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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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"before + past perfect" vs "before + simple past"

The website says that these sentences are correct: Ref. britishcouncil.org We can also use before + past perfect to show that an action was not done or was incomplete when the past simple action ...
James Mathai's user avatar
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1 answer
55 views

since she lived in Glasgow

a. Jane has been getting headaches since she lived in Glasgow. b. Jane has been getting headaches since she has lived in Glasgow. Do these imply that she is still in Glasgow? Do they imply that she is ...
azz's user avatar
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1 answer
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I went or I had gone in this situation?

I've been trying to figure out for a while which tense I should use in this example, I would really appreciate it if you could help me, thank you! "Do you remember when I told you that I went to ...
Geri's user avatar
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Present Perfect + Before + Present Perfect vs. Past Simple / What is the difference?

KOTB: (Voiceover) Behind the shouting, behind the intense focus on basketball, coach is busy doing for these girls what he's been doing for 26 years. Shaping young lives. His reach extends well beyond ...
MickeyQ's user avatar
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1 answer
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none of my boyfriends [has] complained

Scenario #1: John is Sarah's new boyfriend who's never eaten food that she makes. She says that she's going to make him dinner. He asks her if she cooks well, and she responds: 1. I've had a lot of ...
prof1589's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why Simple Present Tense?

Global warming This is an excerpt from a girl's article in which she describes her horrifying family vacation. A polar bear tried to attack the group at Ella Island, Greenland: A few days after our ...
James Mathai's user avatar
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1 answer
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I worked/was working late at the office

Sarah usually returns home from work at 6:00 pm, but this time and the previous time, she came home late. As a result, she and John had the following conversation at 11:00 pm: Dialog #1: John: "...
prof1589's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
71 views

I had/have saved up for months to afford it

Suppose I'm telling my friend about what's happened to me lately, and, among other things, I say to him: 1. Yesterday, I bought a new laptop. I had saved up for months to afford it. My old laptop had ...
prof1589's user avatar
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before he started working for you

a. He had worked for us before he started working for you. I can see three possibilities: He started working for you right after he stopped working for us. There was a time lapse between the time he ...
azz's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
176 views

the reason I came here is because I want

John's life has been hectic recently, so he's driven to a remote village to take a break from city life. Peter, an inhabitant of that village, sees John's car. As John steps out of the car, Peter ...
prof1589's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between the usage of present perfect and past simple in "It's not that I did, but I have" in this context

I was watching an American gamer Gino streaming his gameplay on Twitch.com and one of the people watching him said in the viewer's chat "Gino did PvP" (PvP stands for "Player vs Player&...
Static Bounce's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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Team A played/has played well

Suppose team A is playing team B. The referee blows his whistle to signal the end of the game (team B wins). Ten seconds after that, a player on team B says: 1. Team A played well, but they lost ...
prof1589's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
153 views

Are you coming to see the movie?

What is the difference between the three answers or do they mean the same. Is the past perfect usage correct ? ( The past perfect tense is used to describe a past event that occurred prior to another ...
James Mathai's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
46 views

he's still treating it as if you [did]/[dad done] it yesterday

A year ago, a girl told her new boyfriend about her past experience with her ex. For some reason, what he heard hurt his feelings. She has apologized to him countless times, but he still can't get ...
prof1589's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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I slipped/have slipped on... I think I broke/have broken my

The following is from a movie called "Home Abduction" (here's a link to that moment on YouTube): Woman #2 goes upstairs. Woman #1 is waiting for her downstairs. Woman #1 hears woman #2 ...
prof1589's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
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Why does this native english speaker on TV use Present Perfect in her sentence that contains "years ago"? --- "She has given up years ago."

