Questions tagged [past-tense]

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

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1answer
48 views

In English, do we use the past tense to indicate hypotheticals?

I read an article titled COVID-19 is awful. Climate change could be worse. In this case, why was could used instead of can? If I say COVID-19 is awful. Climate change can be worse, wouldn't make sense?...
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3answers
25 views

have been accusing vs have been accused

I am learning Academic English. At one lesson, I found the following sentences: Some people have been accusing X of starting it. X have been pushing for more efforts to prevent this possibility. I ...
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can I use simple past tense in sentences that begin with when?

I am reading a test as follows: When I got there, I found that the theatre closed was closed has closed has been closed I know the answer should be 2 or 4. if I can consider the word "When"...
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2answers
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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1answer
26 views

Why is the usage of Present Perfect in this sentence incorrect?

(...) I think I can safely say that, until this year, all of those holidays were wonderful. For example I have once spent six weeks on Crete, which I had not visited before. My task is to find errors ...
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1answer
26 views

Can present perfect be followed by past simple in this case

Is there a difference between these two sentences All the things I' ve had but can't keep All the things I've had but could not keep Is the second one ok as the non keeping happens at the end of the ...
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2answers
24 views

Past perfect vs past simple confusion

Should I say : 1-My hair was uneven for years. 2-My hair had been uneven for years. For sure I'm talking about a past time.
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1answer
28 views

Can we use “would have had” to speculate about past?

Can we use "would have had " to make a guess about the past? For e.g. He would have had those dollars! (We don't know if he has the dollars but he might have had them)
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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
40 views

can I use present perfect in this case

I received it this morning .It has been a long time coming but the long wait has been worthwhile! I wrote this in the beginning of the afternoon, so can I use present perfect for these two verbs or ...
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0answers
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Third Conditional with Couldn't have done

I'm digging in past possibilities something like (could have done, might have done) And i found out that when we use could have done, might have done there is an if-clause, explicit or implicit. And i ...
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1answer
20 views

Describing a dropped phone call

What can I say to describe a dropped phone call: 1- The phone call just dropped. 2- The phone call just cut out. 3- The phone call just disconnected.
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1answer
35 views

do we need to connect both sentences by using past perfect here

Sorry I saw your message on here too late. I had over 50 orders of Tommy and the commie new 7" to send so I was pretty busy and as the payment of this order didn't arrive I didn't even check it ...
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Can I use Past Simple and Present Simple in one sentence?

Actually I have two questions: Can I use Past Simple and Present Simple together in the sentence: 'He looked stunned when he realized that she lives here'?! I know about Sequence of tenses but I'm ...
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2answers
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Usage of perfect versus past

Fill in the blank using verbs given in bracket. Thomas failed all his exams and left school with no qualifications, yet this 30 year old fire fighter ______(go) into the Guinness book of records by ...
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1answer
23 views

While I was washing utensils in the kitchen, my mother relaxed/was relaxing

While I was washing utensils in the kitchen, my mother ________(relaxed/was relaxing) on the sofa. Which one is correct relaxed or was relaxing? Is it okay to combine past continuous tense (was ...
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1answer
24 views

Using Report speech

Am i using report speech correctly? Should i have used present simple in this situation? I brother to help me. I said that "this was up your alley". He said that "he would help" ...
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2answers
41 views

Can you reword conditional setence in subjunctive and still retain the same meaning?

For example If he were alive today, he would've supported the independence movement. Here the speaker is talking about somebody who has passed away in a present interview. Wouldn't it be more ...
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1answer
31 views

Have been vs Was

I have been brought up in London. I was brought up in London what is the difference in meaning between these two sentences?
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2answers
26 views

difference between had and have/has had

I am just confused about how to use have/has had David has had a nice car. David had a nice car. May I know which sentence is correct and why, and please let me know how to use have/has had.
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1answer
17 views

What tense should I use in these situations?

What tense should I use in these situations? In March this year, I was seen near his house. In March this year, I have been seen near his house. Should I use the past simple or the past perfect?
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1answer
21 views

Idiom's tense when writing a novel in past tense

If the novel is written in past tense, what tense should the idioms be when they are used by the narrator? For example, consider the following passage: The fight was over. John stood over the ...
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2answers
19 views

Is the tense for this sentence correct?

Brenda, as well as her brothers, watched/watches television until it is time for dinner. What is the correct answer?I’m confused.
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1answer
36 views

I wish I knew / I wish I had known

I can't understand what's the difference between these sentences and which one is more correctly if (for example) during conversation with my friend I tell him about my wishing to make acquaintance ...
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2answers
30 views

Which sentence is correct and why?

Which sentence is grammatically correct and why? "Does anyone know when did X unfollow Y on Instagram" or "Does anyone know when X unfollowed Y on Instagram?" The example might not ...
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1answer
21 views

past tense or past perfect continous tense?

