Questions tagged [past-vs-past-perfect]

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3answers
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Should this reported speech use "was" or "had been" to convert "was"?

When you have a sentence in the direct speech talking about someone’s age such as “a producer discovered me when I was 13” How does it change into the reported speech? he said a producer had ...
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Past perfect usage

I went over to John's place three months ago. (this sentence should mean the speaker went over to john's place three months before now.) I had visited John's, three months ago. Without a reference ...
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1answer
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In terms of appropriateness, do (since + past) and (since + perfect) have different meaning and usage?

This problem is discussed in Advanced Oxford Grammar and the book explains that different tenses are possible in sentences with since. By the way, I quoted the explanations and some examples below: ...
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1answer
28 views

Is this correct? (past tense vs past perfect)

I thought you would have picked him up from school. I had thought you would have picked him from school. In the first case "thought" verb on the timeline comes after the "picking"...
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1answer
21 views

"I haven't" "I hadn't" "I didn't" Which one is the best in the context?

Please imagine you liked Super Mario when you were a kid and that you are going to play it for the first time in a decade or two. Before playing it, you'd say "Oh, I haven't played Super Mario ...
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1answer
38 views

"Joe told me how he spent time at a birthday party." "He told me how he had spent time at a birthday party." [duplicate]

My friend (let's say he's named Joe) is telling me how he spent time at a birthday party. Two days later I want to talk about that to my other friend (let's say Ryan). What's the right way? Joe told ...
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2answers
71 views

What is the difference in meanings between "He was waiting for me" and "He had been waiting for me"?

He was waiting for me when I arrived. He had been waiting for me when I arrived.
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31 views

Simple past with the "by some point in the past" phrase. What to choose and when?

Why does it use the past simple tense rather than the past perfect (had been)? (1) Odenkirk confirmed by early September 2021 that he was back on set filming. The source: https://en.wikipedia.org/...
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1answer
226 views

past simple & past perfect

What is the difference between using the simple past in two parts of the sentence and using the past simple in one part and the past perfect in the other part. For example: "As soon as the light ...
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1answer
85 views

What is the best "had or had expected " in this case

It turned out that what happened was different from what I expected in my mind. I would like to know if my sentence is idiomatic and if we can write the following? It turned out that what happened ...
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1answer
24 views

Difference between was and had been

I would like to know how are the two sentences different in meaning: She was never bothered about the grandmother. She had never been bothered about the grandmother. What difference passive forms of ...
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0answers
17 views

Simple past and past perfect tense [duplicate]

Stories are mostly written in simple past tense.(let's call it past 1) To explain an event that happened even before past 1 we use past perfect tense.(let's call it past 2) Now if we want to add a ...
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2answers
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Past progressive for a finished event

It was Friday, the first day of our skiing holiday, and my friend Jason and I __________ down the mountain together. We wanted to catch the ski lift back down to our hotel. I answered had been skiing,...
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2answers
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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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2answers
543 views

"since" and the tense in the main clause

School grammar says the tense /aspect of the main clause is the present or past perfect if the subordinate clause or phrase begins with since. That said, what do you think about the acceptability of ...
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2answers
49 views

"We can really do what [we were]/[we've been] pretending to do"

Which one is right out of the following? We can really do what we were pretending to do We can really do what we've been pretending to do
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1answer
213 views

Correct use of tense for interview questions?

Q) How did you manage your studies? Ans (a) I did not study hard. I had prepared one timetable and followed it. Ans (b) I did not study hard. I prepared one timetable and followed it. Which one ...
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1answer
138 views

The past perfect tense is used in the main clause and in the subordinate?

I saw a sentence in the Collins English Dictionary: He had squirmed and wriggled and screeched when his father had washed his face. I rarely see a sentence which uses the past perfect tense both in ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
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past perfect with 'when' [duplicate]

Alice walked to the door when the doorbell rang Alice walked to the door when the doorbell had rung In (1) it is clear in which order the actions occured. The doorbell rang. Then, Alice walked to ...
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1answer
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After she had completed her home work, she went to bed

After she had completed her home work, she went to bed. Is the sentence correct or not? Is it had completed or have completed?
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2answers
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I -/Have/Had Never Thought Of That?

I am currently a bit confused about the difference between these 3 phrases: I have never thought of that. (present perfect) I had never thought of that. (past perfect) I never thought of that. (past ...
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I wonder if the PP tense in some (or all) of these sentences is either optional or mandatory or wrong

Yesterday I watched the movie “Father”. I hadn’t expected it, but the movie proved to be a masterpiece. This morning I was surprised to learn that the 93d Oscar ceremony had been held last night, and ...
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2answers
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Past perfect for two simultaneous events "Her business had proved that it was possible to be sustainable and profitable at the same time."

Could anyone please explain me why we use past perfect instead of past simple before “that” in the sentence below? As I understand, we use past perfect in a sequence of events to show that the action ...
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2answers
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Questions related to tense

I am kind of confused.... Are the two sentences below the same? Let’s pretend that none of this had ever/never happened. Let’s pretend that none of this have ever/never happened. If it’s different, ...
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1answer
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Are perfect and simple tenses interchangeable in these examples? Do they have any difference?

