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Questions tagged [past-tense]

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

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Took a bath or have taken a bath

This is my first question here! I'd like to know which sentence is correct (if not both) and what is the difference between: a. I just took a bath. [moments ago] b. I've just taken a bath. Thanks ...
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1answer
74 views

Using “from” and “already” in the Past Simple

From the very first lesson, she already surprised my quite a lot by how quickly she could do simple addition problems. And later, she has never stopped surprising me by other, even more ...
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2answers
167 views

Help understanding past perfect with continuous

I am learning the past perfect/continuous and I have just read that we generally use it when we are saying in our tenses a form of time/date who highlight the importance of the past. In this case, I ...
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5answers
25k views

What is the difference between “What happened?” and “What has happened?”?

Please explain what is the difference between "what happened" and "what has happened?" I know that "has happened" indicates the action completed recently and "happened" refers to the action finished ...
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4answers
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Past simple vs used to vs would

I feel a little tangled in grammatical nuances and would like you to help me clear some things out. I know it's possible to use either the past simple, "used to" and "would" to talk about past ...
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2answers
175 views

Past tenses: did/had questions

Which one is correct? TilesView had consumed complete screen until I overriden onMeasure(). TilesView consumed complete screen until I had overriden onMeasure().
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1answer
19 views

How long did you do it (for)?

I keep having difficulties with past tenses: 1. If action has started and is still going on we can ask "how long have you been doing that", right? 2. Is Present Perfect Simple possible here? "How long ...
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1answer
36 views

Present perfect continuous for the verb to sign?

On the same exercise there is that sentence He has been signing up for a historical tour to exactly these places The reason of choosing the continuous form is that it is a temporary action. But ...
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1answer
14 views

Present or past when the thing doesn't exist

A: Did you ever have the orange sherbet at Johnny's Icecream Shop? It's a shame the place burned down and no longer exists. B: I used to. All the time. I liked that a lot. What a pity. Would it be ...
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1answer
16 views

Past simple and “all night”

can i use just past simple in this case " Sorry, I'm late because I was in a sauna with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie all last night "If I have "all last night is it ok to use just past simple ...
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1answer
31 views

How to avoid multiple negatives in sentence [closed]

I have written few lines, but I feel those could be more better in English, even I am not sure about grammatical mistakes. Please correct my below sentences "But that didn't go well as I didn't ...
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2answers
231 views

Problem with the meaning of the verb

I have a problem about the use of tense of a verb. On the TOEFL test, there is a sentence mixed the past with the present. It it possible to use the past and the present in one sentence? When we can ...
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1answer
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past perfect for an event which is still true

. The Cambrian _____ an important moment in the history of life on earth and a time of radical evolutionary experimentation when many animals first_____ in the fossil record. the answer is had been, ...
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3answers
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Meaning of “was having”, “had” and “have had” in English

How to tell someone that I have observed fast full day? 1 I was having fast whole day 2 I had fast today 3 I have had fast today I feel all are correct to say Please, help me to ...
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1answer
25 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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1answer
2k views

About past tense/present in summary

First, my teacher taught us to use present verb tense in a summary, but sometimes I just really want to use past tense. for example (sociology essay,informal tho) A black female student is ...
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1answer
23 views

'Once' conjunction past tense

'Once they passed the exam, they worked in a national hospital and received more training.' I can't understand the correct meaning of this sentence. I know a sentence like 'Once they pass the exam,...
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1answer
34 views

Confused between past simple and past continious

The situation is that I am talking to some friends about an event that happened earlier: When I was packing my clothes my dog was watching me. When I was packing my clothes my dog watched me. ...
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1answer
470 views

Is “had” correct in “As you had not joined”? [closed]

Is the following sentence correct? "As you had not joined our organization on 26 April 2017 as advised in our letter of 30 March 2017, our Offer of Appointment is withdrawn"
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why past continuous in this case as both actions are completed at the time of writing

A side is Freak Out, B side is Dr. Hoo Hoo, Mr. Tomomatsu were recording and mixing the same as the previous two 7", and legendary L.A Punk's engineer/producer GEZA X were mastering these songs. why ...
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2answers
91 views

usage of subjunctive mood in the past

I learned if s+ past perfect, S would have done But I often encounter if s past verb, S would have done For example, If he wanted to kill us, he would've done it at the junkyard. (from TV ...
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1answer
28 views

Usage of present tense in a past tense sentence

I read that if sentence is in past tense then all clauses of the sentence should be in past, except if it is a universal truth. Now, I want to create a sentence and situation is this - I watched ...
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2answers
244 views

When should I use simple past and when I should use simple past progressive?

When I do homework about tenses especially in simple past and simple past progressive, I got a problem to different the use of each tenses> Example question : It was beautiful day yesterday when ...
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2answers
309 views

Past tense after Present Perfect

A: How is your weekend going? B: I have been sightseeing (today) and earlier I was at the beach/I had been at the beach(?) Which form should I use?
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1answer
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i repaired vs i was repairing

dialog 1. my friend asks me general question "What did you do yesterday?" and for example my car is broken and the damage is to big so it can not be fixed within one day.Do i have to use past simple ...
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1answer
15 views

Present/ Past tense between sentences with past tense?

