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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37 views

Did you have a holiday recently? vs Have you had a holiday recently?

Could you explain it's possible to use the Past Simple with key word "recently" or must always be the Present Perfect? I have two sentences. Is the first sentence wrong? If I use the Past ...
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12 views

Would have or would

Which one of these is correct? She would have destroyed them if she wanted to She would destroy them if she wanted to To my knowledge the first one implies a hypothetical situation about something ...
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Difference between “what we call” and “what we called”

That's what we called the star jump. That's what we call the star jump. How could I understand these two sentences and tell the difference between them? To my understanding, the second one is general ...
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48 views

Tense differences

What are the differences between these clauses? 1.I learned English for 2 years. 2. I learned English in 2 years. 3. I have learned English for 2 years. 4. I have learned English in 2 years.
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19 views

Is using past perfect in if clause correct in an imaginary situation?

I heard this sentence in a TV show: "If I would have gone back in time and did everything from the beginning, I would have given...". Based on my knowledge when something is imaginary (...
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1answer
19 views

Can I use the past perfect without an action described by past simple?

Can I use the past perfect without an action described by past simple? For example: Alex: There were people at the cinema? Me: No, because it had just opened. Another example Alex: What had you ...
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1answer
27 views

Past Continuous with yesterday

I am trying to figure out if it's possible to use past continuous without specific time or interruption while talking about yesterday. Here's the situation: I want to tell my friend how I spent my day ...
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1answer
36 views

“I never saw it before” vs. “I have never seen it before”

Is there any difference in meaning between I never saw it before and I have never seen it before when talking about life expriences? For example: I never saw such a big fish in real life before. This ...
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27 views

“you've ever seen” VS “you ever seen”

What is the most beautiful place you have ever seen? What is the most beautiful place you ever saw? Is any of the questions grammatically wrong? If not there is any semantic difference between them?
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1answer
25 views

“I have seen people saying …” vs “I have seen people say…”; What is the difference?

I have heard people using both versions at times but I don't quite get the difference. I am not used to the second version and a little in doubt if it is even grammatically correct. Can you also give ...
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1answer
22 views

“to have played” or “would have played”?

I have two sentences here but I'm not sure if I write them correctly. And this is my first time trying to use be to + infinitive in the sentence 2 so I'm not sure if I used it right. Please see the ...
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2answers
42 views

Why in this sentence the writer used past perfect instead of past simple?

I am reading a story nowadays and I have noticed this sentence today the writer used past perfect and as I learned it should be in past simple because he/she gave the time yesterday. The sentence: I ...
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2answers
44 views

Past Continuous with “sit”

I just came back from school, and I was asked about my trip to school this morning (on our school bus) My intention is to say that I didn't like it because I had to sit with a bully (named John). I ...
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Past Simple/Continuous with specific time

I missed my literature class today and I am calling my friend to find out what they were discussing (or discussed?) in class. My goal (as a speaker) is to find out what was in class today, so I can ...
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19 views

Past Continuous vs Past Simple (limited timeframe)

A friend of mine was taking her English exam the other day (she is a chemistry student) and she had to talk about her work in a laboratory (they have to do a lab-project for 2 weeks every semester) ...
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3answers
62 views

Difference between Went vs Was going

What is the correct alternative for the following sentence? When he lived in California, he____(went, was going to) to the cinema once a week.
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Past simple or Past perfect prgressive

which one is the correct sentence between the two and why? Before I lost my job, I was working on some important projects. or Before I lost my job, I had been working on some important projects.
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24 views

“How long since you did…? vs. ”how long since you have done…?"

Could you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between the following sentences? How long since you saw Kate? How long sinch you have seen Kate? Actually I would've thought that the firt one ...
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1answer
35 views

Which tense should l use?

"You are late! I have waited for 20 minutes" Or "You are late! I waited for 20 minutes" We are told if you see "for+ specific time" you should use present perfect so the first one must be true. ...
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1answer
35 views

What’s the difference between these two “she saw”, “she has seen”? [duplicate]

I want to ask you what is the difference between these two sentences: She has seen the real meaning in these messages She saw the real meaning in these messages And to know if both of them ...
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1answer
22 views

Past Past Perfect

If we have one action, we can use Past Simple/Past Continuous I found out If we have two actions, we can use Past Perfect/Past Perfect Continuous for the one which is the most ancient and Past ...
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1answer
28 views

confused about present perfect and simple past uses [duplicate]

I always read that we should use the present perfect with actions started in the past and finished and has some influence in the present. And also we can't use the present perfect with finished time ...
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1answer
24 views

What is the difference in meaning between the question “did you ever do…?” and “have you ever done…?” without referring to any period in the past?

