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I have scored incredibly low at English testing in Russian university, so low that I was shocked myself. It could be an standartized testing fault but I doubt. The principle of that test was to fill gaps with verbs in correct tense. Here is the reported errors that I've got and some assumptions:

A: Is it a new camera?

B: No, I [...] it for a long time.

My old answer: had.

My assumption: had owned.


A: This is a nice restaraunt. Do you come here often?

B: No, it's the first time I [...] here.

My old answer: came.

My assumption: am.


A: Do you play any sport?

B: No, I [...] football, but I gave it up.

My old answer: played.

My assumption: had been playing.


A: I'm sorry I'm late.

B: That's OK. I [...] long.

My old answer: have not waited.

My assumption: -.


A: When you went to the US last year, was it your first visit?

B: No, I [...] there twice before.

My old answer: have been.

My assumption: went.


A: Will you still be here by the time I get back?

B: No, I [...] by then.

My old answer: will have to leave.

My assumption: have to leave.


Tell me was my answers wrong and are the assumptions wrong too. I'm starting to doubt do I even know English and I'm starting to think that what I'm writing right now have no real meaning at all.

Tell me also what grammatical errors do I have in this message. If it's too many, then don't waste your time for all of them, name just a few.

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    Your English is good enough for you to pose your question perfectly clearly. But you will need help doing tests such as these, because unfortunately all of your assumptions are as incorrect as your initial answers. I suggest you ask one question at a time, since each of them will need its own quite complex explanation. – Shoe Dec 23 '14 at 14:43
  • I agree with @Shoe. While your grammar needs improvement, your vocabulary seems pretty good and you're able to express what you mean perfectly fine. If you focus on your grammar you'll see your score in this kind of tests rise quickly, so don't be too hard on yourself! – QOI Dec 23 '14 at 14:47
  • Either your test setters are incompetent, or you've made some transcription errors (for example, the penultimate one should obviously start with "When you went to the US last year, was it your first visit?"). And unless you were presented with multiple choice "answers" where only one could possibly be valid, the questions would be meaningless anyway. In that penultimate example, had been, have been, went, and was are all valid, though some might be favoured or eliminated by more details about the exact full context. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Dec 23 '14 at 14:49
  • @FumbleFingers yes, you're right, I've made an transcription error. It has been fixed. – Maksim Medvedev Dec 23 '14 at 16:45
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A: Is it a new camera?

B: No, I have/'ve had it for a long time.

Present perfect, you use to talk about something in the past that may still be happening now, i.e. you still have your camera.

A: This is a nice restaraunt. Do you come here often?

B: No, it's the first time I come here.

Present simple, you are talking about now. Am had the right tense, came, the right verb.

A: Do you play any sport?

B: No, I used to play football, but I gave it up.

You use used to + infinitive to talk about things that happened in the past over a period of time but not anymore.

A: I'm sorry I'm late.

B: That's OK. I haven't been waiting for long.

Present perfect continuous, you use it to talk about past events that are still ongoing in the present.

A: When you went to US last year, was it your last visit?

B: No, I have been there twice before.

I think you were right on this one. Also, I think last in sentence A should have been frist, according to the answer provided.

A: Will you still be here by the time I get back?

B: No, I will have left by then.

Future perfect. This tense is tricky, you use it to talk about something (leave) that will happen between now and another event in the future (the time I get back).

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    You've got the second one wrong - "No, it's the first time I come here" would never be valid. A feasible response might be "No, it's the first time I have come here", but in practice "No, it's the first time I have been here" is far more likely (and as you say, I have would normally be contracted to I've in such contexts). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Dec 23 '14 at 17:30
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    A: When you went to the US last year, was it your last visit? B: No, I have been there twice before. I suppose this works, but my first answer would be had been. The sentence starts out by setting a time frame in the past (When you went to the US last year....) then asking to reflect on events prior to that time frame ( was it your first visit? ). Past perfect is the natural tense for response. – Adam Dec 23 '14 at 18:56
  • Everyone seems to have got the "When you went to the US last year, was it your last visit?" one wrong. Whether you went there before is irrelevant to whether it was your last visit: what matters is whether you have been since. – digitig Dec 24 '14 at 14:15
  • @digitig You are suggesting that the Q is actually meant to query whether last year's visit was the most recent one? If that is so, then yes, "what matters is whether you have been since." In that case though, the word when is out of place. Of course it was the most recent visit at that time. Either the Q: should be "Was your visit to the US last year your last one?" (no "when") and the answer should use have been and since -- OR -- the Q should read "first visit" and the answer should use had been and before. The latter possibility requires fewer changes to the Q. – Adam Dec 24 '14 at 18:35
  • Sorry, I did misread it! Must pay more attention! – digitig Dec 26 '14 at 14:19

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