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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22 views

<have> never had a girlfriend

Peter is a soldier. He's been fighting in a battle for days. Suppose he's now fatally injured. He's going to die soon. Lying in the arms of his army friend, he says, I've never had a girlfriend. I'...
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2answers
56 views

We've never seen a real dinosaur

Dinosaurs were extinct long ago. We, the humans in the 21st century, have never seen a real dinosaur. We, the humans in the 21st century, never saw a real dinosaur. Why is the second sentence ...
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16 views

I was burned several times in the past

What's the difference between these two italicized sentences? I've been burned several times in the past. The only time I was badly injured was two years ago. I was burned several times in the past. ...
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1answer
39 views

in the past /before in present perfect and past simple

Does "in the past" work well both in the past simple and present perfect? Does "before" work better in the present perfect than in the past simple? Here are four groups of ...
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1answer
35 views

Why does it use simple present of "change" for a past event?

There is dialog on "The Vampire Diaries" that "my parents died and everything changes" Why is "changes" used instead of "changed" or "has changed"?
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Passive sentences

Is it correct to say the following sentences? Jack's money was stolen in the train. and My car has been stolen. I'm going to call the police. Should I use past simple or present perfect when ...
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4answers
2k views

I'm very tired because I travelled for several hours this morning

According to another thread, sentences 1, 3, and 4 are correct. But sentence 2 doesn't sound idiomatic. Would you please explain the reason? In the afternoon, I said, I'm very tired because I was ...
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2answers
43 views

Can the simple past tense be used for an unfinished action?

I was walking to the shop, but I haven’t yet arrived at the shop. And I want to inform it to someone. In this case, can I use the simple past tense (e.g. I walked to the shop)? If not, can the simple ...
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3answers
45 views

has only ever been captured once before?

In the following sentence, should "has only ever been" be re-written as "was only ever"? That portion of the sentence describes an event prior to the more recent one of more than ...
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1answer
24 views

Present or past simple as cause of action, if it still holds true

I was wondering whether I should say: I didn't prepare the report because I didn't have necessary data. or I didn't prepare the report because I don't have necessary data. if I still don't have ...
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5answers
2k views

I never saw a real hippo before

I'm in a zoo, looking at a hippo. I say to my friends, I've never seen a real hippo before. My long-standing wish's been finally satisfied. Can I change the first sentence to I never saw a real ...
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2answers
44 views

Past perfect or past simple; present perfect [closed]

I'm writing an essay in which I have these sentences, but I am not sure what tense I should use (past perfect to show that some events happened earlier than other or simple past just to show facts in ...
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1answer
44 views

I slept Vs. I was sleeping [duplicate]

She was so tired that she slept for several hours. She was so tired that she was sleeping for several hours. Do both are correct? My teacher says that the first is correct.
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Using present perfect and past simple in two phrases connected with "once"

Someone wrote a sentence in my language and asked whether the noun he used was defined (a noun is considered defined if an adjective modifies it). I said the equivalent of: In the phrase "a ...
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1answer
34 views

Never + past simple. Help me understand the meaning please

I'm reading and learning an example dialog and can't understand the meaning of this phrase: You sit there staring at the screen and taking to yourself. You never even combed your hair. You look like a ...
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0answers
27 views

Which tense is it the most natural to use when you describe something that happens in a recording?

Which tense is it the most natural to use when you describe something that happens in audio: the present simple, past simple, or past continuous. For example: We are going to listen to a recording, ...
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1answer
30 views

I had seen Arizona desert landscape before I reached California. Past Perfect vs Past Simple. Past Simple vs Gerund

I had seen Arizona desert landscape before I reached California. (For example, a person is telling the story about their journey.) Is it reasonably to use Past Perfect here, or is it unnecessary ...
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67 views

"I have made" or "I made" [duplicate]

In this sentence, Over the past few weeks I've been doing a lot of baking. I have made pizza, buns, cookies and banana bread. Those are my accomplishments. would it be okay to simply say "I ...
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0answers
42 views

I have usually liked

I found these sentences on the site where the grammar rules about the use of present perfect were explained: I have usually liked the people I worked with. I have usually liked the people I have ...
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1answer
30 views

Present perfect + past simple (sequence of tenses)

I came across these sentences: "I've found out that you lied. "I've discovered that she was untrue to me". It confuses me, because I thought, that according to the rule "...
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1answer
28 views

Wrote a song/has written a song

There is a sentence: She has written /wrote a song for him (without any additional information) Am I right by thinking that the variant of this sentence is more correct with Present perfect (has ...
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1answer
32 views

"was applied not to" or "wasn't applied to"?

I saw a sentence like this: The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied not to post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping but to financial crisis. What is the difference between "wasn'...
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2answers
74 views

"...what I did" or "...what I had done"? [duplicate]

No one knew what I did. No one knew what I had done. Which sentence is grammatically correct and what's the difference between them?
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1answer
43 views

I had got to eat burger

I know "I had had to eat burger" is the "past perfect tense" and "I had to eat burger" is "simple past tense" and we normally not use "got" in the ...
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1answer
21 views

Present Perfect or Simple Past for hypothetical situations?

I wonder what verb tense I should use when I'm making hypothetical sentences. For instance: Imagine you're writing a book with an intention in mind, and when people read your work, they get a ...
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1answer
17 views

Which tense should be used for telling short event in the past while another ongoing event is happening?

I want to tell something that I did in the past, while doing something else, and it (the second activity) is still ongoing. Suppose I want to text my friend and at this time I'm still eating. 'Check ...
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6answers
4k views

"We don't install..." or "We didn't install..."?

