Questions tagged [past-tense]

This tag is for questions about the usage of the past tense in English.

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14 views

usage of adverbial clauses

1)After you go through the book, please return it to me. 2) After you have gone through the book, please return it to me What is the difference in meaning of these two sentences? Which sentence ...
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21 views

Tense of subordinate clause after “I confirmed that”

Which is best among the following sentences, and why? 1. I confirmed that now the page was updated. 2. I confirmed that now the page is updated. 3. I confirmed that now the page has been updated.
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“God reminded them that if they turned away from God, they would be cursed.”

As for the use of ‘if’, especially when I’m not talking about ‘unreal’ situations, I’m confused about what is the correct way to use it when I talk about something that happened in the past. For ...
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How to use modal verbs in the past tense speaking of future possibility?

everyone. I learn English vocabulary and write sentences about my life using new words. But I have a problem. I can't write one sentence so that both grammar and meaning are correct. Some context ...
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Is there a justification for past simple

McGuinn had a better idea: recording an electric version version of Pete Seeger's ,"turn!turn!turn!" immortal folk prayer. "Turn!turn!turn!", which Seeger adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes. Back ...
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how to say this sentence

It was raining for three days. the farmers were very happy to water their fields. or It has been raining for three days. the farmers were very happy to water their fields. I normally would ...
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1answer
41 views

Can I use only past simple in this sentence?

I have a sentence which I think is fine. But maybe I should change the second part from past simple to past perfect. It’s an entry on my website. Please help. July 2015: I organised my first family ...
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1answer
17 views

Past continous adverb placement

In the phrase: The stock scandal was extremely damaging to his company's reputation. What is the verb tense? I think "was damaging" is past continuous and "extremely" is an adverb modifying "...
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2answers
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“I wish I went” or “I wish I had gone”

In this particular sentence, would you rather say 'I wish I went to the party, which I had been invited to last week.' than 'I wish I had gone to the party, which I had been invited to last ...
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1answer
28 views

Why don't we use past perfect in that case?

My father, my mother, my younger sister and I got into my father's '54 Ford to go to Cordoba, where my parents had rented a house up in the hills. The three of us started walking down the hill to ...
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2answers
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How to use “Simple Past” and “Past Perfect Tense”

What is the difference between the these two sentences, and which one is correct? (1)He passed the exam because I gave him my book (2)He passed the exam because I had given him my book
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I have a question about past tense

I have a sentence: My grandfather was a model worker. My question is: Is "My grandfather" alive or dead? I wrote a sentence: I was a student. Is it correct? Thanks in advance :>
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What tense for “had been living” or “had lived”

This is an original sentence: "Who had been living in this house before they pulled it down?" Can we say "Who had lived in this house before they pulled it down?" ?
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What's the difference between Present Perfect and Simple Past?

I have a question about English grammar. At 1 minute 5 seconds of this video below, Batman says "This city just showed you". Is it okay to replace it with "This city has shown you", "This city has ...
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1answer
29 views

Past Simple or Past Perfect with “before” and regular action

"A famous footballer lived in our house before we bought it" Why is this sentence correct? Is it a regular action in the past? Why not "had lived"?
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Past tense and simultaneous events: do you use two Past Progressive or two Past Simple?

I was told that for two simultaneous events occurring in the past, you should use Past Progressive, such as: "While I was setting the table, she was cooking dinner." But that two Past Simple ...
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Present Perfect's explanations vs What it really is?

First of all, I wish to say I'm kind of confused about the explanations for the present perfect and what really is the present perfect. I've came across many sites saying that the Present Perfect is: ...
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1answer
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Past tense phrase with indirect speech

I am struggling to construct correctly a sentence with an indirect speech describing an event that occured in past and more in past. The manager said he was skeptical initially and he had not ...
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1answer
27 views

In which tense is more common to use in this context?

I have a two tenses / ways to express my situation but I'm not sure what's more natural. I rushed / was rushing to the class, and when I arrived I found that nobody is there. "I rushed to the ...
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He told he had found or found

After he had been watching them for a couple of days he told the police everything he found out Why not had found out as he first watched them then found out and then went to the police. If you don'...
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1answer
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Can you use “had” for the present tense?

Your suggested edit is pending review. Editor Stats CJ Dennis had 2 edit suggestions approved, and 0 edit suggestions rejected Is "had" correct in that sentence? It is the number I ...
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1answer
46 views

Past perfect or past simple to express a cause?

Because she finished the exam, she felt very happy. I was angry because someone stole my car. Both verbs are past simple to express cause and effect and the effect is immediate, look at this ...
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1answer
41 views

“He found the bicycle that he had lost yesterday.” Past perfect with yesterday?

He found the bicycle that he had lost yesterday. Is this sentence correct? If so, which is the intended meaning: He lost the bicycle yesterday and he found it after that. He lost the bicycle ...
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2answers
66 views

Is it ok to use past simple where past perfect actually would be more precise?

