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Questions tagged [past-tense]

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

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Past continuous vs past perfect continuous

1a) He went through her phone and found out she'd been lying to him all the time. 1b) He went through her phone and found out she was lying to him all the time. 2a) My friend asked me to watch that ...
Romy Learner's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
21 views

Why the past perfect is used in the sentence and is it correct?

The sentence: Remove products that are part of a bundle from the cart when the bundle has been added to the cart. Why using the past perfect here "when the bundle has been added to the cart&...
Sabt's user avatar
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2 answers
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Why did the writer choose this form in this text"

When the gig was over Johnny's hand had swollen to the size of a catcher's mitt. The patron came over to Johnny, his face cut and swollen, gave Johnny a hug and in his english brogue, said it was the ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
164 views

simple past + by 6pm

This question helped me construct the next sentences and I want to make sure if they're correct: By 6pm I had given him the money, and then I went home. (Would "gave" be incorrect?) I gave ...
Let's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
164 views

Should "realized" be used with the past perfect or simple?

A few example sentences: I woke up late and realized I overslept (or) had overslept. I went to market yesterday bought some clothes while paying the bill I realized I left (or) had left my wallet at ...
Romy Learner's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
290 views

What is the difference between "didn't" and "hadn't"

I was tired because I didn't sleep / hadn't slept. I was hungry because I didn't eat / hadn't eaten. which one is right and what's the difference ? I want to give information and cause of myself ...
Romy Learner's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can I use 'was' twice in a sentence?

For example: "I was salivating on the food he was cooking." Thank you in advance.
Joleebee2021's user avatar
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3 answers
52 views

The past of something routinely done

I watch a movie every Monday. I know this sentence is in the present tense and it indicates something routinely done. How could I say that in the past as I no longer watch movie. My guess is: In the ...
Gamal Thomas's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
635 views

Was used to / used to / got used

Do these constructions mean the same ? I used to play football when I was a child. I was used to play football when I was a child. And I got used to play football.
KaraDen's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
636 views

When / while + past continuous/simple

I´m studying the use of while and when with simple past/past continuous. I´ve watched some videos about it, but I cannot fully understand when I should use "while" or "when" and if ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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how to understand where it is better not to use Past Perfect?

I am confused, because I use Past Perfect even where it's not needed. Please, help me to figure out. For instance, why we don't say: We had had nothing in common with her, so we quickly lost contact....
KaraDen's user avatar
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1 answer
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About the past tense

I've recently listened to people talking in interviews and from time to time they use "did (past tense) + the verb in the simple present tense". For example, instead of saying "I saw ...
Sofía's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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How do I change tenses when describing my thoughts about the past within a past tense narrative?

I am probably missing something very simple, but when you have a present + past simple sentence like the following: I think that he looked uncomfortable when he was reading my essay. How do you put it ...
August99's user avatar
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0 answers
5k views

When do we use haven't had, hadn't had, and didn't have?

For example: I haven't had my breakfast. I hadn't had my breakfast. I didn't have my breakfast. Could you clarify if the abovementioned sentences are grammatically correct, and if yes, then what are ...
Nandita Sen's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
141 views

When the bell rang, we had NOT finished our work

When the bell rang, we had NOT finished our work. Does it mean: We were still working at the time the bell rang. I think that "finish working" and "finish work" are not the same. ...
user1425's user avatar
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1 answer
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bought or had bought in this case

It was around this time that top shelf collector/seller Jeff Gold had made contact with Rob Gretton’s partner Lesley Gilbert and bought some of his record collection from her. Through Jeff, I was able ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
28 views

Before the past perfect/past simple

1 Steve went to work before he had finished reading the article. 2 Steve went to work before he finished reading the article. 3 The bell rang before we had finished our work. 4 The bell rang before we ...
user1425's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why we can not use past progressive instead of past simple in this example?

