JERRY: Is that it? Got the cue tips, got the mini-umbrella,

something boring to read on the plane. [zips his bag with

exaggerated motions] That’s it. Done!

ELAINE: [claps her hands] [color=red]That is the single greatest packing

performance I have ever seen.


I have always seen “That was great” or “That was good” or something like that before, why does Elaine here use “That is…”?



‘That is’ in the sentence simply introduces the comment: [i]the single greatest packing

performance I have ever seen.[/i]


Then what about these:

  1. That was great!
  2. That was a great performance!
    3.That was the greatest performance (I have ever seen)!


‘That was’ - past tense, even though it may still be the greatest performance ever seen.

That is - present tense. Emphasises that it is still current.

Both are fine and often a matter of preference.


If you use the past, then it follows you are referring to the past. Don’t make the tenses more difficult than they are, please!


I find it extremely difficult figure out if it should be referred to as the past or the present.

Like when Elaine says “That is …”, to me, the performance has happened, and it should be considered as the past. But there is no such thing as clear cut.

So, “past” or “present”? This is really killing me. :stuck_out_tongue:

We don’t want it to kill you! If someone says something to you which you think is clever, you can say either: That’s a good idea or That was a good idea. It depends on your perspective. If you say: that’s a good idea, then it (the idea) is still in your mind and you are thinking about it. If you say: That was a good idea, then it (the idea) was in your mind and you have moved on to another idea.

Any better?


Heh heh, I won’t die that easily, for you guys are always here to help me out. :stuck_out_tongue: