Questions tagged [past-tense]

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

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60 views

Reported speech: When to not change “was” to “had been”?

Recently, I was studying about reported speech and while thinking about a few "directly" reported constructions came to mind. I'm trying to change those sentences to reported speech. Barbara ...
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1answer
30 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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1answer
19 views

What verb tenses should I use with enumeration?

I have the following sentence. All of the actions described I've performed today. I've paid a visit, played chess, drank an espresso and bought a couple of souvenirs. My first tense is present ...
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1answer
51 views

It would be a great opportunity for someone like me who is working full time

I found out that I could be a part-time or a full-time student. It would be a great opportunity for someone like me who is working full time. I am writing a personal statement. I found out that I ...
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1answer
27 views

“I went to the mall after taking a shower” - How to handle -ing forms in different tenses?

I'm currently trying to improve my English grammar and I'm strangely fascinated with tenses. I just came across a sentence structure that I find quite difficult to analyze. It's probably not too hard ...
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1answer
24 views

Ways to talk about the last 3 hours

Are all the following grammatical? and which one is the most natural? I haven't eaten anything for 3 hours. I haven't eaten anything over the last 3 hours. The last time I ate ...
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2answers
50 views

“were” used as a subjunctive is present or past?

Given the 2 examples below: I wish you were here now If he were in the situation that you've been 2 weeks ago, we wouldn't have bothered about it now The word 'were' is used as a subjunctive and my ...
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1answer
100 views

I had an enjoyable night or I have an enjoyable night

When receiving text from a friend the next day after a dinner. I replied "Thank you for your invitation. I had an enjoyable night." Or should I reply "I have an enjoyable night"
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2answers
65 views

Is the past and prestent tense correct in this?

I like that you made it a point to bring me food before I started working this morning Or should it be .. I like that you made it a point to bring me food before I start working this morning.
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2answers
362 views

Which one is correct: have happened or had happened?

I'm wondering from these sentences which one is true: 1."So, which one have happened yesterday? You went for a walk or stay here?" or 2."So which one had happened? You went for a walk or stay ...
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34 views

I was working while I was studying at college

I was working while I was studying at college, is it correct? And how to tell about past actions for example: 'In college I had a subject 'Web design' where I was making a static web-page', is it ...
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1answer
110 views

Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Simple

My teacher says that it's not correct to answer the test "How long (rain) yesterday?" as "How long did it rain yesterday?" She says there is only one way to do the problem with "how long" in the past ...
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2answers
3k views

They have vs. had three children

How do we use "have" or "had" when referring to the number of offspring that a couple produced? The basic case is when a couple gave birth to, say, three children and everyone is still alive. "They ...
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2answers
61 views

Would past simple be ok in this case

Complete the passage with the correct form of the verbs in brackets. Goldilocks is probably the most famous and most charming “squatter” of all times.While the Bear family was looking(look)for ...
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1answer
34 views

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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1answer
42 views

Can I use past perfect in this response?

I would like to know if I can use past perfect in this response: Did not know that you would contact me again !!! I had tried to contact so many times and did not receive any answer that I ...
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1answer
62 views

Why did the author use past continuous in that sentence

I came from a scene that is more punk than the garage scene. The first concerts I was going to were punk, like at the MIROITRIE.for a year Then I went to Canada for a year Why "was going"? Why past ...
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1answer
48 views

Difference between “looked like” and “were looking like”

1) Why past tense has been used in below sentence for looked, walked? 2) Can we use my version of sentence using looking, walking? a) Actual... The video was shot beautifully. Pranay Kumar and ...
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2answers
54 views

Why is it “She wrote articles” and not “she has written” or “she was writing”?

Why is the past simple and not the present perfect used in the following context? One day, Jack told Anne about John’s life in Canada. She wrote articles for her school Internet magazine. And she ...
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1answer
58 views

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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2answers
110 views

Is past perfect a better solution in that case

Just received a phone call of X from Florida. He said that some of the books I bought/had bought and that he was stocking/had been stocking in his basement were destroyed in the hurricane. I ...
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1answer
26 views

What tense do I have to use in this sentence with 'whenever'?

When I use 'would' with 'whenever', What tense is used? For example, Whenever I went to my grama's house, I would play in the park. Can I use 'go to' instead of 'went to'? Or I would dance ...
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1answer
1k views

I already finished the work

I have such a rule in my head that if we have "already", "still" or "yet" I am obliged to use Perfect Tenses. But can these words be used in Past Simple? I already finished the work (some time in ...
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3answers
95 views

past perfect of can

This is the sentence which is assumingly wrong: Solvent remains which could not have been evaporated were removed by [...]. The problem I have here is that the attempted evaporation of the solvent ...
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1answer
32 views

“Have you had a breakfast” or “did you have a breakfast”?

Which one is correct "have you had a breakfast" or "did you have a breakfast"? And should I use the ‘a’ s, is it necessary to use it?
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1answer
38 views

Usage of a continuous time expression in a past simple sentence

Consider the following sentence: "The student did not come to the class for a long, long time." Can a continuous time expression "for a long time" be used in this case, where past simple ("… did ...
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1answer
59 views

Why is it supposed to be “couldn't get” instead of “couldn't got”?

Why is "Why couldn't she get tickets" correct instead of "Why couldn't she got tickets"? Why is it get in the present instead of got in the past tense?
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2answers
113 views

what is the difference between past perfect continuous and simple past using time periods

Today I ran into an example in the Longman dictionary. I wonder whether or not it is correct. Here is the example: Bargain hunters queued for hours before the store opened. I believe it should be:...
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1answer
36 views

Is it worth to use present perfect in this situation?

I'm Russian and English is not my first language. I'd like to say: we went to France every year or we have gone to France every year We did it in the past but now we don't. Which of the ...
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2answers
5k views

“Should have” type question

I would like to know which one of these two questions is correct, grammar-wise? What should I have done? or What should have I done? I would appreciate an explanation, too.
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1answer
160 views

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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1answer
17 views

'wanted to fulfill' or 'had wanted to fulfill'

(1) Last month, I was promoted to senior manager. That was one of the dreams I wanted to fulfill in my life. (my version) (2) Last month, I was promoted to senior manager. That was one of the dreams ...
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1answer
113 views

Tense slip: “have done sth when I realized”?

Most of the confidences were unsought —frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the ...
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3answers
378 views

Past perfect with before-clause

I don't get the difference , why in first example we use past simple, and in the second past perfect. " He decided to get a present for his children before he left Rome" " He began apologizing before ...
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0answers
15 views

Is it necessary to add “being” here?

The meeting, held at a time when the world is facing growing uncertainties, is widely expected to bring positive energy to global well-being. or The meeting, being held at a time when the world is ...
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1answer
18 views

Past Perfect or Perfect Tense?

I have some questions regarding past perfect tense, as I am still quite confused about the usage. Which one of the below is correct? The books that her parents got her had not made her an ...
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0answers
16 views

was waiting or waited

The hunter waited silent and motionless beside a breathing hole where he had seen a seal the day before why not was waiting as the wait is not completed, the seal has not been there yet englishlab....
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17 views

'used to' & 'had to' … what tenses are these?

What are the tenses here? He used to play football professionally, but he had to quit because of an injury. The first clause, with 'used to play' and the second clause, with 'had to quit' ... are ...
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2answers
274 views

Which one is gramatically correct

Actually, I am writing a story. I have to explain the poverty of a family. So please let me know which one is the grammatically correct and reasons behind them, in the following two statements. ...
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3answers
60 views

past simple and continuous

"Nero played music while Rome was burning." I just copied it from one English workbook for primary school. If it was watched, saw... I would take it as correct. This really bothers me, I cannot think ...
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1answer
62 views

Past simple or past continuous?

1 Being students, they didn't have much money and they usually worked as waiters at weekends. Why do we need to use the past simple? 2 While they were studying, they were working as waiters at ...
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1answer
31 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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1answer
17 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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1answer
85 views

when to use reach

I have a question about the usage of the word 'reach' in the past tense. Which one is the correct question to ask my friend to make sure he reached there before me, while I was still travelling ...
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1answer
167 views

present perfect continous or past perfect continuous in this case?

Wild Zeros started in Bordeaux in late 2007 - first gig in December of that year. Just a bunch of friends (ex or current members of Magnetix, Pneumonias, Mean Things, Skeptics, Wylde Tryfles…) who ...
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2answers
2k views

Would been vs would have been

Having a hard time telling the difference between these, and which ones are wrong. 1) 0.5 seconds later and he would been dead. 2) 0.5 seconds later and he would have been dead. 3) 0.5 seconds ...
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1answer
53 views

“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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1answer
273 views

tense sequencing - I had forgotten … what I learned

I saw the following sentence at http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/-Come-Back-and-Get-Back- : I had forgotten a lot of what I learned about music, but it's all coming back to me now. The past ...
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1answer
66 views

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
1k views

Better way to use 'take' and 'took'

When before sleeping if one ask me how much you drink water today. How can I respond him in better way or which one is right one? I took 5 glass of water. or I take 5 glass of water today. ...

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