Questions tagged [past-simple]

Questions related to the past simple, simple past or preterite, which is mainly used to describe events in the past.

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12 views

“It was a present” or “it is a present” in context?

Do I have to say it is a present or it was a present when a person owns something and they want to say that they were given the thing as a present. For example: Person A: When did you buy the ...
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Past Simple or Past Perfect in this situation

Hi what is the correct answer to this question?Please explain your reason. For a While, during the 1990s, Sofia Coppola ...... at California institute of arts, but she .... the course and decided ...
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Wish + Simple Past or Would?

I've been struggling to know the difference, even though I've done research about it. Could you tell the difference between those 2? Examples: Why do we say: I wish it'd stop raining And not: ...
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When someone says “I have decided to do something” does that mean they haven't done the thing as opposed when they say “I decided…”?

When someone says I have decided to do something does that mean they haven't done the thing as opposed when they say I decided to do something? For example: Kate has decided to go to the US ...
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How to chose between the present perfect and the preterite form of a verb?

In the situation in which I want to say to someone on seeing them again after many months that I could not wait to see them again, should I say: "I missed you so much." or "I have missed you so much."?...
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“he told them, but he forgot to…” vs. “he had told them, but he forgot to…”

Should I use past simple or past perfect? (Cloze test) He ____ all students to do it, but he forgot to do so. had told told My friends answered 2. because they think that it is parallel structure ...
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18 views

Should I use the preterite or the present perfect?

I haven't seen my family for three years (now). Should I say "It's been three long years since I haven't seen my family" or "it's been three long years since I last saw my family" or "It's" in the ...
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2answers
28 views

Do I use “the present perfect” or “the past simple” when seeing someone the first time after not seeing them for a while?

Let's say I haven't seen my friend for quite some time. And I am out for a walk. I am going down the street and run into my friend. Do I have to use the present perfect or past simple in this context? ...
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60 views

Can present perfect be used for events occurred long time ago?

I had a discussion with my mate about the usage of present perfect tense, and he raised the point that it can only be used for recent past events. First off, it's illogical, because we can't agree ...
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Does the sentence “I read a book yesterday ” mean that the book was finished?

Let's say I ask someone what did you do yesterday and they answer with I read a book yesterday. Does that mean they read the book till the end? If so, then how do I say that I read a book, but I didn'...
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Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Simple

My teacher says that it's not correct to answer the test "How long (rain) yesterday?" as "How long did it rain yesterday?" She says there is only one way to do the problem with "how long" in the past ...
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The use of the past perfect and the past simple after the present perfect

Tell me please if there is any difference between the following sentences. I have tried to fix a phone I broke, but I couldn't. I have tried to fix a phone I had broken, but I couldn't. Until ...
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153 views

“just went to [place] last September” vs “have just gone to [place] last September”

May I know are the following two sentences grammatical and idiomatic? I just went to Venice last September I've just gone to Venice last September
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Best type of past for a questionnaire

I'm writing a medical questionnaire in English. My doubt is related to the best type of past that I should use in the questions, I'll write an example and see if some native speaker can explain better....
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What is the difference between “everything we studied before/earlier” and “everything we have studied before/earlier”?

Tell me please if there is any difference in meaning between the following sentences. In this class we are going to review everything we studied before. In this class we are going to review ...
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How do I tell my teacher what I had to do in my homework?

I don't know how to describe my homework task, I mean I don't know which tense to use. For example: I have done my homework, where I had to review requirements, execute test cases and report a ...
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32 views

past tense in since-clauses

I have an ongoing discussion with my lecturer about "since" and the past tense. We had a German translation from "A song of ice and fire" and had to translate it back to English. My translation: "He ...
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59 views

What is the correct way to indicate a state which lasted before an action?

I have difficulty understanding the usage of the English Past Tenses. Here's the first sentence and a picture which shows the state and the action in time: I was kind to them for a month before I ...
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37 views

I (had / have had) no idea

Which is correct: I (had / have had) no idea you were such a good chess player. The book said that 'had' is correct, but why? Why the present perfect is not correct?
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Were married or had been married for 14 years before divorcing in 2016?

Which tense is correct to use? "they were married for 14 years before divorcing in 2016" or "they had been married for 14 years before divorcing in 2016" There's a relative event mentioned, i.e. ...
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1answer
59 views

You do not use 'for' with past simple? Really?

This book (made by a Korean) says you have to use 'since' or 'for' with present perfect, so you can't use 'for' with past simple. Seriously? ಠ‸ಠ (I'm confused) He [worked / has worked] at the same ...
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Past tense and simultaneous events: do you use two Past Progressive or two Past Simple?

I was told that for two simultaneous events occurring in the past, you should use Past Progressive, such as: "While I was setting the table, she was cooking dinner." But that two Past Simple ...
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when can we use simple past instead of present perfect?

here are some examples from a grammar book : you can use the present perfect for new information: "I've decided to quit my job." "Really? Why?" We've sold our car. Now we take the bus ...
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past tense vs present perfect vs past perfect

These are the words spoken by a cinema hero, about fight sequences in a newspaper interview But I have done riskier action scenes in my prime. Why "have done (present perfect format)" is used here?...
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“everyone has read that book in high school” — “has read” vs. “read”

I feel like virtually everyone has read that book in high school. (The book in question is To Kill a Mockingbird.) Would it be correct to use the simple past here, provided that the speaker has ...
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Is it ok to use past simple where past perfect actually would be more precise?

