Skip to main content

Questions tagged [past-tense]

This tag is for questions about the usage of tenses to refer to the past.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7 votes
2 answers
15k views

Should I use the past tense with did?

Should I use the past tense with did? For example, I was to say: The important question is: Did they knew what it means or not? Or should I say: The important question is: Did they know what it ...
0bserver07's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is there a simple and clear way to explain the difference between past simple and present perfect?

I read (or do I say "have read"?) many rules for when to use the present perfect. I found them complex and hard to understand (or do I say "have found"?). I am finding it hard to apply these rules in ...
user37421's user avatar
  • 1,003
18 votes
3 answers
8k views

When is using the past perfect tense not necessary?

Is it more natural to speak in simple past or past perfect when explaining past events to a friend? It seems like Americans use more simple past in everyday life than past perfect. I found this ...
jess's user avatar
  • 1,771
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Present-perfect-tense vs. Simple-past-tense

I've been reading this question. I have also been reading this pdf. From these two sources it appears that there is no difference between Present-perfect-tense and Simple-past-tense. I myself ...
user31782's user avatar
  • 1,763
13 votes
3 answers
61k views

Why "Would you mind if I asked you something?" is correct?

Instead of "Would you mind if I ask you something?" Why past tense, I don't get it?
ESL's user avatar
  • 133
14 votes
7 answers
193k views

“I saw a dog” vs. “I have seen a dog”

I saw a dog. I have seen a dog. What are the differences between them? Did these events happen on the same day?
user73963's user avatar
  • 1,387
9 votes
2 answers
32k views

"Have had" versus "had"

How does the usage of "have had" and "had" differ? Here is my example from my other question: People who have had their belongings taken will turn into miserable people. Here are the things I ...
Pato's user avatar
  • 423
5 votes
1 answer
16k views

" could " vs. " could have "

As I know we can use both structures to talk about past ability , but is there any difference between them? A. He could climb the mountain B. He could have climbed the mountain
Majid's user avatar
  • 73
5 votes
3 answers
23k views

"got" vs. "have got"

Reg: What's that you have got Meggie? Reg: Show us. Meggie: No, she's mine! I got her for my birthday! Reg: We just want to have a look. Reg used the present perfect have got in the first sentence; ...
Amish Aa's user avatar
  • 1,363
8 votes
5 answers
266k views

I didn't ('go' or 'went') to party?

I didn't go to party. I didn't went to party.
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Which tense to use in an academic paper when referring to past research?

I am writing a paper in mathematics. Stone theorems have a long history. B [B78] proved the stone theorem for the B model. C and D [CD14] not only prove a stone theorem for the cake process in ...
Sinusx's user avatar
  • 475
4 votes
3 answers
931 views

Past Simple vs. Present Perfect

I didn't grow out of it. or I haven't grown out of it. Which sentence is grammatically more correct? I'd rather say the second, but I saw in the text the first one.
user11584's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

Present perfect or simple past?

I just came across this question: This tree (be) _____ planted by the settlers who (found) _____ our city over four hundred years ago. I think "over four hundred years ago" is an unspecified ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Simple Past vs. Present Perfect

Sometimes I feel difficulty telling the difference between simple past and present perfect. Given a picture like this: which one is correct between these two? Or in what sense are they different? A....
user1610952's user avatar
39 votes
7 answers
15k views

Why is 'The Chinese have invented the printer' wrong?

In the textbook by by Raymond Murphy, Intermediate English Grammar, 2nd edition, on page 26: "The Chinese invented printing." Raymond Murphy says that we can't use the present perfect here. ...
Dinusha's user avatar
  • 1,617
18 votes
2 answers
763 views

Past tense: learned/learnt, dreamed/dreamt?

In my very first question, Carlo made an edit stating that learnt is a rare past tense of learn. I am accustomed to using learnt for past tense and learned as an adjective (as in He is a learned ...
Sultan's user avatar
  • 645
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Using “used to” vs "would" when expressing something done in the past

I understand how the phrase "used to" can describe something that was done in the past: When I was growing up, my parents used to read to me at bedtime. My dad used to take the family out ...
J.R.'s user avatar
  • 110k
9 votes
3 answers
5k views

"I heard the clock strike ten": why not "striked ten"?