In the example below, I saw the writer used "when" at the beginning of the sentence and as I thought that going closer to the animal was the background and then noticing the plastic yoghurt ...
Sunflower's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
90 views

How to say the sentence "Subject + should + (not) + verb" in the past tense?

Suppose that a student achieved poor academic grades and the officials of the university he attended told him if he fails any other course, they will expel him. At that time, he said these sentences ...
alireza's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between past simple and past perfect in this case?

Last time I checked the letter box the parcel did not arrive. I think this is correct Last time I checked the letter box the parcel had not arrived. I think this is also correct but with the ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Verb tense after the word tommorow

Would be grateful for any advice please. I am attempting to write a novel (not for publication but for personal satisfaction only). I am now running into grammar problems I have never even thought ...
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1 vote
2 answers
1k views

What is the difference between "was standing" vs "stood"? (Especially in the context of writing a formal report about past data)

Which one is correct and what is the difference between them? 1 The amount of sales was standing at $10000 in 1990. 2 The amount of sales stood at $10000 in 1990. For example, consider this ...
alireza's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
564 views

"I went to see if she had woken up yet." vs "I went to see if she woke up yet."

The following sentences are from a grammer web site Exercises on Sequence of Tenses See, number 7. I went to see if she woke up yet. I went to see if she had woken up yet. I thought both sentences are ...
Yunus's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
75 views

Is "I thought+clause" is neutral in meaning or does it automatically imply "I was wrong".?

I thought that Tom was kind. I get confused with such sutructures about the meaning, because this structure can have 2 meanings. It can mean "I thought he was kind and he turned out to be really ...
Yunus's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
130 views

"I thought we could go to the lake this weekend." Is this sentence ok, if "going to the lake" did not take place?

As far as I know, the structure "I thought we could/would do....." can be used for 2 purposes: 1-When you found that something was unexpectedly different from what you thought it was. For ...
Yunus's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
990 views

"I recall" or "I recalled"

When trying to remember or talking about a past event at present, should it be in past or present tense? For e.g. I recall having a conversation about the flight bookings. I recalled having a ...
PlainH2O's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
37 views

Why is it "for me to buy it" rather than "for me to bought it"? What is the reason we use the infinitive?

Looking at the sentence: "for me to buy this flat it needed to be furnished" What is the grammatical reason for using "to buy" and not "bought" even though it refers to a ...
Jo R's user avatar
  • 119
1 vote
1 answer
23 views

Is my explanation right in this context?

In the song "Smashing Time" of the TVP's, there is this sentence, "we both agreed, we both had a smashing time". I know grammar in songs are sometimes a bit special but I find ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
  • 7,637
1 vote
2 answers
463 views

Do we use "can have" + past participle for past possibility?

Is it possible to use Can have + Past Participle for past possibilities? I Know could have or might have are mostly used, but is the following possible? It could have been Bill's note It might have ...
Sergül's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
25 views

Question about simple past

If someone said: I wore a dress. Could the person still be wearing the dress?
user avatar
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3 answers
69 views

“My previous car was blue” vs “My previous car is blue” [closed]

What’s the difference between “my previous car was blue” vs “my previous car is blue”? Is one of them wrong? Or can both of them be right, being different only in the context?
Firman's user avatar
  • 119
0 votes
1 answer
64 views

Reported speech for questions - optional back-shifting - past tense

REPORTED SPEECH for questions Could the back-shifting to the past be optional for these sentences? PS: I am wondering especially about sentence (3) (past). (1) "Which dress do you like best?"...
Meriem AISSAOUI's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
22 views

It is all those or there are all those

I am not sure if it is appropriate to use "it is/was" or “there is/was” in the following situation: ( I was trying to tell what I was surprised to see in my way to visit a friend to my ...
lock menorah's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
133 views

Difference between simple past and past progressive

When you remember about an event and refer it, would you use simple past or past progressive? For example: Yesterday I went to a rock concert. I liked the last song very much. Everyone was singing ...
Nigutumok's user avatar
  • 568
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Mustn't for past and present deductions

Why it is acceptable to use (B) to make a deduction (about the past) and not (A) (about the present)? A- Mustn't + base verb ( about the present) Example: (1) The answer mustn't be A. B- Mustn't + ...
Meriem AISSAOUI's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
53 views

Why we use past perfect continuous instead of past continuous in these 2 examples?

