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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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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 ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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1 answer
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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, ...
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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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1 vote
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 ...
VinceL's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
Alon's user avatar
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Is there anyone can help me to understand the sentense?

I think this sentence is a mixture of the second conditional and the third conditional: If it did, the rat would not have known it. But I have heard the line in The Big Bang Theory. How can I ...
Evelyn Gandy's user avatar
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 ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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How to use future perfect tense with present or future tense

I would like to ask the difference between the usage of future perfect tense with present tense and the future prefect tense with future tense. We will have eaten food when they come. We will have ...
Monique Yeung's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
304 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 ...
VinceL's user avatar
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Can i use the past simple twice in one sentence to describe two simultaneous actions in the past?

He started to shriek when we[Insert word] the summit. I could use attained as well as had attained in that sentence to make it a meaningful one. It wouldn't make much sense to use were attaining the ...
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Using "now" with the past tense

I'm confused because I think the use of word "now" is kind of idiomatic in phrase 1, but on the other hand I think it should be as phrase 2. So, is it normal to use "now" with the past simple ???? 1-...
Mohamed kz's user avatar
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Using the past perfect in a context

Is the following make sense from the context side and the grammatical one. ?? She was the prime minister : 1- she had held this post and she had remained in it for 10 years. 2- she had been in ...
Mohamed kz's user avatar
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0 answers
111 views

How do you use tenses with the word "after" sensibly: which combos of tenses work and which do not?

No context is required, it’s just a normal question about using the word after. For instance, here are some easy sentences: After he finishes his work, he will go for a walk. After he finished his ...
Angyang's user avatar
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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 ...
choi's user avatar
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3 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 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 ...
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1 answer
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Which is ‘more correct’: "It has been a month since you graduated" or "It has been a month since you ʜᴀᴠᴇ graduated"?

I am unsure on whether to use or to omit the word have in a particular sentence: It has been a month since you graduated. It has been a month since you have graduated. I believe that it may be ok ...
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1 vote
1 answer
66 views

"She refuses to pay the fine, and she took the matter to court." Is the sentence correct with two different tenses?

Is this sentence from an English Learning magazine grammatically correct with two different tenses in one sentence? She refuses to pay the fine, and she took the matter to court. My opinion is she ...
andrea lee's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
115 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 ...
hwkal's user avatar
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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 ...
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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 ...
ansonman's user avatar
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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 ...
Mohit Jangra's user avatar
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32 views

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 ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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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:...
PawelO210's user avatar
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24 views

Are the tenses of the verbs well chosen

I ve been watching this film for 30 minutes and I (have) already cried so I was happy when I received your message for my birthday. Do the tenses fit here? I think so
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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The sequence of tenses

Ali was enjoying his weekend at the sports center in Manama. He was playing in a local pool championship. Ali 1 had played/had been playing well for half an hour and 2 won/had won three of the first ...
user1425's user avatar
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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 ...
Raphz's user avatar
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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 ...
Arvind's user avatar
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0 answers
22 views

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 ...
Fra's user avatar
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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 ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
297 views

Tenses for narrating past and future event

I'm confused with the choice of tenses when it comes to narrating past and future event. Do we still have access to the gym after the membership ends? The membership is ending but has not ended. ...
FlyingPenguin's user avatar
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0 answers
33 views

tenses on both sides of "as"

Does the "as" in the following indicate two things happened at the same time? If so, is it natural for one tense to be present perfect and for the other to be simple past? A missing ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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Is the sequence of tenses in this example correct?

In the following sentence: I didn't come back because I had thought you were dead. the verb Be in the second dependent clause is a simple past tense, even though (the intention is that) it refers to ...
simple's user avatar
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0 answers
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Verbs in time clauses and 'if' clauses

On this page, https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar-reference/verbs-in-time-clauses-and-if-clauses, there is a section called "Making hypotheses" It says: some conditional ...
Ammu's user avatar
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0 answers
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sequence of tenses in this sentence

1 My husband stayed in Paris and I have gone to New York. (Context: Helen is the wife who has gone to New York. She is talking on the phone to Judy and tells her where she and her husband are at the ...
user1425's user avatar
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Should tense agree with reality first or preceding tense choice?

The title was a bit of a meta-question. I mostly just wanted to ask about the tense choice 'was(in bold in the following dialogue)' by Jake's Dad in a clip from Brooklyn 99 S07E10 6:12-6:20 Jake's ...
Jenny's user avatar
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1 answer
439 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?"...
Student's user avatar
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1 answer
271 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 ...
VinceL's user avatar
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"Peter loves painting so much that he even worked as a part time art teacher at an elementary school."

Under the conditions that Peter is still alive and he still loves painting: (A)Peter loves painting so much that he even worked as a part time art teacher at an elementary school. (B)Peter loved ...
vpriest's user avatar
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0 answers
30 views

If + have + past particle, ...may have + past participle

Please consider: If you have ever been woken up before sunrise by the trilling and chirping of birds outside your window, you may have wondered: why do birds sing so loud, so early in the morning? I ...
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107 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 ...
adieng's user avatar
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0 answers
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Tense agreement when one recent activity is interrupted by another

I wrote this sentence but I'm not convinced the tenses are correct. I've been waiting for this book for a few weeks, and it has just come out In the first clause, I used present perfect continuous ...
bassneck's user avatar
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0 answers
144 views

"how much she got paid" OR "how much she had got paid"

I am confused about what tense I should use here: She had had no idea how much she got paid before her first payday. OR She had had no idea how much she had got paid before her first payday. OR (...
Atika's user avatar
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0 answers
222 views

"Will be xxx- ing" or Will xxx"

I wish to write an email about a decision taken in a meeting. Of the below options, which is the correct sentence to put in the email? It was agreed that XYZ team will conduct a monthly review ...
Mum_traveller's user avatar
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0 answers
792 views

Should I used "submits" or "submitted" after "We used to wait"?

I have one confusion with one sentence structure. We know that we can use any tense with present tense, future tense and past for only past. But in this case I am really confused. If someone told me ...
Abdullah Omar Nasif's user avatar
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0 answers
364 views

A year has gone

What is the error in the following sentence A year has been gone by since he left us and we never hear any news of him. According to my book hear should be replaced by heard. But I think hear is ...
Kshitij Singh's user avatar
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0 answers
25 views

Using present perfect vs past simple in a context

Which sentence is more applicable to use : 1-Thank you, you got us this far. 2-Thank you, you have gotten us this far.
Mohamed kz's user avatar
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0 answers
26 views

Function of Past Perfect in this excerpt

The following text is an excerpt from Roald Dahl's "The Minpins". I highlighted bold all occurrences of Past Perfect in it. I find it confusing to find "the next moment" directly in front of a Past ...
Min-Soo Pipefeet's user avatar
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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 ...
Mohamed kz's user avatar