She overcame all of her difficulties and created her own destiny as a merchant all by herself. That is not all. After making a large fortune, she willingly donated almost all of her wealth to her ...
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1answer
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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 '...
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1answer
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What is the past tense of the phrase “catch up with someone”?

Can I use the phrase "caught up" to mean that I met someone after a long time? e.g. I caught up with my friends on my way back to home.
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2answers
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Is past continuous possible with duration?

I’m wondering if it is possible to write: I was standing there for a few minutes when the police cars stopped. and I stood there for a few minutes when the police cars stopped. I think ...
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1answer
23 views

never traveled or had never traveled?

Rousseau produced twenty-six jungle paintings in the final six years of his life. In fact, he had never traveled outside of France or seen a jungle. If had never traveled would be changed into ...
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1answer
22 views

Started or has started

Life started in a simple organisms . Can has started can be used instead of started? Then how are the meanings different? Because life is still going on, can i use present perfect?
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1answer
47 views

Past Simple or Past Perfect in the context of something having been done by the exact time yesterday

Here goes a sentence: Alice said that she had translated three articles by five o’clock yesterday. My question is as follows: If what Alice exactly said was "I had translated three articles by ...
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1answer
19 views

Tense agreement is or was?

The public and critics laughed at Rousseau's flat style of portraying human figures. This was because the paintings did not look real. Rousseau's style was markedly different from the contemporary ...
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1answer
16 views

is estimated OR was estimated

It IS/WAS estimated that people consumed a lot of bottled water in 2015. In the sentence above, is and was both are possible? Then how the nuance is different? If there is no difference, which is ...
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2answers
233 views

The past simple of “gaslight” – “gaslighted” or “gaslit”?

What is the past simple of the term gaslighting as a verb – "gaslighted" or "gaslit"? Would it be correct to say: That person gaslighted her or: That person gaslit her Note: There is a ...
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1answer
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“Used to” with period of life

can I say " I used to smoke for 5 years "? is it correct? And if no, which tense should I use? Should I say "I had smoked for 5 years?" Thanks a lot.
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2answers
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has done or did when using “during”?

Which one is correct: During the same trip, the couple ( a guy and a girl) has also visited Venice. During the same trip, the couple ( a guy and a girl) visited Venice. Thank you.
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1answer
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How to express past time in some place

I am trying to write the acknowledgment section of my thesis. I am trying to say that I have been in this place (the country where I am doing my thesis) for three years. How to express this: It has ...
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1answer
24 views

Why do we have “were” in this sentence and not “are”?

I read the paragraph below and I am not sure why we have "were" instead of "are", when the writer is talking about children "nowadays". Is it because he is talking hypothetically about the future? ...
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2answers
26 views

“Has sat” vs “Has sit”

My friend and I were looking towards our boss and wondering when to enter his room to speak to him. Usually, a good indication of whether he is free or not is to check whether he is sitting down. So ...
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1answer
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“Suspected” VS “had suspected” have same meaning here?

For a long time many scientists suspected that koalas were so lethargic because the compounds in eucalyptus leaves kept the cute little animals in a drugged­out state. But more recent research has ...
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ever with past VS past perfect?

However, Sol Elman, the father of violinist Mischa Elman, thought differently. He said, “My dear friends, Kubelik played the Paganini concerto tonight as splendidly as ever he did. Can i change ever ...
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1answer
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Preserved or had preserved, the difference?

Theseus was a great hero to the people of Athens. When he returned home after a war, the ship that had carried him and his men was so treasured that the townspeople preserved it for years and years, ...
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1answer
28 views

The difference between past tense and had pp?

Less well known at the time was the fact that Freud had found out, almost by accident, how helpful his pet dog Jofi was to his patients. He had become a dog­lover in later life when Jofi was given to ...
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2answers
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Past,past perfect with until, by

Do we always use past tense with "until" plus time in the past, and past perfect with "by" plus time in the past? Until last year, Anna worked as a teacher. By last year, Anna had worked as a ...
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1answer
26 views

`This cup hadn't been drunk out of for…` vs `This cup wasn't being drunk out of for…`

Is sentence "This cup hadn't been drunk out of for twenty years precisely since its owner was exiled to Siberia." right? I suppose no because it's not about up until point in past. I think the ...
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1answer
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about past perfect

Pocho had made the decision to live near the human who had saved his life, so he soon became a member of the Snedden family. By now, Chito remarried, and together they had a daughter. Both, ...
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1answer
36 views

Past Simple Passive vs Past Simple with 'follow'

Here is an extract from my grammar practice book. A young man was walking through a supermarket. Suddenly he noticed that he (follow) by an old lady. As far as I understand, in that situation we ...
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1answer
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How to use “should” in past?

It is not clear from the manual of instructions whether it should be signed or not. If I have to change the above sentence into past tense then can I simple change is into was like It was not ...
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1answer
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How to use 'I learned that if I faced' in its reported-speech kind of context

It is said that in reported speech, verbs tense will change. Also, when using 'if', verb tenses change. So what is the correct form of the below sentence? I learned that if I faced another question ...