I heard the clock strike ten. Why is strike in the simple present in this sentence? What are the conditions for using a simple present verb after a past tense verb to talk about the past?
Jakki's user avatar
  • 129
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

"I would rather did it myself" or "I would rather do it myself"?

Which of the following is the correct sentence: I would rather do it myself. I would rather did it myself. When I meant to say that I don't know how to do this work otherwise I am well ...
mamta's user avatar
  • 41
26 votes
4 answers
595k views

When to use "drank" and "drunk"

I am a bit confused in using drank and drunk. I know we use it with past tense but not when to use drank and when to use drunk. What are the better ways to use these? I visited this, too, but it ...
ARG's user avatar
  • 585
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

"She never saw a bear before she moved to Alaska." Why incorrect?

The rule says if the order of two actions/events is clear then the past perfect is not necessary, i.e. you can use past simple. So if the sentence has before or after then the order is clear and ...
learner's user avatar
  • 5,938
10 votes
2 answers
21k views

Tense agreement: "Before he 'had come'/'came' to the factory, Tom 'was studying'/'had studied' at the university of London"

Which of the following sentences is correct? Before he had come to the factory, Tom was studying at the university of London. Before he came to the factory, Tom had studied at the University ...
upgrate's user avatar
  • 131
10 votes
1 answer
3k views

English's imperfect tense and its imperfection

It just occurred to me that in English, when we use what Spanish would refer to as the "imperfect tense", we are actually adding a mode of termination to the action. Whereas in Spanish, there is no ...
dockeryZ's user avatar
  • 1,856
9 votes
4 answers
116k views

"I'm born and brought up in India" - I don't want to use the 'past' tense here

I read this question here and this one is different because the second clause is in present tense. I'm born and brought up in India. - too commonly practiced in India. I was born in India is correct ...
Maulik V's user avatar
  • 66.2k
9 votes
3 answers
5k views

Which is the correct tense to use with 'by'?

I gave him the money by 6 PM. I had given him the money by 6 PM. I can't spot the difference between them and both seem right, but I was told the first one is wrong. Can anyone say, why? Here is a ...
Policewala's user avatar
  • 1,293
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Should I always use the perfect present, when the sentence uses "never"?

In my English classes, I was taught that never should not be used with past forms, only with present perfect forms; this is also what I read in a grammar book I bought some years ago. (I bought the ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 20.9k
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is it possible to be grammatically correct without using past perfect?

Can you guys please help with which verb tense to use when talking about numerous specific events? In the example below, I'm not quite sure if past perfect really is necessary. "She sent me a ...
jess's user avatar
  • 1,771
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

"Was going to" versus "would be" as the past tense of "will"

Do you think that "was going to be" or "would be" could be used as past tense of will? I thought this book was going to be your choice. I thought this book would be your choice. Do these two ...
jess's user avatar
  • 1,771
3 votes
3 answers
76k views

Why should we use 'Did you come?' instead of 'Did you came?'? [duplicate]

I know 'Did' is the past tense of 'Do' and if we want to ask question in present tense 'Do you come?' and in past tense it is 'Did you come?'. Why don't we use 'Did you came?' as came is the past ...
Sathiya Kumar V M's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
181 views

Can the past simple or the present perfect fit in this example with yet

Two days ago I tried to order a book but could not pay because your system did not accept/ has not accepted paypal payments yet. if I choose to add yet with past simple it means that at the time of ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
  • 7,633
2 votes
1 answer
316 views

"Has been" vs "was"

Would you please explain the difference between these two sentences? Spain ceded (or gave) Puerto Rico to the United States. Since then, Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory. Spain ceded(or ...
vho's user avatar
  • 879
2 votes
2 answers
220 views

The pictures I sent were horrible or the pictures I sent are horrible? Which one is correct and why?

