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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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3 votes
1 answer
120 views

Do I use the past simple or the present perfect after "I've been meaning" as in "I've been meaning to do something, but I've always forgotten/forgot"?

Could you tell me if I have to use the past simple or the present perfect after I've been meaning in the context below? I've been meaning to watch the movie, but I always forgot to till now. I've ...
3 votes
2 answers
530 views

“I rode / was riding / used to ride a bike every day”

Which tense should I use if I was on a holiday which lasted two weeks and during that time I rode a bike every day? It was a great time because I rode a bike every day. (Past Simple) It was a great ...
0 votes
1 answer
102 views

Is there any difference in meaning between the past simple and the past continuous when used before "till" or "until"?

Could you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between the past simple and the past continuous when used before till? For example: I worked till midnight and then went to bed. I was working ...
0 votes
1 answer
112 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 ...
0 votes
3 answers
230 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
348 views

played guitar/had played guitar at the party

He is the man who played guitar at the party. This is stating a fact. He is the man who was playing guitar at the party. This emphasizes the duration, but the meaning is essentially the same as the ...
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why is the past simple used in one narration tenses example, and the past perfect is used in the other?

Last year, I spent my winter holidays in Paris at Aunt Sandra's house. I have never visited Paris with a tour guide like her. It was very interesting. I saw the Monet exhibition. What a wonderful ...
0 votes
1 answer
71 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'...
-1 votes
1 answer
65 views

Looking for reference of present continuous and simple past in story telling?

The sentence being: After pulling the fisherman to safety, the groomsmen returned for more wedding photos on the jetty – this time in their underwear, dripping wet and a little battered and bruised. ...
1 vote
1 answer
92 views

What is the difference between Past Simple and Past Continuous for actions that are spread over time?

There are actions that are spread over time, to snore or to play tennis for example. For me it is not always clear should I use Past Simple or Past Continuous for such actions. For me it is absolutely ...
1 vote
5 answers
1k views

I've worked here for two years vs I worked here for two years

Let's look at the sentence: I've been working here for two years. This sentence means that I'm still working. Right? I have worked here for two years. I worked here for two years. What's the meaning ...
0 votes
0 answers
45 views

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 ...
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?
1 vote
2 answers
52 views

because he "could" or "could've" in the past tense

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
58 views

Why is Past Perfect used here?

This is an excerpt from "The Moon and Sixpence", by W Somerset Maugham, the very beginning of chapter 18: had this in my workbook as an example of a specific use of past perfect (the use i ...
-1 votes
1 answer
54 views

What makes a sentence complete in the English language?

Is the following a complete sentence : I played soccer with my friends In my language which is Arabic, it's a fully meaningful sentence. Is it the same in English?
0 votes
1 answer
56 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
46 views

Is it equal to reported speech case?

Reported speech case: He said I would do it Direct speech: He said, "I will do it." My sentence: He thought that he WILL / WOULD do it tomorrow Question: In my sentence should I use '...
2 votes
1 answer
52 views

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&...
0 votes
2 answers
137 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can present perfect and present simple be used in the same sentence?

I occasionally say a sentence in which mixing the two tenses feels natural but in theory they express different relations to time so I am unsure whether this is correct. One example sentence would be: ...
0 votes
2 answers
3k views

What was the last thing you bought? - how to understand what time to use

Is there a some sort of sequences of tenses in the question: What was the last thing you bought? And why it is correct? Why not use Perfect: What was the last thing you have(or had) bought? Is it ...
1 vote
1 answer
210 views

What is the best "had or had expected " in this case

It turned out that what happened was different from what I expected in my mind. I would like to know if my sentence is idiomatic and if we can write the following? It turned out that what happened ...
4 votes
3 answers
104 views

Can "before" be equal to "when" in certain contexts?

There are the following sentences: "I had been waiting for three months before they finally sent me an answer" "He had been waiting for the bus for 10 minutes before it arrived" ...
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

"He/she is the first to..." vs. "he/she was the first to..."

Could you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between the following sentences? Neil Armstrong is the first man to step on the Moon surface. Neil Armstrong was the first man to step on the ...
0 votes
1 answer
55 views

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: "...
3 votes
2 answers
70 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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
152 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
27 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
282 views

What is the correct way to write this indirect speech? "...she told me she hadn't recognised/ didn't recognise me before I had faced/faced her"

oh I didn't recognise you before you faced me. If I wanted to change it in indirect speech which would be acceptable? "Yesterday I saw Claire and she told me she hadn't recognised/ didn't ...
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

What should I use (Past perfect or Past Simple) [closed]

I have the following sentences. And must choose on of the tences (Past Simple, Past Perfect, Past Continuos, Past Perfect Continuos): Sally Deedes was walking home late one night. She (be) to a ...
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
52 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
68 views

how to understand where it is better not to use Past Perfect?

I am confused, because I use Past Perfect even where it's not needed. Please, help me to figure out. For instance, why we don't say: We had had nothing in common with her, so we quickly lost contact....
0 votes
2 answers
68 views

Why is the progressive form used in “since we weren't playing...”

Why did the author choose a continuous form? Kim would always encourage me to wear baseball hats when we played because she said it made me look a heavy metal drummer, and since we weren't playing ...
1 vote
1 answer
64 views

what did you do / have you done; in this context

My dad lent me his car but I did something stupid with; I scratched the car (not very much). After I came back home and because I did something bad to his car I was acting very kindly with him. He ...
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Present perfect or past simple to explain a project

When you explain your project to someone what do you choose between: I did this simulation because..., I considered only ... I have done this simulation because ..., I have considered only... To me, ...
0 votes
3 answers
198 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 '...
0 votes
1 answer
102 views

past perfect for an event which takes place after the past simple

I wanted to order something on the internet. I had asked for a new password when I realised that I had lost it. But I haven't yet received the new password. first action the decision to order ...
2 votes
1 answer
45 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
66 views

Past Perfect — John <had> bought a bicycle so his friend gifted him a bicycle pump

All examples are mine: (1a) John bought a bicycle and his friend gifted him a bicycle pump. (1b) John had bought a bicycle and his friend gifted him a bicycle pump. (2a) John bought a bicycle so his ...
0 votes
1 answer
70 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
40 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
45 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
52 views

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: &...
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

I finished my studies and then I have become/became a teacher

I finished my studies and then I have become/became a teacher. Another post regarding present perfect. Is it sufficient to use just past simple in the sentence above? Let's say that I am talking ...
0 votes
1 answer
201 views

Past continuous vs Present Perfect Continuous vs Past Simple

Past continuous tells us about an action in progress in the particular time of the past, right? And Present Perfect Continuous - about actions that started in the past, continued some time and still ...
0 votes
2 answers
102 views

Present perfect or simple past

Which of the following is correct? It has been two hours since I have left LA. It has been two hours since I left LA. I know everyone will pick 2 but why one is 1 is not correct as we use ...
0 votes
3 answers
94 views

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-...

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