For the past several days, I was unable to get access to the internet. Should I use past tense or past perfect continuous tense if at the time of writing, the internet access problem has already been ...
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1answer
46 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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3answers
20 views

Why is the word “hit” here used as a third person singular instead of past participle?

According to Guinnessworldrecord.com, the most piano key hits in one minute is 824, achieved by Domingos-Antonio Gomes (Portugal) in Lisbon, Portugal, on 4 March 2017. I knew this sentence has to be ...
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1answer
24 views

It is even possible, that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin

The following extract is from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I'd like to know why the present-tense verb "is" rather than the past-tense "was" is used: If, instead of this remark, ...
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0answers
20 views

Shouldn't I use verb in base form when I use did?

I took an online class at English Live and the teacher told that the correct phrase is "What subject did you taught as a teacher?". Isn't it "What subject did you teach as teacher?"...
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44 views

I insisted to my parents that I have/had to have a bedroom of my own

When we moved into the new (house/home ?), I insisted to my parents that I have to have a bedroom of my own. I insisted to my parents that I had to have a bedroom of my own. Which tense is correct ...
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10 views

Coordination sentences with when

I'd like to speak about conditional sentence, could you tell me if my tense are right or if you would choose others? I should have called you when you talked to her She said she would have called me ...
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2answers
19 views

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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1answer
22 views

What is the difference between had and had had in the sentences?

I had had the same dream. I had the same dream. What is the difference?
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26 views

I can’t understand the meaning of this sentence

“It seemed like weeks went by before you finally asked for my number” Is that mean he asked numbers quickly or few weeks later? Excerpt From Thirteen Reasons Why Jay Asher This material may be ...
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26 views

Which one is correct? Is or Was?

Yesterday he told me he was gonna become a singer. Yesterday he told me he is gonna become a singer. Since what he told me is definitely going to happen in near future, then is it "is" or &...
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2answers
26 views

Is it Since or From?

I've had a doubt for some time! Hi! -I had back pain since 1995, phew! It's over! (I don't have anymore) Is "since" suitable with my sentence? Or should I use "From" I heard that ...
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1answer
34 views

Did + verb instead verb + ed

In one dialogue in a computer game, I've seen a sentence, "I did steal it!" instead of "I stole it!". Why can native speakers use I did + verb instead of verb + ed?
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1answer
19 views

Is Past Perfect correct tense in this sentence?

I have to send my opinion to my english teacher and I'm not sure if this past perfect tense is correct in this context. Firstly I used Past simple "the things we learned about", which also seems to me ...
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1answer
36 views

How should I say this “I already knew the answers” or “I had already known the answers”

The sentence looks like this: I didn’t need to read the passage text because I already knew the answers/I had already known the answers I get it that “had” is used when we are talking about ...
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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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0answers
15 views

Using present perfect vs past simple in a context

Which sentence is more applicable to use : 1-Thank you, you got us this far. 2-Thank you, you have gotten us this far.
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32 views

Talking about a sequence of actions which happened in the past

For example, I want to tell how is my day was going. I'd do it like this: I woke up, then I went to a bathroom and washed myself, then I went to a kitchen and had a breakfast, etc. Is it correct? ...
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1answer
17 views

Is the sentence clear enough without past perfect

In fact Rich sent all the goods he had on hold for me but he forgot to include in the parcel the book and the problem is that he moved just after sending the goods and did not take it with him. ...
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1answer
28 views

Can we use “now” with simple past tense as in “I saw it now”?

Can we use "now" with simple past tense? For example, Let's say someone is trying to show me something, but I can't see it. Right after seeing it, can I say, "Ok. I saw it now"?
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0answers
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Why is the past tense used in a clause related to the present [duplicate]

The background is that I was doing C1 tests and got wrong the following: It's time you ____ up your mind. As it seems right to me, I wrote "make". However, the answer shows "made" as the correct ...
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26 views

Why do we use “used to” to form a past tense?

To propose a deed happening in the past, we can exercise the past form of the verb for that action or state. I know one of the usages of "used to" is for the construction of a past sentence. How ...
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2answers
15 views

The past of run, ran, has also the meaning of crash into something?

I drove off the road and ran into a tree. In some of my texts of English studies, there is this expression, and the meaning of ran is related to a crash in this phrase, is this correct? I didn't find ...
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1answer
18 views

Loved in a sentence

My husband loved having me over in his office. My husband loves having me over in his office. My questions: Does loved here refer to the simple past or the past participle ? Do both the ...
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4answers
5k views

Why do native speakers use the present continuous tense when talking about people in a picture? Why not the past continuous tense?

This is some sentences in a flyer test. I took this photo by the lake last Saturday, Grandma. It looks lovely. Do you know any of these people? Yes, I do. The man who’s reading the newspaper ...

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