What is the difference in meaning between the question did you ever do something? and have you ever done something? without referring to any period in the past? For example, in the 17th episode of the ...
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1answer
28 views

Choosing between the past simple and the present perfect in this sentence

I hope you're all having a great day. Isn't it dependent on your point of focus in a given sentence when choosing between the past simple and the present perfect? For instance, if I have to choose ...
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1answer
135 views

“Finally we meet” vs “finally we met”

I just read a part of conversation between two people on a book, which I am not gonna quote the exact words due to copyright stuff. It goes something like Hey, I am Kettle you must be Stove, my new ...
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1answer
53 views

surprising verb sequence: “there has never been a line read that I didn't hear”

I came across this quote by Eudora Welty: Ever since I was first read to, then started reading to myself, there has never been a line read that I didn't hear. Source My question is: Can I say "...
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Past Continuous + Past Simple

If two actions were happening at the same time, we can use both Past Simple + Past Simple and Past Simple + Past Continuous or conversely While he was having his breakfast, I was reading the ...
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1answer
31 views

Using present perfect confusion

Scenario 1: I just met my friend and he asked me to play soccer at night and I just told him, "I haven't played soccer in a long time." Scenario 2: We just started to play and I couldn't pass ...
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1answer
42 views

Because I played the piano or because I was playing the piano?

Here is a task in an English test: Last night my neighbors got angry because I (played / was playing) the piano. They repeatedly came to my door and knocked, but I didn't hear the knocks. Why? ...
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33 views

“had looking” vs “was looking”

Quote from The Anubis Gates: "At the far end of the walnut-panelled and carpeted room Darrow, looking no more tired than he had last night, was talking to a tall blond man." Shouldn't this be ".....
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22 views

Does using the simple past without “used to/would” imply something happen just once?

1.Your answer takes me back to my college days when I wrote an answer that would grant me not more than 3 marks, to a question that was 15 marks. 2.Your answer takes me back to my college days when ...
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Past perfect (earlier past)

The basic meaning of the past perfect is "earlier past". We use past perfect to talk about something that happened before another action in the past, which is usually expressed by the past simple : ...
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1answer
50 views

“I have had it for a long time” or “I had it for a long time”?

Let's say you sold your car 1 year ago. Would you say: I'm sad I sold my car. I have had it for a long time. Or just I'm sad I sold my car. I had it for a long time. Are they both correct? I ...
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1answer
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Who baked vs Who did bake - usage rule [duplicate]

Why we can ask the question "Who baked the cake?" when we should use did link verb?
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2answers
32 views

why present contunous in this sentence instead of past?

I search the defenition for 'What is Alarm Clock?' and I saw this odd sentence on the cambridge.org : Didn't you hear your alarm clock going off this morning? why "going off" instead of "went off"?...
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103 views

What is the meaning of “would” and why the past tense is used in these examples?

Thank you for showing interest in this post. Please have a look at the would in the following excerpts from The Economist: Conveniently for politicians, some of the pain of high inflation would ...
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1answer
30 views

The use of the past perfect after the present perfect in one sentence

Could you tell if it's correct to use the past simple or the past perfect in the following sentence. I haven't mended the jeans that I tore. I haven't mended the jeans that I had torn. If ...
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26 views

Where were you? vs Where did you go?

Could you explain me if both questions are correct in this example? Did you enjoy your holiday? Yes thanks, it was wonderful. And then ... Where were you? Where did you go? TIA
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1answer
74 views

“I've been to London recently” vs “I went to London recently”?

I've been to London recently or I went to London recently? I was asked which of the two is correct and after thinking about it a for a bit I think I prefer the simple past version because "...
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0answers
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which sounds more natural

So I was wondering which sounds the most natural and most proper sounding statement a or b A: the girl was walking down the street. or B: the girl walked down the street. I just was making a ...
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26 views

A child has been saying a sentence many times for 5 minutes, then now you answer: “I didn't get it”, “I don't get it”, or “I haven't got it”?

A child has been saying a sentence many times for 5 minutes, then now what would you answered: "I didn't get it", "I don't get it", or "I haven't got it"? I think "I haven't got it" is the ...
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1answer
33 views

“found out that she had a boyfriend” Vs “found out that she has a boyfriend”?

are both sentences below grammatically correct? Her parents found out that she had a boyfriend. Her parents found out that she has a boyfriend. If yes, I guess, the first sentence implies that she ...
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1answer
24 views

Simple Past or Present Perfect when identifying who/what did something?

What fell there? or What has fallen there? I presume both are correct in AmE. But I've read in Michael Swan's Practical English Usage that it is preferable to use Simple Past when we want ...
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1answer
58 views

Is “has been done” used if it's done recently?

Here is the question and I think it got wrong answer, isn't it? As I said in the comment below the answer: As I know present perfect used when action completed recently. And Simple past when earlier ...
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2answers
38 views

How to know if past event has a result now?

Two sentences: I learned it in a school. I've reached the top. I've seen an explanation why in the first case Simple tense is used: This learning activity is in the past and finished. But ...
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1answer
45 views

I want to make witty comments, but I don't know if I used the tenses correctly or not

Should I use present perfect or simple past in the sentences below? Every man wants sex. If he doesn't, he just experienced it. Every man wants sex. If he doesn't, he has just experienced it. ...
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1answer
26 views

Confuse between past tense and past progressive

So this is the question: Instruction: Complete the sentences. Use the past progressive in the while-clauses. Use the simple past in the when -clauses. When my best friend (call) _______ last night,...
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1answer
13 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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1answer
26 views

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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1answer
39 views

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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