As you see in these below examples, they used past perfect continuous, but I thought it should be past continuous because they are both in shorter periods and didn't emphasize duration. And even in ...
Sunflower's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
392 views

"I usually go to school by bus but today I went on foot." "I usually go to school by bus but today I am going on foot." Which sentence is wrong?

"I usually go to school by bus but today I went on foot." "I usually go to school by bus but today I am going on foot." Which sentence is wrong? I think both of them are correct. ...
Smita Shaha's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
475 views

Passive voice without "to be"? Or use past participle after a noun to describe it?

Sometimes I see some sentences look like passive voice, but don't have a verb "to be". For example: "The goals set in the initial phase of a project can heavily influence your work.&...
Hana Fuchihara's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
47 views

What is the right tense form here?

This is an idea he had introduced in his article which would appear six years later in a book by a different author. Are the tenses right in the sentence? Here, we are talking about the second action ...
Ammu's user avatar
  • 553
0 votes
0 answers
159 views

The correct use of "for the first time/the first time"

With what tense should we use "for the first time" and "the first time"? I am confused, because some native speakers told me that I had to always use Present Perfect. But others ...
Mason Gabe's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
109 views

Can I use present perfect instead of past simple in this sentence?

There was a bus drivers' strike last week, so ....(there/be) no buses. I question if I can use there has been in this example. I thought we could use present perfect because we still do not see any ...
Sunflower's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
53 views

What does “ I had a U.S. visa, and it expired in 5 years.” mean?

I can understand the former part of the sentence. I had a U.S visa ( I used to have one, but I no longer have it.) but I having trouble understanding the latter part of the sentence. and it expired in ...
It's Rex's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
695 views

Perfect fit for a grammatical error

Yesterday, I had an exam in which this objective type question was asked. Select the most appropriate option that can substitute the underlined segment in the given sentence. She wished she __ ...
Sudhir Sharma's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
24 views

'Email you received last week was/is spam'

I'm confused about these two sentences: email you received last week was spam email you received last week is spam Which one is correct?
Abdullah_hassan's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
59 views

I don't understand the use of past perfect in this sentence

Philadelphia’s Kilynn Lunsford had been conceiving her first solo album since she was a young teen. Growing up through the MTV era of Missy Elliot, Timbaland and the Swing Mob collective, and drawn ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
  • 7,637
1 vote
2 answers
246 views

Even when we were children, out parents _______ family problems with us||put the correct form of discuss

I had an English test this morning and after my teacher graded it I was surprised that I had this question wrong. I filled the blank with were discussing and I know that for a fact that sounds, at ...
Helixglich's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
127 views

Indicating someone else made a guess about past events

Imagine the following scenario: You were in class, and your professor made a guess and said Professor: "Climate change may have led the dinosaur to extinction." After the class, you are ...
Eric's user avatar
  • 143
0 votes
2 answers
75 views

When Ali was young, he [did not use to]/[would not] exercise every day out of his habit

My English teacher showed me this question, but I could not answer it. When Ali was young, he .......................... exercise every day out of his habit. choose: 1. did not use to. or 2. would ...
omar emam's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
71 views

No back-shifting for reported speeches that remain true at the moment of reporting (past tense)

Is It informal not to back-shift? or is it acceptable in formal situations as well? Sherri and Dan: “We enjoyed the concert.” Sherri and Dan told us they enjoyed the concert.
Meriem AISSAOUI's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
89 views

Choosing the correct tense

I need to know whether to choose the past tense or the present tense. The sentence is talking about my grandfather when he was in the primary stage so, we needed to use the past tense (in my opinion ...
omar emam's user avatar

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