This native english speaker is telling about how she has quit 40-year habit of smoking. She says: "Linda, my sister, used to smoke. She has given up years ago, years ago." ITV-Coleen quit 40-...
Yunus's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
100 views

used to vs. simple past for past daily routines

I came across this video on Instagram where a teacher says this sentence is wrong: When I was a kid, I went to the gym every day. and must be replaced by: When I was a kid, I used to go to the gym ...
Englishfreak's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
35 views

I never wanted this watch

I never wanted this watch. I’ve never wanted this watch. I’ve heard sentences like (1) very often by natives and they really use the past simple to say the same thing as the present perfect (If I am ...
hwkal's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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John has finished sawing a board (present tense narrative)

Man #2 is about to start winding up a cord when man #1 comes up to him. They have the following conversation (here's a link to the video on YouTube): Man #1: "What are you doing?" Man #2: &...
prof1589's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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He [had] promised to help, but he [has] bailed out on us

John promises Bob and Bill that he will help them, but then he simply doesn't turn up at the agreed time. Bob calls Peter (who cannot answer the call at the moment) and leaves him a voice message: 1. ...
prof1589's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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How did you know I wrote/had written it

In a classroom, one student (A) to another (B): A: You wrote it on the board, right? B1: I'm surprised! How did you know I wrote it. B2: I'm surprised! How did you know I had written it. What's the ...
Mr. X's user avatar
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0 answers
48 views

Would it be idiomatic to use past perfect in "I forgot I (had) promised"?

The following is from a movie on YouTube called "Daughter Kidnapped" (a link to that moment): Ally is Paige's Daughter. Ally's father has died recently. Diane is the owner of a farm in the ...
prof1589's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
70 views

What do I have to use "I had to" or "I have to"?

What is the difference between the following 2 sentences. The first: To solve the problem I have to create a new file. The second: To solve the problem I had to create a new file. The context where ...
User051209's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
111 views

I found out that a new restaurant has opened

On the way home from work, Sarah noticed a new restaurant a couple of blocks from her house. When she came home, she said to her husband: 1. I found out that a new restaurant has opened in our ...
prof1589's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
84 views

Following the present perfect (I've cooked) with the simple past (I didn't make)

John gets up later than his wife does because his work day starts later than his wife's. His wife always cooks him breakfast before leaving for work. This time she's cooked him some mashed potato and ...
prof1589's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
22 views

The past continuous with an anchor

1 I played yesterday 2 I was playing yesterday We use 1 when we refer to what we did we do not need to add anything to 1 to be correct. When it comes to 2 when it's on its own then it's grammaticlly ...
train bee 282's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
68 views

Past simple and continuous.88

When I ask my friend about their previous day I could say What did you do yesterday? And he could answer I played, watched and ate. Could I say : What were you doing yesterday? And he answers I was ...
train bee 282's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
47 views

Stating facts with past continuous

When I just state a fact, I make no store is it possible to use the past continuous I was working there for 5 months or only I worked there for 5 months is natural?
train bee 282's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
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Retreating Polish troops blew/have blown up the bridge [duplicate]

I was watching a World War II documentary, and I came across this scenario (which I've now changed a little bit for the purpose of contrasting the present perfect with the simple past). Context #1: ...
prof1589's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Past Simple for non-sequential events

Are these sentences idiomatic; do they imply the order of events? It did not arrive yesterday when I checked. Is it idiomatic? Do we understand that the checking happened after the non-arrival? ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

slept for 50 minutes or had been sleeping for 50 minutes

"I went to my cousin's room and I slept on the couch there for 50 minutes and then my aunt woke me up" or "I went to my cousin's room and I had been sleeping on the couch there for 50 ...
hangman's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
44 views

How to use the past continuous [duplicate]

I worked there for two months When it comes to this sentence there is no Reason to use the past continuous unless i want to emphasize the lenght, right? I went to school when I was little Is it ...
train bee 282's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
63 views

A tragic bus accident has happened

John's brother Peter lives in city X. He gets on a bus which later crashes into a dump truck. Shortly after the accident, he calls John and tells him that he's been severely injured. John gets upset ...
prof1589's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Past Perfect vs Past Simple in "We [had] lived in Cracow for ten years before we moved to Hong Kong."

