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
5 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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2 answers
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Why is -ing added to the second verb in this sentence?

So I am playing the English version of a game called Baldur's Gate 3. The description of a spell is this: This spell allows spellcasters to fire an arrow of electricity that bursts on impact, dealing ...
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present perfect "have met you NOW" or simple past "met you NOW"

I have made up the sentences below. (1a) I have been unhappy for a long time. I have not talked to anyone until I have met you now. (1b) I have been unhappy for a long time. I have not talked to ...
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1 answer
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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?
1 vote
2 answers
578 views

The past perfect tense when using time clauses

I was taking a course about time clauses when I got confused about when I should use the Past perfect tense in the main clause. According to the lesson, we should use Past Participle in the main ...
2 votes
1 answer
74 views

"He thought his sister was/had been playing with his toys when he wasn't there"

Which of (1) and (2) is (or are) “correct”, and when and why? Yesterday Rachel said that she was practicing dancing two days ago. Yesterday Rachel said that she had been practicing dancing two days ...
1 vote
2 answers
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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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1 answer
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He could feel yesterday that his mother would/will bombard him with new information. - which one?

When the main verb is a modal verb such as "could" or "was able to", does the principle of "sequence of tense" still apply? Example 1 He could feel yesterday that his ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Following the present perfect (I've cooked) with the simple past (I didn't make)

John gets up later than his wife does because his work day starts later than his wife's. His wife always cooks him breakfast before leaving for work. This time she's cooked him some mashed potato and ...
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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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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2 answers
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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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Has or Had in this example?

So today I had to write this sentence and it came to me with this little doubt: Fixed multiple bugs when a task has/had no date. I'm more convinced by had, I'm saying that the bugs occurred when the ...
1 vote
0 answers
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Second conditional or past real conditional?

There is this quote from the show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey that confuses me: If it wasn't for Edmond Halley, Newton's great book would've never been conceived, nor written, nor printed. Now I ...
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0 votes
1 answer
54 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
81 views

I told him and now he KNOWS or I told him and now he KNEW?

I told him and now he knows. or I told him and now he knew. If I have now in the sentence. Does it mean that the following verb needs to be in a present tense? Or it is not necessary?
6 votes
1 answer
78 views

How to handle con­di­tional clauses where it’s un­known whether the pro­ta­sis’s con­di­tion ac­tu­ally got ful­filled or not?

I have a ques­tion re­gard­ing con­di­tional sen­tences, as far I know the “third con­di­tional” is used when we’re talk­ing about a con­di­tion from the past that never ac­tu­ally hap­pened af­ter ...
1 vote
2 answers
129 views

"Over the coming months, the giraffes range far and wide." - Why is the sentence not in a future tense, despite having "over the coming months"?

"Over the coming months, the giraffes range far and wide." BBC - Giraffes released into new home (see:3:18-3:23) As we know, "Over the coming months ...." clearly refers to future, ...
0 votes
2 answers
55 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
1 answer
38 views

I have worked in this job longer than I have/had ever worked in any other job

I think these are correct. 1 I have worked in this job longer than I have ever worked in any other job. 2 I have worked in this job longer than I had ever worked in any other job before. 3 I have ...
2 votes
1 answer
215 views

Tense Changes In A Story

Why are there tense changes in the following story: It was recess - the best time of the day. Kids ran around the playground shouting and laughing, playing and jumping. That is, everyone except for ...
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0 answers
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Mixture of simple past and present in the same sentence

And it just recently awarded a million dollar contract that reeks of corruption. Is the above sentence grammatically correct? The word recently is used, which normally establishes a relation between ...
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7 votes
2 answers
840 views

Combining present with past

I am currently reading "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson and when describing a sequence of events, the writer constantly forms these sentences: First, he separated the bulbs [...]. Then he ...
1 vote
1 answer
80 views

How to combine “She was/wasn’t at home” vs “She had/hadn’t been at home" with “when I called her”?

