Questions tagged [sequence-of-tenses]

for questions about the agreement between the tenses of verbs in related clauses or sentences.

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"sequence of tenses"

I am wondering whether it is better to say: You would think that I was a thief. or You would think that I am a thief. and I wouldn't say one was more correct than the other or I ...
1 vote
1 answer
25 views

Has understood or had understood?

I'm doing some essays to prepare for the C1 writing test. I wrote this sentence: "after a student had understood a formula, it would be more efficient if he was able to apply it through ...
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Progressive aspect with simple past

Is this sentence correct? She isn't feeling well so she had to take a day off. Or should it be wasn't?
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238 views

Which one is correct? "Believe" word grammar

Which sentence is correct? He believed that brain is linked to emotion. He believed that brain was linked to emotion. I think "is linked" is correct because he believes in a fact, am I right?...
1 vote
2 answers
60 views

Extend something to somebody

We usually say extend something to somebody but in the following sentence The law created a group called ‘Socially and Educationally Backward Class’ and included Marathas as the sole group under the ...
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Would have thought

I’m having a disagreement with a friend about the use of would have. She thinks that backshifting isn’t necessary, whereas I think it is. For example, “I would have thought he made exceptions in ...
2 votes
1 answer
211 views

Why is present simple used in conjunction with "while" instead of present continuous?

I was recently watching this Apple series called For All Mankind and came across the following sentence there: While we sit here, the Soviets are pushing ahead with their plans for a lunar ...
2 votes
1 answer
81 views

Using would with present tense

Is this correct? I would buy it if it actually does what it is supposed to do? Should we replace this sentence with this? If so, please explain. I would buy it if it actually did what it was supposed ...
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1 answer
104 views

price to be advised and quoted separately

price to be advised and quoted separately In the sentence above, is the word quoted a short form of to be quoted? Should it be price to be advised and quote separately? Edit to add more context: I ...
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2 answers
48 views

Why is the progressive form used in “since we weren't playing...”

Why did the author choose a continuous form? Kim would always encourage me to wear baseball hats when we played because she said it made me look a heavy metal drummer, and since we weren't playing ...
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1 answer
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What does mean the sequence of time in this example

throughout the period the Sex pistols were active there had always been an intention to produce a film based around the band. It was always part of McLaren's master plan that the Pistols were more ...
1 vote
3 answers
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Why do we match the tenses in the first example and not in the second one

Could you explain me why it is better to say I did not know you had a brother. even it is a present situation. Your brother is still alive. It is better to match the tenses and why can you use ...
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1 answer
580 views

What verb tenses should I use with enumeration?

I have the following sentence. All of the actions described I've performed today. I've paid a visit, played chess, drank an espresso and bought a couple of souvenirs. My first tense is present ...
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1 answer
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The past perfect tense and simple past

We usually use when with reference to the simple past tense because it refers to a point of time rather than a period of time. When I reached the station, the train had left. But can I say When ...
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Past perfect without Past tense

As a technology visionary, Elon Musk has created cars that have challenged the conventional automobile industry and rockets that have saved space transportation costs. Is this sentence correct? It ...
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4 answers
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What is the difference between would + verb and had been + verb-ing?

What is the difference between these two sentences: 1. He would dance well when he was 10 years old. 2. He had been dancing well when he was 10 years old.
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2 answers
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Why is "It is" incorrect in "It is because he was jealous..."?

It is because he was jealous that John lied about his sister's prize. I don't know why 'It is~' is wrong in the sentence. In a text book, they say the sentence is wrong. What is the difference ...
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1 answer
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Sequence of tenses with past perfect

if a first sentence is in the past perfect and a second is in the same time with a first should a first be in past perfect too or in past simple? E.g: Alex said he had been there when that happened or ...
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1 answer
31 views

Mixing conditionals confusion

Using mix conditionals : should I use "were" or "are" in the following: 1-They wouldn't be famous in the way that they( are) now if they hadn't been serious. 2- They wouldn't be famous in the way ...
1 vote
3 answers
36 views

what is this meaning of "could"?

A: Your French is horrible. B: Oh really? Then, seems like I've been deceiving myself into thinking that I could speak it when I actually couldn't. This "could" is the result of the ...
2 votes
2 answers
218 views

Why does this grammar book say there is a tense problem in "No one...wishes that we had...homework each night"?

No one in my history class wishes that we had more homework each night. This is from a 4th grader's grammar book and says it doesn't have a proper verb tense. I don't get it. Can anybody help?
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2 answers
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You {did not move/have not moved} your car... there {would not/will not} have been... - which choice is correct?

I have these examples: Given you did not move your car away from my garage door by next weekend as you promised there wouldn't have been any change in your behaving. and Given you have not moved ...
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2 answers
63 views

Grammar with since as a conjunction

Which one is correct between the two given sentences and why? 1) It is five years since I saw a movie. 2) It has been five years since I saw a movie.
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1 answer
119 views

Do you know what they mean/meant by this?

I'm trying to ask the other person to clarify what he just said as he asked me about the size of a material. His question:"What materials require the tools needed to move the 3 pallet sizes?"...
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1 answer
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Past Perfect tense in "if clause" type 3

"If he had come here yesterday at 5 p.m., he might have seen his sister." What does this sentence mean and which situation do I imagine with this sentence? Do I imagine the situation that he came ...
4 votes
2 answers
119 views

If clause in a conditional sentence: didn't have vs hadn't

I have a sentence in an exam that says: [1] I WOULD COME if I DIDN'T HAVE other plans. Is it right to say the sentence: [2] I would come if I HADN'T other plans. I am having trouble deciding.
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1 answer
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Is the change in the tense of "do" understood when "done" is omitted?

