Questions tagged [past-tense]

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

233 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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1answer
169 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 ...
2
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1answer
83 views

Placement of the adverb in “The river Thames last froze over three decades ago.”

I was solving a question for TOEIC prep, and found this sentence. The question was "The River Thames last ______ over three decades ago." freeze froze frozen freezing The book says the ...
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1answer
246 views

“Didn't choose {to be born/to have been born}”

Didn't choose to be born Didn't choose to have been born The second one doesn't sound right to me, but something about it looks plausible. Which one is the right one, and why?
2
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1answer
78 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 ...
2
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2answers
361 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 ...
2
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2answers
174 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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0answers
16 views

is + past perticiple? and was + past participle?

When is the last time you danced? When was the last time you danced? Yesterday I saw the first sentence written and I don't know if it's correct. Are both of these options correct? If so what's the ...
1
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1answer
31 views

'Last Friday, we have announced 18 trainees who [HAVE BEEN/ WERE] selected to join our program'

Last Friday, we have announced 18 trainees who were selected to join our program. Last Friday, we have announced 18 trainees who have been selected to join our program. which one is correct?
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29 views

Using Past perfect with till

He did not wait till we had finished our meal. Why this construction is grammatically correct? I mean (and feel) He did not wait is first event, finished is second.
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0answers
44 views

What is more natural for describing last night's actions, past simple or progressive?

— What did you do last night? — I watched YouTube. And what about you? — I met up with a friend and we watched a movie. — And what did you do before the meeting? — I roller-skated. My textbook says ...
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1answer
16 views

Is there such a thing as the imperfect past tense? If so, can you give me some examples?

I'm sure I was taught that there was at school. But someone recently asked me the difference between 'learned' and 'learnt', which is a nice little conundrum that receives plenty of attention ...
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0answers
22 views

Which follows or which followed?

I am writing a report and comparing this year's increase/decrease to last year's increase/decrease. Which of the following sentences is more correct and why? Civil filings decreased 21.6% in 2020, to ...
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22 views

Indirect speech for past tense

What would be the indirect speech for the sentence given below. The teacher said,"she was sick yesterday". Which one is correct. The teacher said that she was sick the previous day. The ...
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21 views

“I did not complain and tell/told myself to calm down and try to solve this difficult problem.”

Which sentence is grammatically correct? I did not complain and tell myself to calm down and try to solve this difficult problem. Or: I did not complain and told myself to calm down and try to ...
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2answers
10 views

Is this sentence gramatically correct? Use of would have and had

Is this sentence correctly written? I would never have had the chance to become who i am if would not worked as hard as i did. Also, I'm a native Spanish speaker and i can't find the differences ...
1
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1answer
31 views

Past tense in hypothetical statement?

I don't understand why this sentence is correct: What would you do if this happened to you? Why use happened and not happen(s)? Is it because it's an imagined situation? Do we always have to use past ...
1
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1answer
23 views

present vs past tense

I told her to light the lamp when it gets dark. I told her to light the lamp when it got dark. Which sentence is correct? If both are correct then what is the difference in meaning between them and ...
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0answers
35 views

What tense is a good choice for these sentences: past simple or past perfect?

But when I saw the very thin packaging I thought that it was a miracle that the record was not broken. But when I saw the very thin packaging I thought that it was a miracle that the record had not ...
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2answers
35 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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0answers
14 views

Using “now” with the past tense

I'm confused because I think the use of word "now" is kind of idiomatic in phrase 1, but on the other hand I think it should be as phrase 2. So, is it normal to use "now" with the past simple ???? 1-...
1
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1answer
148 views

Can we use the past tense followed by present tense to describe videos or movies we've seen before?

For example:This video talks about the importance of giving affection to your pets, they were mentioning how you should make enough time for your pets to ensure their happiness in the long run, it was ...
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0answers
175 views

hadn’t felt / hadn’t been feeling (in context)

Question with an assignment. Instructions: Complete the sentences with the correct forms of the verbs in brackets. Use the Past Simple, Past Perfect Simple, Past Perfect Continuous. Mum ...
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0answers
32 views

Some doubts about the usage of Past Perfect in these context

I am encountering some problems filling these space in this exercises: A: Have you seen Matt recently? B: Matt? He’s in Canada. A: Really? How long has he been in Canada? B: About a year now. ...
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0answers
43 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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0answers
20 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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2answers
218 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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244 views

He told he had found or found

After he had been watching them for a couple of days he told the police everything he found out Why not had found out as he first watched them then found out and then went to the police. If you don'...
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2answers
42 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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1answer
92 views

Can I use a past tense clause after a present perfect one?

Can I use a past tense clause after a present perfect one , for example, like this : It has just crossed my mind so I added it. In this sentence, I only want to emphasize the first action to be ...
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1answer
87 views

“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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1answer
79 views

“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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1answer
2k views

Had not needed vs did not need

I was asked to fill the blank below preserving the meaning of the sentence. It was not necessary for him to take any warm clothes, so he traveled light. He ____________ take any warm clothes ...
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3answers
230 views

Is it possible to use past simple instead of past perfect in “…all the washing up HAD BEEN DONE…”?

There's the following sentence in my Grammar book: It was a lovely surprise to find that all the washing-up HAD BEEN DONE while I was asleep. The only answer mentioned in the answer key is past ...
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1answer
57 views

What is the best choice in this case past continuous or simple

While she was driving to work every day she was listening or listened to languages CDs In the test the answer is listened because the action is completed now: she does not listen to these cds ...
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2answers
69 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
177 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
189 views

usage of present perfect tense

My question is about the use of present perfect tense. To my knowledge this tense is used for the actions that have started in the past and continues up until now. I have questions about different ...
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2answers
115 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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3answers
632 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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2answers
511 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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2answers
316 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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1answer
68 views

Why is “did be” grammatically incorrect?

What’s wrong with this sentence? Where did you be yesterday? These sorts of sentences have been bothering me for some time. Can someone explain to me why I cannot say sentences like one in the ...
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2answers
51 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
123 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
2k views

Completed Action/ final condition / final state of action / Event at that time in Reporting Speech?

The past perfect is used to communicate an event completed before another event in the past. But in newspaper I read in some news that past perfect and simple past is being used to communicate the ...
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1answer
170 views

Should I use “was” or “is” in the following sentence?

Should I use was or is in this sentence? I asked them if Person X was/is in any way related to or affiliated with their organization at any time. My guess is "at any time" warrants "was". Is this ...
1
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1answer
163 views

What do you think of my choice (past simple or present perfect)

I'm staying in my friend's house because we have made an house exchange.I am leaving tomorrow and I wrote a little note of what I had done during my stay. Here it is Time to get back. I have very ...
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1answer
24 views

“That was all we needed” - Is this sentence correct?

"Same motive. Same will. That was all we needed to work together." I wanted this to be more of a casual sentence so I skipped adding 'the' before 'same.' But I'm not sure if the second part,...
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0answers
18 views

Verb Tense for a Condition in the Past

"The consensus was that this was that." or "The consensus was that this is that." This is that at that time.
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0answers
21 views

As far as that WENT

Is it okay to say "As far as that WENT"? Like a past form of "as far as it goes".

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