When I called her she wasn’t at home.She wasn’t at home when I called her. When I called her she had been at home.She had been at home when I called her. Does had been at home mean that she was at ...
1 vote
1 answer
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sequence of tenses issue (called)

I am wondering Which one is correct "I had a traditional Filipino dish that is called tinolang manok." or "I had a traditional Filipino dish that was called tinolang manok." Are both sentences ...
-1 votes
1 answer
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Past perfect tense or passive

The Rescue Service said it WAS CALLED to support the coastguard to look for missing people. The Rescue Service said it HAD BEEN CALLED to support the coastguard to look for missing people. Which is ...
1 vote
3 answers
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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 ...
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2 answers
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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
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
278 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
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"Most people had come to accept that war <was> <would be> inevitable."

a sentence from extra examples of item #7 on oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com: (1) Most people had come to accept that war was inevitable. Does Past Perfect mean "most people coming to accept" ...
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1 answer
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What does "The collected statistical data have been analysed and interpreted thoroughly" mean?

Does this sentence mean that some data was collected (in the certain point in the past), then has been analysed and interpreted (in the period of the time in the past)? Should this sentence be written:...
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1 answer
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What Is the Scope of the Past Perfect?

(Post copied, with minor alterations, from English Language & Usage on suggestion from a user.) Recently, I’ve been editing a piece of writing written in first-person present tense. The narrator ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Betty took two lumps, then saying, 'Well,Happy Birthday again'

Betty took two lumps, then saying, 'Well,Happy Birthday again' This is from the book Desperate Measures by Kitty Neale. I don't understand the usage of then saying. The first part is past tense and ...
1 vote
1 answer
49 views

The day after/before - the choice of tenses

I've a question regarding the tense choice with the phrase "the day/night/minute... after/before + clause. As we all know, after some words only the Present Simple is possible. Some of such are ...
2 votes
1 answer
48 views

Sequence of tenses (the present perfect and the past simple

1 And now that a month has passed, she decided to write a review. 2 And now that a month has passed, she has decided to write a review. 3 And then that a month had passed, she decided to write a ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Is "I heard old war drums beat." from the Eric Bogle's song "Welcome Home" grammatical?

In the Eric Bogle's anti-war song "Welcome Home" (about the Vietnam War) there is a line "I heard old war drums beat.". Is it grammatical or is it licentia poetica? I think I ...
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1 answer
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What is the correct word to the song that kept telling me its okay or that keep telling is correct

Like something I've been listening for a year and want to express that the song was the one that keep me going and what should be the correct word for me to post with kept telling or keep telling what ...
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0 answers
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sequence of tenses and will

I'd like to know if my understanding is correct. She said "I will leave for the U.S." This sentence can be rephrased in two ways, i.e. She said she would leave for the U.S. She said she ...
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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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0 answers
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Is this sentecne correct? 'It was only after I started studying for a BA degree in Sociology that I became interested in...'

It was only after I started studying for a BA degree in Sociology that I became interested in how people from dysfunctional families become parents. Is 'studying for a BA degree in smth' a correct ...
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1 answer
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The fact that she "would/will" come to see me on Friday bothered me. - "the fact that..." follows the rule of sequence of tense?

Assume the time of speaking is on Wednesday and the time of action of bothering happened way back, last week. Example 1 The fact that she would come to see me on Friday bothered me. Example 2 The ...
-3 votes
1 answer
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Does "all morning" mean that the morning is over?

'I don't know. It _____ (4) (be) there all morning.' The man replied.'Well, we can't leave it there, it's too dangerous. He might have an accident. What should I do?' The cashier suggested, 'you ...
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2 answers
237 views

What to use "Have or Did"

I am confused. Could anyone explain the difference between the two. If you want to find out whether or not your coworker has met the boss. Are you going to respond, "Have you met the boss?" ...
0 votes
1 answer
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Confused about tenses in conditionals

I've been told that the following examples of conditional sentences are wrong because the tenses don't match the structure of any of the four types: zero, first, second, or third. I'm very confused ...

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