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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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16 votes
3 answers
259k views

"Did you watch this movie?" or "Have you watched this movie?"

What is the difference between Did you watch this movie? and Have you watched this movie?
Geek's user avatar
  • 263
3 votes
3 answers
46k views

What's the difference between the simple past tense and the present perfect? [duplicate]

The simple past tense indicates that an activity or situation began and ended at a particular time in the past. The present perfect expresses the idea that something happened (or never ...
user48070's user avatar
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55 votes
4 answers
30k views

I'm being corrected "I had a headache yesterday" vs "I have had a headache yesterday"

My friend asked me just today, "Hey, how are you?" I said, "Tired, sleepy, and can't concentrate on my work." He then asked, "Why so?" Here is where the interesting part starts. I ...
SovereignSun's user avatar
  • 25.1k
14 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
user516076's user avatar
  • 5,032
6 votes
2 answers
149k views

'Have just finished' vs. 'Just finished': What is the difference?

I have just finished my homework. I just finished my homework. I think there must be a difference in meaning. Could anyone tell me the difference in meaning sentence 1 and sentence 2?
박용현's user avatar
  • 3,329
6 votes
1 answer
94k views

"was created" vs "has been created"

When I create something in the past and do not mention the time, the first thing that comes to my mind is: Present Prefect (PP) I'd use the PP to describe an action when the time is not important and ...
Shinomoto Asakura's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
36k views

I lived Vs. I was living

In 1999, I was living in Cuba. In 1999, I lived in Cuba. Do both sentences seem grammatically correct? My teacher had told that the first sentence, which is with past continuous, is incorrect. ...
Morata's user avatar
  • 77
1 vote
2 answers
25k views

What is the difference between "he was saying", "he says" and "he said"?

Are there any shades of meaning between the use of the past continuous, present simple and past simple in the following sentences? He was saying that he is going to leave soon. He says that he ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is the present perfect ok in "We have seen them in 2011"?

Please look at the following emphasized sentence taken from the news Curfew without end. Neither of these — the government’s curfew and restrictions, or the protest programmes of the secessionist ...
Policewala's user avatar
  • 1,293
6 votes
2 answers
5k views

weren't playing vs didn't play

Did your team win the football match yesterday? The weather was very bad, so we weren't playing. vs The weather was very bad, so we didn't play. Is the first one not correct? Why is it?
Sergei's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
206 views

"I didn't know Ed was Welsh" or "I didn't know Ed is Welsh"? [duplicate]

I came across these two sentences and asked myself whether I could always use both versions: I didn't know Ed was Welsh. Did you know that Cliff's wife is Canadian? Both relates to someone's ...
Corrina_Corrina's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
7k views

Using Simple Present Tense for general truth in the past

Okay, I know it may sounds silly but I just can't get this question out of my head. So one of the functions of simple present tense is to state general truths. Like, "The sun rises from the east," ...
Aragaki Aya's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

“have despatched...yesterday” vs. “despatched … yesterday” [duplicate]

I have a doubt in the below sentence whether to use Past Simple or Present Perfect Tense, We have despatched the parcel yesterday. We despatched the parcel yesterday. I know the second one is ...
Raj 33's user avatar
  • 825
2 votes
4 answers
30k views

Difference between last year and in the last year, and the meaning of this week in present prefect

Q1: I learnt "last year" and "in the last year" are very different in meaning. In my understanding, "last year" seems to be a indivisible time frame when it is used in past simple. For example, today ...
Fopopo's user avatar
  • 65
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

past continuous or past simple

At the dentist's: I was on time for my dentist's appointment, but the dentist was still busy with another patient, so I sat in the waiting room and read some of the old magazines lying there. All ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
  • 7,633
2 votes
1 answer
57 views

Have been Vs was/were

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-48339080 There have been seven weeks of protests outside the site from which "hundreds" of pupils were kept away on Monday. Why does the ...
Gamal Thomas's user avatar
  • 2,099
2 votes
3 answers
613 views

Why wasn't "When I was in Sharm El-Sheikh, I *have sunbathed* a lot" a good answer?