I'm confused about whether I should choose present simple or past simple in this context: X: Why can't I find the Wi-Fi network? Y: Err... We __(install) Wi-Fi in our home. Note that Y has no ...
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0answers
13 views

Present Perfect Or Past Indefinite [duplicate]

Do they convey the same meaning, or is there a difference? I saw her today. I have seen her today.
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1answer
42 views

Is anything wrong with the sentence "Who watched it?"

When asking a group of people about whether or not they've seen a certain movie, are there any arguments against using the following sentence: "Who watched it?" Using the past simple ...
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0answers
62 views

Simple past or present perfect with the word "always" and "never" for actions until now

I would like to ask about the use of present perfect and simple past with the word " never" and "always" for actions until now. As I know, for actions until now we should use ...
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1answer
43 views

"while" with Past Simple and Past Continuous (with 2 examples)

Could you explain, please, why "went" is only correct here (that says my grammar book)? Can't I use Past Continuious here, can I? Why in the first example is used "... while I went to ...
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0answers
24 views

It had cost... and it cost

This is a standalone sentence taken from my exercise book: She bought her first watch at the age of eight. It had cost two pounds. I wonder why they chose this sentence as an example. If those are ...
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1answer
93 views

(Since + past simple) or (Since + present perfect)?

The explanation taken from my grammar book says In a setence which includes a time clause with since, we generally prefer a past simple verb in the time clause and a present perfect verb in the main ...
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31 views

Simple past with the "by some point in the past" phrase. What to choose and when?

Why does it use the past simple tense rather than the past perfect (had been)? (1) Odenkirk confirmed by early September 2021 that he was back on set filming. The source: https://en.wikipedia.org/...
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Use of the present perfect simple by persons in authority making a report

I read this report, made by a senior coroner at an inquest, and I wondered whether it has become common for the present perfect simple to be used in this way? "She had been missing for a few days ...
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2answers
49 views

Are both (past simple) and (present perfect) used interchangeably to talk about repeated past actions?

The question in the title is corroborated by the explanations from Hewing's. [1] We usually use the past simple rather than the past continuous to talk about repeated past actions: We went to Spain ...
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3answers
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"Have you seen" or "did you see" Amy Winehouse in concert?

Is it possible to say: "Have you ever seen Amy Winehouse in concert?" "Have you had the experience of seeing her perform?" Present perfect because this experience will stay with ...
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1answer
20 views

Can we use 'as' in the past perfect?

I want to know whether this sentence is correct: She came as I had done my homework According to this, as is used to connect two events that happen at the same time. What I doubt is, the connection ...
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1answer
72 views

"Joan walked out and has left her bag"

(1) Joan walked out and has left her bag It seems that (1) is not good because it violates a tense agreement rule. Is that right? Then, I am wondering what differences there exist between sentence (...
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1answer
26 views

Why are both "since I went ..." and "since I've been ..." OK?

I've just done an exercise. It is: A: How often do you go to the cinema? B: Very rarely. It's nearly a year ___________ to the cinema. And the answer is "since I've been / since I went". (...
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1answer
42 views

Past Simple vs. Past Continuous

I'd appreciate your opinion on this grammar task item to elicit the correct use of the past simple/continuous. Last Halloween little Joe went missing. We ... (run) around the block looking for him ...
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35 views

verb tense past simple or present perfect [duplicate]

We have a problem with your latest delivery - it ARRIVED 3 days late again. We have a problem with your latest delivery - it HAS ARRIVED 3 days late again. Which verb tense is correct?
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2answers
41 views

How "would" is used in the following examples?

I was reading an article on mirror football. Then I came across the following sentences where would is used which I think should be in past simple. Even so, there should be the reason why they used &...
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2answers
68 views

has written / did write / wrote in questions

I have this (incorrect) sentence: “How many plays has William Shakespeare written?”. How does it need to be corrected and why exactly: How many plays did William Shakespeare write? How many plays ...
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1answer
41 views

We **were thinking/thought** a lot about where the best place for celebration is - Past Simple or Past Continuous?

Which tense is better here? We were thinking/thought a lot about where the best place for celebration is. In the beginning, we decided to rent a cafe, but it's really expensive nowadays. Later, we ...
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1answer
39 views

First , we met at a rehearsal in the city. Our team (had) needed a singer, and she (had) agreed to help. - Past Simple or Perfect [duplicate]

Do we need to use Past Simple or Past Perfect in this case if 'needing' and 'agreeing' happened first? First, we met at a rehearsal in the city. Our team (had) needed a singer, and she (had) agreed ...
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1answer
40 views

Why is Present Perfect not used in "Did you ever take a class in school just because you heard the person you liked was taking it?"

I found a sentence in a certain online test. It has been created by native English speakers, so I believe its grammar must be correct. Now, here is a sentence that made me wonder: "Did you ever ...
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1answer
61 views

The hospital (has closed / has been closed)

How to know exactly whether I have to add "been" when I use present perfect? For example: The Victoria Hospital in Miltown ___ (1. close) to new patients after more cases of food poisoning. ...
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0answers
85 views

"When I worked" and "when I was working" after "used to be" [duplicate]

I have a question about using "when I did ..." and "when I was doing ..." in a certain sentence. When you are talking about a currently busy store that you worked at several years ...
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3answers
4k views

Which is more appropriate? "I was married" OR "I have been married"?

Suppose, we're (I and my wife) asked by people how long our marriage is since we got married. Which tense should I use? Past tense or perfect tense or else? We were married for 15 years. We've been ...

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