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Questions tagged [sequence-of-tenses]

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

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2 votes
5 answers
151 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
114 views

Past perfect tenses in compound and complex sentences

Consider the following sequence of events. My smartphone starts behaving weirdly. On a Friday, I send an email describing the problem to the customer care of the manufacturer of my smartphone. The ...
0 votes
1 answer
273 views

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
3 answers
85 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
443 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?"...
1 vote
2 answers
87 views

What does the sequence of time mean 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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
108 views

What is the difference between verbs "will" and "would"?

What is the difference between verbs "will" and "would"? I have two examples below: I am trying to talk to him, but he won't listen. I was trying to talk to him, but he wouldn't ...
1 vote
1 answer
305 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
32 views

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:...
1 vote
1 answer
90 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
69 views

Present Perfect + After + Past Perfect Continuous / Is this sequence correct?

Regarding the negative effects of substance abuse, as a therapist I can say that during my career I've had serious sessions with young people who have experienced extremely dangerous hallucinations ...
0 votes
1 answer
112 views

"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
54 views

Present Perfect Continuous + Before + Present Simple vs. Past Perfect Continuous + Before + Past Simple / Which combination to choose?

As an obstetrician, I must say that throughout my career I've known women who have been smoking cigarettes for five or even ten years before they become pregnant and they had healthy pregnancy, ...
0 votes
1 answer
23 views

Doing it something in certain time

I want to say that I will be able to do something in certain time by some point in the futre. For instane since Monday I will have the ability to complete something in 2 days. By Monday I will be ...
1 vote
2 answers
1k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
31 views

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
83 views

Expressing duration

I want to express that up to some point in time I will be engaged in doing something for some time. 1I will be doing it for 20 years by Monday Or 2 I will have been doing it for 20 years by Monday I ...
3 votes
1 answer
36 views

Confusion with reported speech

I was reading through C1C2 Destination when I found this strange sentence. Paul told me that Dawn hadn't been particularly hardworking when she was at university. I am wondering why it is she was at ...
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

Past and future tenses

"I saw she's gorgeous" Is this sentence correct. I was taught to never use present or future tenses after past ones in on sentecne. If it's wrong. How can I correct it?
1 vote
1 answer
89 views

Past Tense Story Telling

I'm a part-time hobby-writer, an average book reader.... The question I have for you is... I noticed that most writers favour the 'Past Tense' style in their writing and it leaves an open question in ...
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1 vote
1 answer
76 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
34 views

How many times you did something

I'd like to ask what you think about these sentences. 1 He is likely to be performing 4 times this afternoon 2 He could be performing 4 times this afternoon My teacher says that we don't use ...
0 votes
1 answer
38 views

Present continuois repeatable things with when

1 When he drives I'm scared 2 When he is driving I'm scared Both versions are fine. 2 just uses present continuous even thought it's something repeatable not necessarily something happening at the ...
0 votes
2 answers
68 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
50 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
56 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
57 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
33 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
98 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.
0 votes
2 answers
85 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
22 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
38 views

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?
2 votes
1 answer
82 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
1 answer
84 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
35 views

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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2 votes
1 answer
89 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
85 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
131 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, ...
1 vote
1 answer
40 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
220 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
17 views

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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
843 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
126 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 votes
1 answer
50 views

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
74 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
129 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
55 views

"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" ...
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
420 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
91 views

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 ...

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