The first pair of sentences sounds better.

    • San2 months agoReport

      Thanks!

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  • RP
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Were is correct to correspond with called.

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  • Todd
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Both are fine. If you want to split hairs, "were" implies alright whether I actually ended up talking to you or not; 'are" implies that there is a good chance that not everything is alright, a bigger stress on the immediacy. I don't think anybody would notice such a silly difference. In any case, I would use "were" just because that would be my preference.

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  • 2 months ago

    well, this is problematic because of all of the mixed time frame issues in the entire paragraph.  I called you implies that the call is no longer happening, yet obviously it is, so you would be better to say "the reason I am calling you, or the reason for this call is..."  Given that all of the time ideas of things being part of the call depend on the timing of the call, your definition of the call as being now or in the past is critical to how you ought to phrase the remainder in time sense.

    I am calling you because I have been worrying about you, and I want to be sure that you are all right.  I called you because I had been worrying, and I wanted to be sure that you were all right.

    You have simply decided to be all over the map in terms of time, and while you have that right to do so, it makes everything that follows have no true fixed context, and thus there is no "rule" because you have chosen to be arbitrary.

    My point is that we would understand what you want to be saying even if you did not have a solid grammatical basis for how you say it.  The "rule" though requires that tenses have to agree.  You should not use the present tense to describe a past event except when a permanent truth is involved.  If the call is in the past, then the purpose of the call is also an event in the past.

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  • 2 months ago

    It doesn't really matter whether you use 'are all right' or 'were all right'. Both versions are quite acceptable, and no English speaker would think that either of them is unusual or incorrect.

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