Sci-fi movies earned the most income each year between 2006 and 2010. Sci-fi movies had earned the most income each year between 2006 and 2010. It is forecast that car ownership will decline by 10% in ...
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1answer
613 views

Why is this grammatically correct? - "I would like to cancel the job that I had ordered"

As the title states, would you mind teaching me why this sentence is grammatically correct? "I would like to cancel the job that I had ordered" The reason I ask is that the below sentence doesn't ...
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1answer
80 views

"Had left" or "left "

Can we use this sentence: He hadn't talked to his parents since he left school. instead of this one: He hadn't talked to his parents since he had left school.
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Is the past perfect correct here?

From a movie. Two cyclists talking after a short race. A: How is that for slow? B: You gotta give me a second chance! I'll race you through the tunnel. A: You're on. Hadn't had enough? (meaning I ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
314 views

'was' versus 'had been'

When I asked the driver/ to come with me to the temple/ he had been reluctant./ No error. I think instead of 'had been', there should be 'was'. Even the answer key points that the error is in the 'he ...
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1answer
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"He had a gun." or "He has had a gun."

What is the difference between the sentences He had a gun. and He has had a gun. I think when you are saying about the past why don't you just say it as "He had a gun" instead of ...
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2answers
127 views

Two questions are about past perfect

There are 2 questions which the answer key says I'm wrong. First: By the time he was applying / he'd applied, the job had already gone. I think it should be "he was applying" Second: She ...
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past perfect or past simple with work

is there any difference between these sentences? I had worked hard so I needed a break I worked hard so I needed a break
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30 views

"I tried to make an order but couldn't pay because you*had not accepted paypal payment yet."

I tried to make an order but couldn't pay because you had not accepted paypal payment yet. Will it be ok to use the present perfect or past simple. Is it possible to use yet with past simple? I ...
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1answer
364 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 ...
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0answers
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Is "had" necessary in this sentence?

You failed 9 subjects before you graduated from college. I read up that its necessary for this to become "you had failed" since there are 2 past tense verbs, and because the "had" ...
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1answer
29 views

"Why didn't he tell her what had happened?" "He had fallen on the floor"

Sometimes I am not sure whether or not I need to use the past perfect or leave it out completely. Why didn't he tell her what had happened? Why didn't he tell her what happened? (Are both of these ...
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1answer
44 views

"I was waiting at the train station when the rain had stopped."

In the following sentence: I was waiting at the train station when the rain had stopped. Is it correct to use the present continuous with the past perfect, or should I use the past simple? I was ...
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2answers
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past perfect tense usage -- I had called you yesterday before leaving

Is the sentence below correct? I had called you yesterday before leaving.
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2answers
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"They had lost all hope" vs. "They lost all hope"

The Napoleonic War had begun in 1816. When it ended, they had lost all hope. OR The Napoleonic War had begun in 1816. When it ended, they lost all hope. Which one of these sentences is ...
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1answer
28 views

Using 'before' and 'after'

I am not quite sure yet but is it mandatory to use the Past perfect when clarifying which action occurred first by using signal words such as "before" and "after", or would it be ...
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1answer
76 views

Why don't these sentences use the same tense?

It turned out that what happened was different from what I had expected in my mind. The resultant situation is something that happened later in time than when you made predictions about the same. I ...
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3answers
116 views

Which tense to choose: Past Simple or Past Perfect?

Which is correct: We didn't play football yesterday. The match was canceled/had been canceled. I think was canceled is correct, but the second? - I'm confused. Maybe firstly the match was ...
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2answers
33k views

What should I say "Had Happened" Or "happened"?

Due to some reason I could not completed my task yesterday. Is it correct to say Today that? I really don't Know what had happened to me. I could not complete my task yesterday. or only simple past ...
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2answers
2k views

"by the time" and past simple

In a museum I saw this sentence, I was a bit surprised By the time the letter was posted, the children were already dead. Is it correct? I would write The children had been dead. What is the ...
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2answers
45 views

Was / Had been under the impression

I am writing about my childhood. Which tense should I use? I only played outdoor games. My friend once took me to his home and made me play the video game Mario. A.Before I played Mario, I was under ...
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2answers
3k views

Why "I hadn't noticed" instead of "I didn't notice"/"I haven't notice"?

I see that I hadn't noticed is commonly used by native speakers, more than the pair I didn't notice and I haven't noticed ,in the following example People are being more careful nowadays, don't you ...
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1answer
30 views

Past Progressive or Past Perfect Progressive? [duplicate]

In a past narrative, I often see people using Past Perfect Progressive for things that are still true, which is odd to me, as the Past Perfect Progressive is an action that started in the past and ...
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2answers
507 views

What’s the different between says and said

Ken says that he lived many years in England. Ken said that he had lived many years in England. What’s the different between this two sentences? I know one is present tense and the other is past ...