We had lived in Cracow for ten years before we moved to Hong Kong. OR We lived in Cracow for ten years before we moved to Hong Kong. In my opinion Past Perfect is more suitable here as the first part ...
Roro's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
78 views

Using past perfect after past simple with specific reference point/time

May I please ask if the sentence below is correct. On 20th December 2023 the company announced that the bargain has been completed. If yes, I do not understand why does not the author use "had&...
Triol's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
43 views

Is past simple possible in "Today I learned that you (had) released an LP"?

I bought the single when it was out almost 4 years ago and since then I have always played it , still one of my faves . Today I learned that you (had) released an LP and but it seems to be sold out ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
3k views

"L'Oréal did not immediately respond…" Since there is still no response, why does BBC use simple past?

"L'Oréal did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment." (BBC: Françoise Bettencourt Meyer: L'Oréal heiress first woman to amass $100bn fortune) When you read the text, you ...
Yunus's user avatar
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Regarding the shift from Present Perfect to Past Simple

If in the second of the two sentences, "Mrs. Jervis, thank you for all your kindness. Heaven reward you for the good you have done me.", the "have done me" part gets changed into &...
Fallen Empire's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
114 views

Which tense should I use: "My teacher was…" or "is"?

If someone has graduated and is talking about his teacher in high school, is the tense used correctly in the following sentence: My English teacher is a very nice person; he not only taught us ...
ForOU's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
62 views

Have you been learning French since you were a kid? ---> in the past

If the person you're talking about or your interlocutor is alive and still learning a language, you can say: Have you been learning French since you were a kid? My brother has been learning Italian ...
IlyaTretyakov's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
142 views

Past perfect + Past Simple in indirect speech

Could someone please explain why don't we use Past Perfect twice in this sentence? She told me that a man in a black mask had come up to her and mugged her just in the middle of the street. I ...
Alexander_M's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

"The job springboarded him into the profession at which he <would eventually excel> <eventually excelled>."— Why can we need the variant with "would"?

oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com: (1) The job springboarded him into the profession at which he would eventually excel. my subsidiary example: (1a) The job springboards him into the profession at which ...
Loviii's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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What Is the Scope of the Past Perfect?

(Post copied, with minor alterations, from English Language & Usage on suggestion from a user.) Recently, I’ve been editing a piece of writing written in first-person present tense. The narrator ...
MJ Ada's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
330 views

Fill in the blanks with Simple Past or Present Perfect Tense

It is Teachers' Day today, and so far, Sarah (receive) _____ three presents. Her class (give) _____ her a plant and two of her students (give) _____ her individual gifts. I am sure that the first ...
loloist's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
141 views

"How did you get in here? Security!" vs "How have you gotten in here? Security!"

I have been doing some exercises on Past Simple vs Present Perfect as that's the topic that gives me the most troubles... and I can't comprehend why this sentence is correct? "How did you get in ...
Celebes's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
89 views

"while I was in Rome I ate pasta" or "I have eaten pasta"?

What's the correct sentence? a) I have been to Rome and while I was there I ate pasta. b) I have been to Rome and while I was there I have eaten pasta. Thanks
Khaled Farid's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
480 views

I hope you (have) found this useful

In an answer to this question, "I hope you enjoyed..." vs "I hope you have enjoyed...", the following is stated: Both tenses refer to an event that occurred in the past (the ...
wthlolbbq's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
19 views

Who's planning ahead? [Context in description]

Tyler went to buy groceries because he was running out of food. Robin went to buy groceries because he had run out of food. Who is planning ahead? Why? Answer was Tyler but I didn't understand this ...
Kaveh Behnia 's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
200 views

will have said VS. would say

ex) I can't think why he was willing to say that it was my fault. Now, for the purpose of making a sentence to have the same meaning of the example sentence, I would like to use modal auxiliary verb '...
gonju yi's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
171 views

"I wasn't listening to what the teacher was saying"? "I didn't listen to what the teacher was saying"?

We often avoid repeating the continuous form, do we? Like you say What do you think you are doing? instead of What are you thinking you are doing? How about the following sentences? I wasn't ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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