Questions tagged [past-tense]

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

125 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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3
votes
2answers
160 views

How to use tenses in reported speech

If I had two verb forms in a sentence, how should I use the tense? For example: I heard that you were moving to London. The situation is like this, the event (moving to London) has not taken ...
3
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1answer
49 views

Problem to use Past Perfect tense (Had met / met)

Sentence: It was the first time I had met/met her. Which tense form should be used, had met or met? I have come across this sentence only, not from any specific context.
3
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1answer
90 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
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 ...
2
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2answers
30 views

Can we use two different tenses in a sentence

Is this correct ? Can we use two different tenses , like this one for example : ( happened and drops ) “What my parents think happened when a bottle of shampoo drops on the bathroom floor.....” (...
2
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1answer
46 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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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 ...
2
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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 ...
2
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1answer
381 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
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 ...
2
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1answer
3k 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
182 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
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 ...
2
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2answers
152 views

Necessity of past perfect?

The....... has been in existence for about three and a half years now, while before that Kai had been a member of a group called ......., and even before that was also involved with another group ...
2
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2answers
289 views

past simple or present perfect for a past action with effect on present

Sorry for the late reply, I was away for the weekend, I saw you had already placed another order so I owe you the extra 7€ you've spent for the shipping, let me know if you want a refund Could have I ...
2
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2answers
179 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().
2
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2answers
95 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 ...
2
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2answers
289 views

Indication of different times

I am very happy to have helped you. I'm very happy to be helped you. I'm very happy to help you. I was very happy to had helped you. By the first sentence, I wanted to mean that I've helped someone ...
2
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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 ...
1
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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 ...
1
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1answer
67 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 ...
1
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1answer
46 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
32 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
57 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
251 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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2answers
51 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 ...
1
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1answer
37 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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1answer
41 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
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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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 ...
1
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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 ...
1
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1answer
47 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 ...
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1answer
33 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
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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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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2answers
373 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
266 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 ...
1
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1answer
79 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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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 ...
1
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2answers
172 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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2answers
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
118 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
140 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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0answers
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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0answers
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 ...
0
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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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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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0answers
23 views

Past perfect / present perfect

Which one is correct? I had wet. I had got wet. I have wet. I have got wet.
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0answers
55 views

Result in past simple

I was thinking a lot about result in present perfect, but when I reed a book, that character appeared just a moment ago (recently) they still use past simple (for example, "Why did it take you so long?...
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0answers
26 views

Alternating between the past and the present perfect

I have a question about the use of the simple past and the present perfect in the same sentence. I heard a native saying the following: "So far, I’ve sat for three exams, but I didn’t do well on ...