I could say: I had been shown a footage. Or: I was shown a footage. Or: I saw a footage. I still can say about it using past simple, like it happened at some time in the past. Right?
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How does it write correctly?

How does it write correctly and why? How can I write this in the past tense? and also in question form how to say this? I mean the second action that did not happen and then you don't know how to ...
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3answers
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“Have been to” and past events

I'm always having trouble to construct sentences with Present Perfect which ask about events in the past. I want to ask "During the time that you lived in Siberia did you ever pay a visit to the ...
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1answer
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When + Past Perfect

Does Past Perfect sound good here? This sentence is from the book, but I am not sure why we need Past Perfect here. It would make more sense to use Past Simple there. He must, he thought, have ...
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1answer
45 views

Tenses in 'Did I tell you what happened to me?'

Why can't we use Past Perfect in the second clause of the sentence 'Did I tell you what happened to me?' if the second clause happened before 'Did I tell you' As far as I know, we use Past ...
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2answers
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What exactly *Verb + Ed* describes in English Sentences?

Can we summarize the various uses of Verb+ed in the English sentence, as it is used to describe completed actions in Present, Past and future, Whether verb+ed is used as past tense or past participle. ...
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2answers
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doubt between Past Continuous and Past Simple

In the book English Grammar In Use by Raymond Murphy they gave the example for Past Continuous - ´Today Helen is wearing a skirt. Yesterday she was wearing trousers´. Please explain to me why it isn´t ...
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Which tense is correct when we use 'when'? Had given or gave?

He justified his crime by saying that his friend had given/gave him false hope when he was suicidal.
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2answers
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What's the difference in meaning of this two sentences?

They would often visit friends in Europe. They often visited friends in Europe.
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what is the most important in this sentence the present relevance or the fact that this event belongs to the past?

http://fluencyspace.com/exercises/mixed-past-tenses/ It is great to tell people that I have seen (see) the tallest building in the world! I know the answer is present prefect but I think the"...
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2answers
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“Ago” at present perfect simple?

Are there any instances in which the use of "ago" in Present Perfect Simple Tense would be deemed correct? For example: I've (just) finished reading 5 minutes ago. From my perspective, the ...
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Past Perfect & Past Simple + Before

As we can see in https://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/pastperfect.html If the past perfect is not referring to an action at a specific time, past perfect is not optional. Compare the examples below....
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Made or have made

I don't think they made a reservation I don't think they have made a reservation They 'have made' a reservation sounds good to me. What is the difference. Why is using past sentence in this ...
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Referring to a habit int the past

Which of the following sentences is grammarly correct and why? When I was a child, I wouldn't go to sleep unless my mom had kissed me goodnight. or When I was a child, I wouldn't go to sleep ...
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1answer
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A question about tense agreement

Is the following sentence gramatically correct? I didn't understand what he wants to tell you. I think that it expresses that at some time in the past I didn't understand what he still ...
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Is the use of past tense correct in this context?

An American official said on Saturday night that senior military officials had decided that, with American forces largely withdrawing from Syria, commandos should take action quickly to try to kill or ...
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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 ...
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2answers
37 views

By the time…, was/had been

Could someone tell me what's the difference between: By the time we got here, the place was barricaded. By the time we got here, the place had been barricaded. The same question about these ...
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1answer
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“Since they partnered up they have made a lot of money”

Since they partnered up they have made a lot of money. Or should it be Since they had partnered up they have made a lot of money. because first they partnered up and only then they have made a ...
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1answer
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To be, is or was

Sometimes, I make a sentence whose subject can represent something of the past and something that still exists today. Which tense should I use for the helping verb? For instance: Any cellphone which (...
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2answers
41 views

Drive with vs ride with

Can we say Toni rode with/drove with Danny to the mall? I am not sure if "rode with" gives the same meaning of "drove with". I want to say that Toni went in the car with Danny, and he drives her to ...
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1answer
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Why do people use “did” instead of “do” when asking something?

When I go to shops to buy something, always workers ask me, "Did you need a bag?" or "Did you need a receipt?". I'm really wondering why they say "Did" than "Do" because I learned that when I talk ...
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“it has been been…today” vs. “It was…today”

Edited Is it correct to the say: It has been been attempted to deliver today. My concern here is that I have mentioned “today “ so I think I have to use past simple always. Is it? It was attempted ...
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Past simple usage in this sentence

"They had to live each day, for a month, as an old person, with hidden cameras to record how other people reacted to them". Why is past simple used in the end of this sentence?
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Describing past action

I would always see him coming to school late with his jeans. I would always see him coming to school late with his jeans worn. I would always see him coming to school late while wearing his jeans. ...
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3answers
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How should verb goes with “let” be in past tenses?

How should verb goes with "let" be in past tenses? Present tense: let's go; let me see Past tense: let's went? let me saw? I'm unable to search for any information about this. It seems like let will ...
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1answer
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Difference between Past continuous and Past perfect continuous

In these following sentences, which one is grammatically correct? They were playing football since 10 o'clock. They had been playing football since 10 o'clock. According to this reference ...