The pictures I sent were horrible or The pictures I sent are horrible Which is correct and why? If I use "were "does it mean that in the present time the pictures are no longer horrible?
Uni123's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes
1 answer
10k views

Where did they go / do they went?

Where did they go? Where do they went? Can you please advise which of above forms is correct? I'm pretty sure that first one is fine but wondering about second one. Can I use a second form as ...
RobertoLeeds's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

"Water will boil at 100°C" and "The vine wouldn't grow"

I have read in Longman English Grammar, page No 246, that we use 'will' and 'would' to describe natural tendency Like the simple present tense [> 9.6-8] will (with a 3rd person subject) can ...
yubraj's user avatar
  • 2,838
1 vote
2 answers
10k views

In American English, why is the past tense of "plan" spelt "planned"?

In American English, a lot of words are spelt with a single consonant plus "-ed", rather than two consonants as you often find in British English. Why isn't "plan" spelt with a single consonant?
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 5,947
1 vote
2 answers
40k views

did call vs called

Is there any difference in meaning between the two sentences below? I did call him And I called him Both of the above sentences are in past tense. Please help me understand the difference in ...
user4084's user avatar
  • 2,303
1 vote
3 answers
2k views

Have gone or Have been

Could you please tell me whether this conversation is grammatically correct or not. A: Where were you last week? (Or can I ask like this) A: "Where have you been in the last week?" B: I ...
Vinay's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
125 views

“had already worked with…” vs "has already worked with…”

Can someone correct my mistakes? Michael has been warned from the very moment he had entered the factory that Andy was a local version of a grim reaper. He was warned because everyone else had ...
Tomasz Urbanski's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
61k views

Compared to or Comparing to?

I am not sure what is compared in this phrase but it seems that people believe it as the correct word. She is nice, compared to you. You're nicer, compared to him. But why? What makes ...
Chaesar Ibrani's user avatar
7 votes
8 answers
56k views

Mistaking versus mistaken

I've always been curious why some people insist that "I was mistaken" is grammatically correct whereas "I was mistaking" is grammatically wrong. Doesn't the later follow past progressive verb tense? ...
user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
3k views

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 ...
Bebop B.'s user avatar
  • 1,155
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does "will" always become "would" in the past?

1) Tom: I will phone you on Sunday. Me: Tom said he would phone me on Sunday. 2) I decided I will go to the library. (today) I decided yesterday I would go to the library. (tomorrow) ...
mosceo's user avatar
  • 7,266
4 votes
2 answers
6k views

Have you phoned or Did you phone? [duplicate]

1.Have you phoned your sister? 2.Did you phone your sister? What is the difference between the above two sentences? (Do they sound similar?)
mark M's user avatar
  • 131
4 votes
2 answers
6k views

Tense after when

I have these 2 examples: I was sure that you would give me a telegram when you COME to Moscow. I was sure that she would go to the museum again as soon as she HAD the spare time. Why in first ...
Koss M's user avatar
  • 191
4 votes
1 answer
19k views

"Kristina 'has passed'/'passed' her exam! She 'has got'/'got' 90%"

Kristina has passed her exam! Kristina passed her exam! Does English use the present perfect (1) or the past tense (2) to announce news? Apart the way to express the vote—90%, 90, I don't know—which ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
rsp's user avatar
  • 369
4 votes
1 answer
40k views

It's been a long time since I (went/have been) to Canada

It's been a long time since I went to Canada Does the above sentence mean: since first or last went to Canada? When you as a native speaker hear the above and below sentences, could you give me ...
learner's user avatar
  • 5,938
3 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
user8718165's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
43k views

"I always knew" or "I've always known"?

I always knew through determination, everything is possible. I've always known through determination, everything is possible. Are both the sentences grammatically correct? Is the only difference ...
Pleep Ploop's user avatar
  • 1,545
3 votes
1 answer
277 views

Imperfective and perfective aspects of verb "glow"

The following six examples are taken from Google Books: Now that they were up close, it was clear that one section of the wall was glowing a much deeper green than the rest. Jack moved next to ...
Kinzle B's user avatar
  • 7,105