I've always wondered about this kind of sentence: You can't do (it); you have to wait for it to be (done). Is the "done" necessary? Without done, is it allowed so in any other type of ...
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1 answer
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Sequence of tenses for modal verbs?

Would, could, and might can be used to express possibility or uncertainty in the present or future (they are the "softer" and more "indirect", or more "polite" forms of ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Tense simplification: use would, could, might, should to express possibility, uncertainty, etc. in the present

The book Practical English Usage by Michael Swan says: The tense in the subordinate clause tends to be simplified. He gives some examples: (a) If I (would have) had lots of money, I would give some ...
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Attributive clause and Sequence of tenses

There are three chronological actions: A friend gives me a book. I like it. I tell my friend: "I like it." I want to describe all three in one sentence with an attributive clause. Would it ...
3 votes
2 answers
86 views

Why does the author write "listen" for a thing he is doing?

I'm sitting here with a warm nostalgic feeling as I listen to the final master recordings Peter has sent over Why is it not "am listening" is it because sit is already present continuous so ...
1 vote
3 answers
71 views

Why is it "will be" instead of "is" here?

This is an announcement I heard in a subway car I got on in Tokyo today: Next stop is ABC, and the stop after ABC will be XYZ. I'm not sure if the English sounds natural to native speakers, but if ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Any contexts where "if I/you/she/.. would [do something]" would be correct except for future in the past?

I am wondering whether the following sentence is correct English or not: The librarian told him that he had a chance of catching several directors all at once, if he would go to the Barnstable Yacht ...
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1 answer
28 views

XYZ has been attracting increasing attention vs attracting increased attention

I recently read two documents where I saw: XYZ has been attracting increasing attention. XYZ has been attracting increased attention. Are both correct? Is there a difference in meaning?
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Using the proper tense in a comparsion

Which of the following seems more idiomatic for natives. 1-I have been practicing recently more than I had been in the past. 2-I have been practicing recently more than I used to in the past . 3-I ...
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Help with verb tense

Which of these sentenses is correct? If we stopped the project, they would pick up where we left off. If we stopped the project, they would pick up where we would have left off. If we stopped the ...
1 vote
1 answer
421 views

Meaning difference and tense harmony

This is going to be a two-part question. 1.It's been a long time since I've seen him. It's been a long time since I last saw him. (or ..since the last time I saw him) Do the above sentences mean ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Present Perfect and Past Simple in the same sentence

I wanted to check with you if I have translated the following correctly: "I moved to Italy 5 years ago and I have opened a restaurant there" From the text, I understand the subject still ...
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1 answer
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How to use the past perfect construction correctly?

Do the following sentences make sense in terms of tenses? (Or how do I make the tenses right?) When the man was hit by a truck, it took two hours before he was successfully resuscitated. When the ...
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1 answer
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Prove that he didn’t/hadn’t

Let’s say someone interviewed someone else for a job, and the candidate thought about complaining about discrimination but eventually he didn’t. Now the interviewer and a third party are talking about ...
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1 answer
24 views

infinite tense or gerund in this case?

Should I use the infinite tense or the gerund in this case? It was so distressing seeing/to see Jack kill his neighbour. If both are correct, is there a difference in formality?
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3 answers
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Should I say, The president of the college, together with the deans, 'is' or 'are' planning a conference for the laying down a series of regulations

My question is what verb should I use in this sentence, The president of the college, together with the deans, (is)(are) planning a conference for the purpose of laying down a series of regulations. ...
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1 answer
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A question about verbs in time clauses

I'll have finished the letter by the time you come back. I'll have finished the letter by the time you have come back. Do these sentences mean the same? If so, why?
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present perfect followed by present continuous

Is the following paragraph okay? Syria turned into a battlefield in 2011. Since then, many Syrian people have been driven out of their country. A great majority of them are flooding into Europe.
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Present perfect + past simple (sequence of tenses)

I came across these sentences: "I've found out that you lied. "I've discovered that she was untrue to me". It confuses me, because I thought, that according to the rule "...
2 votes
1 answer
52 views

Why with the "as..as" construction and the future tense in one part we use the present in the other?

I met such an offer: I'll get back to you as soon as I have the information you need. I wonder why/by what rule in part 2 of the sentence: "as I have the information you need" we don't use ...
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3 answers
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"it WAS about heart break" or "it IS about heart break"?

I have read in the newspaper: "That movie was an interesting experience because it was about heart break." Here can we use is in the second clause? Please explain with some more examples.
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Which past tense to use in the sentence? "I've just noticed that the new episode [came out / had come out]"

I've just noticed that the new episode [came out / had come out]. Are any of these variants grammatically correct? If so, which one, implying that the episode in question came out the same day?
30 votes
6 answers
5k views

Why is it correct to say "We should go see a movie," but not "We should have gone see a movie"?

Two sentences: We should go see a movie. (1) *We should have gone see a movie. (2) The first is correct, the second is incorrect. Why can we omit the word 'to' in the first but not the second? A ...
1 vote
1 answer
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combining tenses in "{Have/Did} you {see/seen} that I {have/had} sent you the report

I was told that most of them don't work. But I don't understand why. Have you seen that I have sent you the report? Did you see that I have sent you the report? Did you see that I sent you the report?...

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