Questions tagged [past-tense]

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

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19 views

“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
11 views

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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1answer
36 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
513 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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2answers
99 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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2answers
25 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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3answers
49 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
54 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
35 views

“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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1answer
41 views

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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3answers
338 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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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
66 views

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
45 views

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 ...
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1answer
56 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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2answers
233 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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104 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
35 views

hadn't vs didn't

When I was at home, I had decided not to go to a restaurant. But later when I left home for some errand, I was hungry. So I went to a restaurant. So which one would rightly describing my situation? I ...
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3answers
52 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
74 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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23 views

If we used or if we have used

I'm wondering which one of these two sentences is correct? And if they both are correct, then what's the difference between them? For displacement maps we use 32 bit depth images in order to avoid ...
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1answer
45 views

Where did you go? vs Where were you go?

In these following sentences, which one is grammatically correct? Where did you go? Where were you go? Thank you.
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1answer
29 views

what is the best choice here

"I was about to email you why I have not received the parcel when..." I was wondering if present perfect for receive is a good choice since at the time of writing the parcel has not arrived or ...
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1answer
93 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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9 views

different tenses for almost simultaneous actions and feelings

I saw this sentence: I have just seen this band and I really enjoyed their show why past simple for enjoy and not present perfect, is it good English? Is it because: you can only say that you ...
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1answer
39 views

Can we use past simple without giving the exact time?

Can we use past simple without giving the exact time. For example. 'I will tell you how I learned English through self-study.'
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1answer
144 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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1answer
26 views

What is the correct way to refer to future that is spoken about in the past?

I want to talk about a moment in the future that I though about in the past. Is any of these sentences correct and why? I thought we might become more than just friends in the far future, when our ...
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1answer
251 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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2answers
87 views

had been and the day before

Are the following sentences grammatically correct? He asked me if I was depressed the day before. He asked me if I had been depressed the day before. Please explain. Thanks!
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1answer
32 views

Comparing two sentences is the same meaning (Past and Past perfect tense)

"I felt a little better after I had taken the medicine" <--by Google search, it has about 2,820 results VS "I felt a little better after I took the medicine" <--by Google search,...
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2answers
67 views

Did I answer or Have I answered?

I was talking to a person on chat. Yesterday he asked me a question. Today I replied, then added: Did I answer your question? Now that I think about it I should have probably phrased it like so: ...
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2answers
29 views

Particular question about past

He knew that I was trying to tell him the fact that him being wrong. He knew that I was trying to tell him the fact which is him being wrong. He knew that I was trying to tell him the fact ...
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2answers
120 views

“If I knew what you want/wanted to eat tonight”

Context: I am talking to my friends, trying to find out what she wants to eat tonight. "What do you want to eat tonight?" "You know what I want to eat." "If I knew what you wanted to eat, I ...
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1answer
38 views

In this case are 2 past perfect ok [duplicate]

Yesterday I looked at the record you sent me last week. I saw on the sleeve that you wrote/had written "no payment is necessary for you" but I had paid 50 usd through discogs to get it. So it would ...
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1answer
53 views

Can't decide between simple past and present perfect

I know the rules and differences like simple past is finished actions and more like story telling while present-perfect emphasizes the experience and its about actions that still continue and past-...
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2answers
42 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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1answer
23 views

Some past tense question

I played football I had played football I have played football I was playing football Can someone tell me what is the differece between those sentences if they are correct. If they aren't correct, ...
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1answer
23 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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1answer
26 views

What is the difference between “introduced”, “had introduced” and “have introduced”?

Although Immanuel Kant, one of the greatest thinkers in the history of philosophy, --- many pieces of technical terminology to articulate the themes of his critical philosophy, perhaps none --- more ...
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2answers
73 views

Why aren't all these verbs in the same tense?

We have decided to call it a day. We are thankful for everyone that has come to our shows, screamed at the top of their lungs, bought our music, wore our tee shirt and joined the spirit of the band ...
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2answers
26 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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2answers
136 views

Past continuous vs. Past perfect

It's a story that happened in the past at an airport. It starts this way When I got to the check-in desk my parents were nowhere in sight. I was waiting for them until it suddenly occurred to me ...
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1answer
35 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
81 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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1answer
65 views

Usage of swum vs swam

Should I use use 'swum' or 'swam' in sentences such as He swum across the river. -OR- He swam across the river. Which is correct? What's the difference? Thanks
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1answer
21 views

Usage of did while describing the subject

If you're using did followed by a description of the subject, will the verb that follows be in present or past? For example, should it be Did the person you choose have the key? or Did the ...
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1answer
131 views

Tense selection: was/has been and has had/ had had

My love was the best thing that I have ever had but I knew from the beginning it could not last long. My love is finished but I still think it is the best thing in my life. My love has been the ...
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2answers
111 views

one sentence of “if”

Now, I'm talking about the past, something I'm not quite sure. (not the unreality) At that time, if he took part in the meeting on the next day, maybe he was preparing the speech. Is this ...
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1answer
20 views

Using “was” even though it still is the case

Is it okay to say was even though it still is the case? He had his xray this morning and it was normal. He had his xray this morning and it’s normal.