Here's the context.

A couple of days ago, I was playing basketball by myself without any friends. I mean I played basketball with people that I’ve never met before.And a couple of minutes after the game was over, a girl approached me and asked me to play basketball with her. As it was something that I(’d/'ve) dreamed of experiencing for a long time, playing basket ball with a girl, so I said yes.

Here I think 'd works here because it is referring to a state before I met the girl. Am I right?


You are quite right. It may be true, as other answerers suggest, that the dream continues into the present (although ordinarily we would assume that once it was fulfilled it ceased to be a 'dream', an ambition); but you cite that dream as the reason for your past action. Consequently, it is the dream which led up to that time which you are evoking, and the past perfect is appropriate.


You should use "had dreamed" because when the time girl asked you to play basketball with her your dream become true.


You should use I've dreamed, which is present perfect - read bellow a good definition for it :

We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important.

You CANNOT use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day, etc.

We CAN use the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.

Find here 5 uses of Present Perfect and lots of examples of how to use it.

Present Perfect form : has/have + past participle

By the way, dream is an irregular verb, but you can use dreamed, as well as dreamt (there are not many verbs that accepts 2 forms for past participle).

On the other hand, why to not use would ? First, the definiton :

Would is most commonly used to create conditional verb forms. It also serves as the past form of the modal verb "will."

e.g. If I were president, I would cut the cost of education.

Meaning : I'm not president, but I were, I would do this and this..

For more information - here.

Would is also the past of will in various senses.

Acording to this definition, I'd dreamed/dreamt may be correct, but you'd better use I've dreamed/dreamt

  • I think you're misunderstanding 'd as would, when in fact it represents had. Incidentally, it is not specific temporals which cannot be used with the present perfect, but temporals which do not include the present, because the present perfect is a present tense. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 7 '15 at 6:57

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