When I was in Sharm El-Sheikh, I .... a lot A) Have sunbathed B) Was sunbathing C) Would sunbathe D) Sunbathed why it can't be "have sunbathed" as verb sunbathe means to make the skin brown or ...
Ehab Mansour's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is correct "Your father just told me" or "Your father has just told me."

In Oscar a 1991 American slapstick crime comedy film directed by John Landis, I heard: "Your father just told me". Why do not correct to say "Your father has just told me."? Because in "How English ...
b2ok's user avatar
  • 994
2 votes
1 answer
446 views

Simple past vs Perfect Past

A) He was arrested by police. B) He had been arrested by police. In newspaper reporter want to tell about past event that has already happened. In above statements Reporter conveyed same meaning, ...
user4084's user avatar
  • 2,303
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Present perfect and past simple with if and when

I have trouble understanding when to use present perfect and past simple in situations like these. It's possibile to use this tense if /when you have taken/took some time ,days for example to ...
Eliana Grosso's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
4k views

visited or has visited this morning?

It is 11:30 in the morning and someone visited me from 10:00 to 11:00 the same morning. Can I say : she has visited me this morning, even though the visit has finished, but it is still morning, or ...
anouk's user avatar
  • 3,954
1 vote
2 answers
18k views

Does "She had a brother" mean that her brother is dead?

My Friend has sent me this riddle to solve: "If you solve this, then you are a genius. Mr.Smith has 4 daughters🙍‍♀🙍‍♀🙍‍♀🙍‍♀ and each daughter had a brother. How many children does Mr. ...
Rahul Yadav's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

The police arrested two people early this morning. Why simple past and not present perfect?

I've realized that I don't really use the present perfect and simple past correctly. My main problem is that when doing exercises I've found the explanations to be (sometimes) forced. Some of the ...
drM.'s user avatar
  • 381
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Would it be possible to change past perfect into simple past

She invited me to dinner. But it _____ two years since I _____ to her house. So I lost my way. The answer is "was", "had gone" but would it be possible to change "had gone" into "went" because if ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
  • 7,633
1 vote
5 answers
20k views

just(recently) + present perfect or simple past

I heard many people saying "he just left the room", but I read that just(recently) is used with present perfect. So are people just omitting has?
English101's user avatar
1 vote
7 answers
9k views

Using "recently" with past simple

Is it fine to use recently with the past simple tense in the following sentence? Did you read any books recently? Is it grammatically correct? Or do I have to use: Have you read any books ...
MaxLogens's user avatar
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 ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
200 views

past simple or past perfect why

Please take a look at the sleeve notes of the revolving paint dreams lp "off to heaven"creation lp a great record by the way. The last story I heard that Alan Mc Gee (boss label) had tried to ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
  • 7,633
0 votes
1 answer
657 views

Simple past or past perfect with "by" and years

What is the difference between He became a star by 1990's. He had become a star by 1990's. Is the first sentence correct? If yes, then please tell me the difference between the two.
amar singh's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

He was working or worked for my father in the 1990s

Tom, who was working for my father in the 1990s, is now living in Ohio. Is it correct or should it be in Past Simple? I think it is correct because it is an action which was in progress in the past ...
Ghassan Saeed's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
7k views

The baby was sleeping or slept? [closed]

I'm having a misunderstanding regarding Past Simple and Past Prog. The baby was sleeping peacefully through the night. or The baby slept peacefully through the night. Are both work? If not, ...
Ghassan Saeed's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
392 views

Past Perfect or Past Simple?

Which is more correct: Recently I was hungry or Recently I have been hungry I think that the second variant is more correct. Could you please explain to me what do you think about it. Thank ...
user5369's user avatar
  • 1,269
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

"I have ridden a rollercoaster and now I'm dizzy" - correct or not?

I am not a native English speaker, and the sentence in the title came up yesterday when I was talking with my friend (who is a native English speaker) about English grammar. Consider the sentence ...
Wojowu's user avatar
  • 171
6 votes
1 answer
558 views

Why is the Past Perfect not used here?

