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I searched the Internet widely but I can only find the phrase "I dread to think" in present form. Could it be used in past tense as: "He dreaded to think what might happen next."

Dread as the main verb.

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  • Yes it can be used in the past
    – gotube
    Oct 8 '21 at 7:31
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It's correct.

"He dreaded to think what might happen next."

Dreaded is the only word that can be changed to its past tense form. Since changing either think and happen to its past tense form makes this,

"He dread to thought what might happen next."

and

"He dread to think what might happened next."

As you can see, both sound utterly wrong and are grammatically incorrect. Although you can also use dreads, which makes the sentence sound natural. Which makes,

"He dreads to think what might happen next."

The word might can also be changed to its past tense form

"He dread to think what might have happened next."

Overall, you can choose what you'll use out of these 2 phrases,

"He dreads to think what might have happened next."

or

"He dreaded to think what might have happened next."

  • Regular verbs' of past tense and past participle are formed using/adding the ed form.
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  • @Sorryl'mDumb what difference does "might have happened" make to the sentence?
    – Learner
    Oct 8 '21 at 15:04
  • Secondly, is it must to use "dreaded" and "might have" together in the sentence? Does using only "dreaded" is wrong or sound unnatural?
    – Learner
    Oct 8 '21 at 15:10
  • Oh, sorry I was offline. Adding both dreaded and might have happened makes the sentence look much richer and natural. No, it doesn't have to use both words. Your sentence was correct, mine was just a choice. Oct 9 '21 at 1:29

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