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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did you read the document?

I have another little question. If someone has to read a document for the next day, so I can ask "did you read the document" instead of "have you read the document" because to me ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
19 views

present perfect have forgotten/ forgot

It's night and I haven't cleaned my clothes. Should I say: Oh, I have forgotten to clean my clothes and I will have to do that tomorrow! Is it good? Or I should use the past simple ("I forgot ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
37 views

I have eaten / had eaten / ate seaweed when I was in Thailand three years ago

quora.com: 1a) I have eaten seaweed when I was in Thailand three years ago. My variants: 1b) I had eaten seaweed when I was in Thailand three years ago. 1c) I ate seaweed when I was in Thailand three ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
33 views

They were married for 12 years before/when

In this particular sentence do before and when mean the same and can be used interchangeably? They were married for 12 years before/when they died/got divorced.
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-1 votes
0 answers
30 views

I read/was reading a book until I fell asleep

Can we use the past simple with "from .. to.." even if we didn't finish the book/the ship etc. or is it necessary to use the past continuous? Examples with "from .. to ..": I read ...
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2 votes
3 answers
1k views

I repaired/was reparing my bike from 2 to 4pm

What's the difference between the past simple and the past continuous when using "from ... to ..."? I read a book from 2 to 4pm. I was reading a book from 2 to 4pm. I built a ship from 2 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
23 views

Which usage of Past Simple is it?

My grandfather fought Nazis in WWII and I'm afraid of talking to a stranger Which use of Past Simple would you attribute this sentence to? Is it a longer, repeated action in the past like "he ...
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1 vote
1 answer
38 views

I didn't eat since breakfast vs. I haven't eaten since breakfast

This question came in the Dhaka University admission test 2008-09 I didn't eat since breakfast I haven't eaten since breakfast Q) No grammatical error occurs in (a) I didn't eat since breakfast. (b) ...
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0 votes
1 answer
35 views

meaning of "has been on"

In the following example: Scott has been on holiday. He had a terrible time. I always thought that "Scott has been on holiday" would mean "He is still on it". But past simple, in ...
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0 votes
1 answer
37 views

He didn't do that from when he was a teenager

I've recently learnt that we can use "since" only with the connection to the present. But how should we say about THOSE ABSOLUTELY SAME actions but after they stopped? (I know about the past ...
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0 votes
1 answer
24 views

fell asleep vs had fallen asleep

Is it possible to say "When I got home, Ben was lying on the sofa. The TV was on, but he wasn't watching it. He fell asleep and was snoring loudly"? The answer is "had fallen asleep&...
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1 vote
2 answers
20 views

Which is correct? "Today I've done something that I've never done before." or "Today I've done something I never did before

Question: Which is correct? "Today I've done something that I've never done before." or "Today I've done something I never did before. Personally, the second one seems the most logical ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Past perfect not being used in casual speech?

Is it true that most people don't use the past perfect in casual conversation and the following monologue is usual for native speakers? "So I saw Maggie and I asked her why she didn't come to the ...
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1 answer
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Past tense usage for continuous actions

I stumbled upon this question when listened to an interview: "I lived there for two years". If described process happened in the past, isn't it better to use past perfect "I had lived ...
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0 votes
2 answers
22 views

PAST CONT/SIMPLE for regular actions

How long did you study English before you faced a burnout? How long were you studying English before you faced a burnout? From my understanding, both are correct and natural, although 2 implies a &...
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0 votes
1 answer
98 views

Have you brushed your teeth this morning? [duplicate]

Can a teacher ask: "Have you brushed your teeth this morning?" if a child is at school and has no opportunity to brush them later that morning if they haven't yet, because their brush is at ...
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0 answers
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Backshifting in reported speech with 1)"for...", 2)"from...to...", 3)"while", 4)"until"

I've got a question about backshifting in reported speech. I've got some examples where we use the simple past even though the objects of the actions haven't been completed (the book has never been ...
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2 votes
4 answers
105 views

Past Simple or Present Perfect when writing that something was/has been generated

I have very simple sentence, however I have 3 problems with it. The major one is whether I should you Past Simple or Present Perfect when saying that something was/has been generated. The Second one ...
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1 vote
1 answer
29 views

Difference between past simple and past perfect in conditional tenses

I have been confused about the difference between simple and past perfect in conditional tenses. “If we had looked at the map, we wouldn’t be lost.” “If we looked at the map, we wouldn’t be ...
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0 answers
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Pluperfect and simple past

I'm trying to talk about a person like this: He had come prepared for the video. He came prepared for the video. Now the thing is that we say that pluperfect is used to talk about an event that ...
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  • 309
0 votes
2 answers
28 views

Which sentence would you use in the given context?

I didn't call him because he could be busy. I didn't call him because he could've been busy. To mean "I didn't call him, thinking he could be busy," which sentence would you use? Also, what ...
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1 answer
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I've had 5 cups of coffee today. Does this mean I'll have more?