I could say: I had been shown a footage. Or: I was shown a footage. Or: I saw a footage. I still can say about it using past simple, like it happened at some time in the past. Right?
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Our holiday cost a lot of money

Our holiday was cost a lot of money because we stayed in an expensive hotel. vs Our holiday cost a lot of money because we stayed in an expensive hotel. What sentence is correct? If the ...
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doubt between Past Continuous and Past Simple

In the book English Grammar In Use by Raymond Murphy they gave the example for Past Continuous - ´Today Helen is wearing a skirt. Yesterday she was wearing trousers´. Please explain to me why it isn´t ...
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28 views

I forgot or I had forgotten in this example?

Example: After leaving the grocery store, it dawned on me that I forgot to buy a cucumber. In my opinion "I forgot" should be "I had forgotten". What is correct?
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The main differences between Simple Past and Present Perfect

I'm writing this because: I kind of know the differences between them, but, when I see a native speaker or when I see it in a sentence, I get confused; I'm also not confident to know when to use ...
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1answer
31 views

Been there or Were there in this sentence? - Tense-Usage

Look at the bold clause He's been to France. It was fun. Although, he already was/has been here before. Which one should I use? I mean, to me, since the context creates some sort of timeline, I ...
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Which one to use here? Did not or had not?

Friend: •does something stupid• Me: I did not expect you'd do this. OR I had not expected you to do this I think the act of expecting is happening before the reference point which is when the ...
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People have traveled to the Moon / People traveled to the Moon

What is difference? Which of sentences is more natural? On the one hand We often use the present perfect to list the accomplishments of individuals and humanity. You cannot mention a specific ...
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29 views

Why do we express Past Simple Tense in such ways?

At 16, Brian Banks, a star football player on his way to USC, had his life destroyed when he was arrested and charged with rape. Wanetta Gibson, his classmate, falsely accused him of dragging ...
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which is more common to use?

There is a text book example that says "Why are you so sweaty? I've been cutting the grass." Because the sweating is a consequence of the action of cutting. Can I say: "Because I just cut the grass?...
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Past simple after 'saw'?

Is it possible to use past simple after verbs like 'see, hear...etc'? The following is a sentence from a school book: The economic success of the 1960s and 1970s saw Arabian Gulf countries ...
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Confusion with past and past perfect tense usage

I want to write a narrative in simple past tense. I have some confusion regarding the usage of past and past perfect tense. Kindly read the below narrative and provide guidance. He asked me why I ...
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1answer
57 views

congruence of tenses

A recent exchange between a student and I: ME: I have found a technique for doing …. HER: How have you found it? 
 Why not ask, “How have you found it?” Why is the simple past tense correct, ...
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Why do they correct simple past to present perfect here?

I've often found online articles where corrections are made to signify a different tense where I think there's no need to. For example: ... he tells BBC Culture. “... I [have] always felt like they ...
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Simple Past and Present Perfect in the daily basis

I would like to ask some things about differences between Simple Past and Present Perfect (because I only know how to use them in a few cases and I just only know how to use them grammactly correct, ...
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Past Perfect can use specific time?

(https://i.stack.imgur.com/MhBHk.jpg) We ... at the airport at six o'clock    a arrived    b had arrived    c were arriving All my English teachers have told ...
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28 views

Word-usage: “[…] that has had/ had everything…”

Could you guys see this sentence and say if I should use Present Perfect or Past Simple? Haven't you heard the story about a character that has had / had everything and still hasn't been / wasn't ...
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33 views

Phrase-usage: Where has this come from? Or Where did this come from?

Something that is confusing me is: Hey dude, Where has this come/ did this come from? I know how to use Present Perfect, but, I don't know if using here sounds natural. Can I use both? But, of ...
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Sentence-Usage : “How long has this been empty for?” Or “How long was this empty for?”

I'm asking this because I have a feeling that if I say How long has this been empty for? , It would be like an ongoing action. For example: A: How long has the dog's bowl been empty for? For ...
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“What is the price of the phone you bought” or “What was the price of the phone you bought”?

Is there any difference in meaning between the following sentences? What is the price of the phone you bought? What was the price of the phone you bought? I think that the first sentence ...
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46 views

As a child, I never saw/have seen this movie, and I still feel sad for that

I know that the Present Perfect is used for events which: occurred in an imprecise point of the past and are "connected with the present". However, this last definition seems vague and subjective ...
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240 views

“it has been been…today” vs. “It was…today”

Edited Is it correct to the say: It has been been attempted to deliver today. My concern here is that I have mentioned “today “ so I think I have to use past simple always. Is it? It was attempted ...
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103 views

Verb + ed for Present Tense

Is the sentence below in present tense or past tense? I just entered my house. If we give context to the above sentence, can we fit this in both the tenses? a) I just entered my house to see ...
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45 views

The difference between Past Simple vs Past Continuous vs Used to & every day

Which tense should I use if I was on holidays which lasted 2 weeks and during that time I rode a bike every day? It was a great time because I rode a bike every day. It was a great time ...
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If we used or if we have used

I'm wondering which one of these two sentences is correct? And if they both are correct, then what's the difference between them? For displacement maps we use 32 bit depth images in order to avoid ...

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