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Questions tagged [past-tense]

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

3
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1answer
82 views

I wanted to do something but have forgotten

I wanted to do something but have forgotten. Is this sentence valid? Can I use the past simple with the present perfect in this case? As another example: I have wanted to buy something but have ...
2
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1answer
44 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 ...
2
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1answer
185 views

I invited my friend but I realised that I forgot/had forgotten to give him the address

I invited my friend, but later l realised that l ....... to give him the address. A: forgot B: had forgotten I think that B is true but it's written in the book that A is the correct one. Is that ...
2
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1answer
75 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
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 ...
2
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1answer
162 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
50 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 ...
1
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1answer
36 views

I didn't notice until now that he left - past simple or present perfect?

I have thought that that when something that I can notice continues up to the present, I should use present perfect. For example: I have not noticed until now that his car is white. When the ...
1
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1answer
38 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 ...
1
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1answer
26 views

complex sentences and past sense

I'm discussing internals of a database system with someone and I'm struggling to figure out how do I talk about my past thought on the subject. If I was just expressing my thoughts I would say "It is ...
1
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1answer
52 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.
1
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1answer
49 views

Had not needed vs did not need

I was asked to fill the blank below preseving the meaning of the sentence. It was not necessary for him to take any warm clothes, so he travelled light. He ________________________ take any warm ...
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1answer
29 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 ...
1
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1answer
30 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 ...
1
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1answer
138 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 ...
1
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1answer
203 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 ...
1
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1answer
40 views

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." 1. freeze 2. froze 3. frozen 4. freezing ...
1
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1answer
28 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? ...
1
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1answer
117 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 ...
1
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1answer
77 views

Will the meaning change if I change “when-clause”?

do these sentences have different meanings? When she was back, I decided to do my homework.(Can this one have two meanings?) I decided to do my homework when she was back.(Can this one have two ...
1
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1answer
106 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
136 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 ...
0
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1answer
17 views

Why is past simple used in this sentence when it happened before?

Philippe Siegfried called me one day in February to announce that he had unpublished titles of his group PANORAMAS. It was Emmanuelle Jean-Luc Taccard's wife (LUCAS TROUBLE, TANGO LÜGER ...) who ...
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0answers
18 views

past simple for a habit still in work

The train _ at 8.30 p.m. today, but as a rule it _ at 8.00 p.m. sharp. ANSWER: left and started but could left and starts be ok as it is a general habits still in work at the time of writing so ...
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0answers
15 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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0answers
15 views

“When” OR “Before” in this context

The patient had already died when the doctor came. The patient had already died before the doctor came. As many people use these interchangeably. Do they convey the same meaning? Thank you.
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14 views

~all of which + having vs. have?

We had exams three days ago, and there's a question I still don't get. We had to correct (but were not allowed to split into two sentences): Good papers do not merely review literature and then say ...
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0answers
18 views

When you had found it out by 11 am I had already come?

Can we say so: I found it out at 11 am ? It's Past Simple. The action happened while it was 11 am Can we say: I had found it out by 11 am? It's Past Perfect. The action had happened before 11 am....
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0answers
20 views

I had done when you had come by the evening

We have "A" and B moments in the past. "A" happened first, "B" happened second. "A" should be in Perfect. Example: I had done when you came I had done - "A" When you came - "B" "A" happened before ...
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0answers
7 views

Past simple and past continuous in picture descriptions

I found the following exercise in a workbook: Choose the past simple or the past continuous: ... In the exercise there .... a picture of three doctors who .... . Answer key: was/sang My question: ...
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0answers
30 views

he has scored or he scored

My non-native English speaking friends and I meet regularly and learn English from one another. At our last meeting, I talked about an amateur hockey player, who is my friend. This is what I said to ...
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0answers
18 views

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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17 views

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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0answers
50 views

“could” in the past referring to a single possibility/opportunity

I decided to create another question as this addresses another aspect of the topic I discussed in my related questions. I know that in general, "could" is not used to describe a specific possibility ...
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0answers
30 views

the meaning of past perfect continuous in that case

What indeed? While she was walking through the forest, she saw a wolf strolling slowly towards her, humming something to himself. A minute or so earlier, the wolf had been watching her from behind a ...
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0answers
20 views

Choosing correct tense for dependent clauses when casting a present-tense statement into past

Putting present-simple statements in the past is my pain. In particular, I always stumble upon which tense to chose for dependent clauses: Right now the teacher is asking students one by one some ...
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17 views

get something done by somebody negative

I have the following sentences, She did not get her hand kissed by the gentlemen, since ... (correct imo) She did not get her hand kiss by the gentlemen, since ... (incorrect imo) Now, I want to ...
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0answers
43 views

past simple for an event before past perfect

The room on the first floor of the Barbour County Courthouse in the little town of Eufaula, Alabama, was normally the County Clerk’s Office, but after it had closed for the day on August 2, 1957, it ...
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0answers
48 views

Is it Simple past, Past Subjunctive, or what?

In this past sentence: I wanted to have a little time to myself before everybody else woke up at 7:00 am Is "woke up" being used as simple past, past subjunctive, conditional or what? If it's in ...
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0answers
40 views

Using “if” to describe the past

"This morning, I interviewed my students to see if they like me or not." Or "This morning, I interviewed my students to see if they liked me or not."
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138 views

past simple or past continuous

A: Which hotel were you in when you lost your passport? B: I don’t remember. I visited many places during my European tour and I ____________ (stay) in many different hotels. do i have to use Past ...
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0answers
14 views

Use of Tense -Situation :- a 35 yr old man explaining to his son how he is so good at football

I have played a lot of football in school. Or I played a lot of football in school. Situation :- a 35 yr old man explaining to his son how he is so good at football. Well, football that he ...
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0answers
56 views

illogical use of past simple in this text

Every now and then we have gone to the studio and recorded a free batch of songs, just to see what they sounded like on tape never thinking they'd one day end up on a double album. What I don't ...
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0answers
54 views

This war has begun in the context of the crisis in Chavismo politics

This war has begun in the context of the crisis in Chavismo politics now marked by the lack of food, medicine and money for the people. Source: https://thewire.in/171850/venezuela-crisis-populism/ ...
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0answers
38 views

Using a past tense “mingled” in present tense writing

The sentence is: "As I mingled with the crowd, I keep an eye out for my friend." Is that grammatically correct? I'm writing something in present tense instead of past tense for the first time, ...
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0answers
451 views

What is the difference? “had feared” vs “feared” vs “was feared”

Which one should I use: I had feared that my companion would talk too much. I was feared that my companion would talk too much. I feared that my companion would talk too much.
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50 views

Past tense confusion

But I was grateful that he helped me convince Jared there was time to make the raid and get back before a decision was made about Kyle. Can anyone explain to me when it's not necessary to add 'ed' to ...
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0answers
402 views

Any addition which appeared or have appeared in recent times

Yavanika is one of the latest additions to good drama which appeared/have appeared in recent times. If I saywhich appeared in recent times, will that be considered wrong? As far as tense of the ...
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0answers
413 views

Example of right usage of Past Simple and Present Perfect

I am practising and doing exercise on the differences between simple past and present perfect. One of the rules I've learnt states that present perfect should be used when an action happened in the ...
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0answers
104 views

How should I understand this use of past and present tense in the same sentence?

'Cause, baby, now we got bad blood You know it used to be mad love So take a look what you've done 'Cause, baby, now we got bad blood BY TAYLOR SWIFT