Is it true that if I say: "I've had 5 cups of coffee today" I intend to drink more today and if I say: "I had 5 cups of coffee today" I am not going to drink any more coffee today? ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
42 views

I've been to the shops today or I went to the shops today

I have a question about the use of present perfect and past simple with unfinished time. What is the difference between "I've been to the shops today" and I went to the shops today"? ...
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0 votes
2 answers
39 views

Question in present perfect, but answer in past simple. Why not a past simple question?

From the English workbook "access 2", page 48: Finish the dialogue with verb forms in the present perfect or simple past. Dan: Have you ever been to Dartmoor, Amira? Amira: Yes, I have. I ...
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0 votes
3 answers
53 views

Why is the correct answer 'to have been cleaned'?

I'm doing my grammar practice of infinitive verbs. The room is said ( ) last week. A. to clean B. to be cleaned C. to have cleaned D. to have been cleaned √ According to my intuition of English ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can someone explain this conditional? (Past simple + past perfect)

I've just come across one conditional that I don't quite understand. If what she said was true, Marilyn had almost certainly left town last night. I understand that the first part of the sentence is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
626 views

I have studied at university an achievement?

I am a middle aged woman who went to university where I studied French. This was 30 years ago . If someone asks me: "what have you studied?" can I answer: "I have studied French at ...
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0 votes
1 answer
146 views

have you locked the door or did you lock the door?

I have a question about the use of phrases like "Have you locked the door", "have you closed the windows" etc. Can these phrases be used when you left your house a while ago and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
21 views

past progressive or past simple: worked or working

In the following sentences, could the past progressive be replaced by the past simple with no change of meaning? Is there a preferred form? We were working / worked hard yesterday because the boss ...
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5 votes
3 answers
924 views

When I tell a story in the past, shouldn't I use past tense when the verbs are describing states?

I asked someone to correct my sentence in the other site, the sentence is: I saw her yelling at her boyfriend, but he seemed to be indifferent. They corrected the sentence for the usage of the tense ...
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0 votes
3 answers
55 views

"Data was enetred into computer" "I entered the room"

For "Data" I reckon it is correct to say "Data was enterned into computer correctly". And i reckon for myself "I entered the room" is correct and is " i was entered ...
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1 vote
1 answer
55 views

Which one is correct: "you called the wrong person" or "you are calling the wrong person" when you get connected with someone mistakenly?

Would you tell me which one is correct: "you called the wrong person" or "you are calling the wrong person" when you get connected with someone mistakenly? For example: Person A: ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
50 views

Is this a right question? "Who did had a problem last night?" [closed]

Is this a right question? Who did had a problem last night?
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0 votes
0 answers
27 views

Usage of simple past and past continuous tenses in this example

Are both sentences grammatically accurate, and how does the meaning differ if at all? Grandma May knitted a sweater while she was listening to music. Grandma May was knitting a sweater while she ...
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  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
31 views

"the museum didn’t open vs the museum wasn’t open"

The museum wasn’t open at 9 a.m. The museum didn’t open at 9 a.m. Could you explain please the difference in their meaning? I understand the first "open" is an adjective but the second &...
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0 votes
0 answers
19 views

Interpreting complex narratives

I've been struggling with understanding the usage of past tenses in complex narratives such as this one: Once, Aunt Petunia, tired of Harry coming back from the barbers looking as though he hadn’t ...
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  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
34 views

Do I need to repeat past perfect in two consecutive sentences describing the same event?

If I write the first sentence using both past simple and past perfect, and then in the next sentence I want to speak about the action described by past perfect in the first sentence, do I need to use ...
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2 votes
2 answers
233 views

Have you changed or did you change

This is from a newspaper: Have you radically changed your dress sense in later life? We would like to hear from people who have changed their dress style dramatically. Did you undergo a style ...
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1 vote
1 answer
47 views

Action prior to past perfect

If I am writing a sentence using simple past and past perfect, and in the next sentence I want to emphasize that there was another action completed even more earlier, which tense shoud I use in the ...
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  • 35
0 votes
1 answer
25 views

Simple past or past perfect?

‎"He is one of my favorite scientists. He died a few years ago. He had a nice sense of humor. One day, he threw a party for time travelers." Shouldn't I use the past perfect somewhere here? ...
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1 vote
0 answers
22 views

I saw/have seen him while I was there

Let’s say that while on a vacation I run across someone I knew. By now, the vacation has already ended. Which of the following sentences is correct? I saw him while I was there. I’ve seen him while I ...
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  • 112
1 vote
1 answer
100 views

"It wasn’t always like that" / "It hasn’t always been like that"

It wasn’t always like that. It hasn’t always been like that. If I understand correctly, the first sentence tells us the situation can't be changed now or in future. But what tells the second sentence?...
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0 votes
0 answers
45 views

was just here / has just been here

He was just here, but he has gone away. He has just been here, but he has gone away. Which sentence is idiomatic? I suppose the first one because we need to show the difference in his location.
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0 votes
1 answer
37 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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  • 1,404
-1 votes
2 answers
79 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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  • 1,404
0 votes
0 answers
18 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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  • 1,404
0 votes
1 answer
41 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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  • 1,404
0 votes
1 answer
37 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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0 answers
34 views

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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3 votes
4 answers
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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