A quote from The Innocents Abroad, by Mark Twain: A devout lady who died, left money and contracted for unlimited masses for the repose of her soul, and also stipulated that this lamp should be ...
Igor Skoldin's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
277 views

For or Since or Nothing

Following situation is given: Sue has been in France for the last three weeks. I have to repeat this sentence using, "She went ...", I would say something like this: "She went to France three ...
TwoStone's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
82k views

Should I use the past simple "I learned", or the present perfect "I've learned"?

Please explain which is correct: I've learned to ride a bicycle when I was five I learned to ride a bicycle when I was five For me both of them are correct.
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
344 views

Is the following usage of past progressive correct?

What is the difference between the past continuous and the simple past usage of these sentences? They were fighting Nazis for three days. And They fought Nazis for three days. Can ...
Policewala's user avatar
  • 1,293
4 votes
1 answer
6k views

Using "just" and "just now"

Is it correct to say for sure that we use "just" with Present Perfect and "just now" with Past Simple and it's incorrect to do it vice versa? For example: I've just done it. I did it just now.
Anthony Voronkov's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
41k views

tense usage: "It has been (is) two weeks since I've seen (last saw) you"

A. It is two weeks since I've seen you. B. It has been two weeks since I've seen you. C. It is two weeks since I(last) saw you. Would you please show me which of the sentences would be correct, and ...
nima's user avatar
  • 5,847
4 votes
1 answer
345 views

Question format using did

Is there any meaning difference in below questions? a) Which movie you saw yesterday? b) Which movie did you see yesterday?
user4084's user avatar
  • 2,303
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 ...
James Mathai's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
996 views

Perfect vs past simple when relating to personal experience

It seems to me that if somebody were to ask me: Yeah, how do you know what war is like? The most fitting response would be: Because, you see, I have fought in a war. But if someone would ask ...
Bebop B.'s user avatar
  • 1,155
3 votes
1 answer
4k views

Difference between "Have Thought", "Have Just Thought" and "Just Thought"?

I was told that use of present perfect is incorrect in the context below as thinking action is discrete event and there isn't any relevance with the current situation. (Context is a situation where I'...
bart's user avatar
  • 177
3 votes
3 answers
197 views

Simple Past and Past Progressive - both possible in cases with defined period of time - Thomson (1986) says it should be Simple Past

I believe that the past progressive tense can be used with defined periods of time. However, A Practical English Grammar (A.J. Thomson, 1986) says that the simple past tense is used for well-defined ...
JoHKa's user avatar
  • 498
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

Should this reported speech use "was" or "had been" to convert "was"?

When you have a sentence in the direct speech talking about someone’s age such as “a producer discovered me when I was 13” How does it change into the reported speech? he said a producer had ...
Al Exia's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
6k views

Difference between "did save" and "saved"

What is the difference between the two following sentences? 1) Where did you save that file? And 2) Where you saved that file ?
user4084's user avatar
  • 2,303
2 votes
1 answer
163 views

Comparative questions with regard to perfect aspect of present tense

Can you please answer my comparative questions below as I am puzzled to use verb "think" with perfect aspect of present tense? Context is a situation where I've been looking for my wallet for the ...
bart's user avatar
  • 177
2 votes
1 answer
314 views

Past Perfect VS Past Simple in the context of previous experience

I have three extracts: 1st: A: Do you know this man? B: Yes, I had met him before war, but I haven't seen him since that time. 2nd: A: Is he a student? B: Yes, he studies at our ...
Anthony Voronkov's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
51k views

He {went / has gone / had gone} out 5 minutes ago

He ... out 5 minutes ago options: a)went b)has gone c)had gone MyApproach: I choose has gone because it expresses an action that was completed very recent past i.e just 5 minutes ago although the ...
justin takro's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
50k views

Just + simple past: "I just watched" vs. "I've just watched"

I don't know if I'm supposed to write an intro before the question since I'm new here lol I'd like to know if it's correct to use just followed by the simple past, e.g.: I just watched the first ...
Marina De Brito Alves's user avatar