Questions tagged [tense]

This tag is for questions about tense, or location in time by grammatical forms and constructions rather than by semantics.

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12 views

Has not been selected VS was not selected

What is the difference of saying "has not been selected for the prize" and "you were not selected for the prize"? I understand that the first one means that there is a possibility ...
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Can we remove “because I was” without changing the meaning?

I fell into a trap, afraid I might screw up. I fell into a trap because I was afraid I might screw up. To me these two can mean the same thing, but I am unsure if this is grammatical or not, or if ...
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Some swans (lived / were living) on the lake in the town last winter. “lived” vs “were living”

Some swans (lived / were living) on the lake in the town last winter. Recommended answer is "lived," but I think "were living" is better because the state of some swans living was ...
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what you need to know later [duplicate]

Boy: You don't pay me to work for you. Woman: No, because what you do here in the workshop isn't a real job. Boy: It isn't a real job? Woman: No. I'm training you for a real job later. Boy: You're ...
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I have been vs I am

Is it possible to use "is / were etc" in the same context as "Has been" Here are some examples... He has been taking drugs. He is taking drugs. Could the second example be used ...
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Future Tense OR Simple Present?

Which sentence is true? If it's humid, the air will feel warm and wet. If it's humid, the air feels warm and wet. If both are correct, are there any differences in their meaning?
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verb form - [have had no one to talk to] or [had no one to talk to]

(1) Jack is very sad about losing all his savings. He has had no one to talk to until now. (2) Jack is very sad about losing all his savings. He had no one to talk to until now. Which tense of "...
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What is the difference between these two declarative content clauses?

The kids were told that 2 to the power of 3 is 8. The kids were told that President Joe Biden would visit their school. Both sentences use the same past tense in main clauses, but use different ...
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Present continuous in time clauses with “after”

I'm not sure if I can use the present continuous in the following sentence: "I'll take a trip to the States after I'm finishing my studies" Should I use the present simple or present ...
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“They always went to the bar.” or “They would always go to the bar.”

I'm writing a story. I wanna tell that they(friends) were close and they used to go to the bar frequently. Should I say; They always went to the bar. OR They would always go to the bar.
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Why the right answer is “b)” about “forget” uses?

Context:  We often read in novels how a seemingly respectable person or family has some terrible secret which has been concealed from strangers for years. The English language possesses a vivid ...
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When “If you have any questions” refers to the future, why isn't it “if you would have any questions”?

There are several questions here on ELL that refer to the idiom "if you have any questions", but none of them touches upon why is it "you have" and not "you would have", ...
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What are the differences between these sentences? (to do / to have done)

Do you feel any difference between these two in each pair? (1) (a) Maria was happy to have passed the exam. (b) Maria was happy to pass the exam. (2) (a) Maria is happy to have passed the exam. (b) ...
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going to vs going to be [duplicate]

What's the difference between both the sentences:- I am going to show you something. I am going to be showing you something. I will be showing you something. I am going to send. I am going to be ...
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“increasingly globalized world” , can it be “increasingly globalizing world” if I were to talk in present continuous manner?

Is this sentence correct? there are 280 million French speakers in this increasingly globalizing world if not, what's wrong?
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I knew I have to play in a different condition - is the sentence grammatically correct?

I knew that in the future I have to play in a tough and different condition. I haven't played in that condition yet. Now if I say to someone today that - 1. I knew I have to play in a different ...
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Tense of 'is named'

What is the grammatical tense in He is named John? Is it some kind of present tense? Maybe some kind of passive valency tense.
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32 views

The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Shouldn't it be “had been listening”?

The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Shouldn't it be "had been listening"? The action "the crowd listened" preceded the action "Paul said" and the listening ...
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31 views

If I had/have any questions, I'll ask

Someone gave me a document to read. I said: I’ll read it. If I (had/have) any questions, I’ll ask. Reading it will happen in future, and further questions will be asked after the doc is read. Which ...
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“Can be originated” vs “can originate”

While writing the thesis, google docs proposed me to use "can originate" instead of "can be originated". Seriously, is there any difference? I am not a native speaker, that's why I ...
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Why is the sentence “Mark has finished watching TV.” correct?

Mark has finished watching TV. I have been thinking about this question for a while. Isn't the above sentence is in the present perfect continuous tense? I was thinking why "finished watching TV&...
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I'm reading a book or I've been reading a book? Implying I started some days ago

I saw a similar question, but I'm not content with the answers, i.e. it's still unclear. It looks like both options are appropriate here, since for present perfect continuous can be applied to an ...
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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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There's no proof of what {you're saying/you said/you say} - which tense is correct?

What tense should I use in this case? Let's say that John and Paul are having a conversation. John claims to know something. Paul doesn't believe him. Which of the following answers is the most ...
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“When a girl of twenty marries a man close to eighty it is obvious that she is marrying him for money”

When a girl of twenty marries a man close to eighty it is obvious that she is marrying him for money I was wondering why marrying after "marries", is there a rule?
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past or present tense?

I'm wondering whether the boldfaced forms in the follownig should have been changed into the past tense, e.g., "were," "could," and "was." M: How was your stay at the ...
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what time should I choose for the last event and “take care of”?

I read a comic book. I will say a little preface. The villain immobilized his comrades. And the main character says, "that takes care of they (the enforcers in the comic book)". Isn't it ...
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Past Perfect with dependent clauses

I've read some pages on the Past Perfect and they've left me confused, so I have a few questions: I've been given the impression that the past perfect can't be used in dependent clauses, though I'm ...
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The choice of the tense in this sentence

Let's say I've been trying to fix some glitches of someone's computer for one hour. Which of the following is better or if both are correct what is the difference? I give up! Nothing I try works. I ...
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33 views

Why are the 2 verbs in this sentence different tenses?

Why are the two verbs in this sentence in different tenses? Why is one in the past tense “interviewed” and “working” in present tense? -The actor interviewed by Frank is working on a project in Spain.
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When can I use present perfect for old events?

In English Grammar in Use, it is said that we have to use past simple instead of present perfect for things that are not recent or new: Use the past simple (not the present perfect) for things that ...
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What are the differences between using simple present and present perfect in a before clause?

What are the differences between using simple present and present perfect in a before clause? (1) You can't understand a culture before you learn the language. (2) You can't understand a culture ...
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Past tense or present perfect? “I told Link about you before I even knew” or “ I have told Link about you before I even knew”?

I wish I could blame this on him, but I told Link about you before I even knew.---- from the TV show Grey's Anatomy Present perfect "have told," IMO, should be used rather than the past ...
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'Supposed to' sentence structure

He was not supposed to do that. 'Supposed' is a Participial Adjective then how 'to do that' Infinitive clause is working here. It doesn't look like a catenative structure too. And how is 'supposed' a ...
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“He flew his kite on windy days but wished it was/were a drone.” [closed]

He flew his kite on windy days but wished it was a drone. He flew his kite on windy days but wished it were a drone. The use of was and were are confusing as they are shown in the dictionary as ...
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Does “I will send you a product manual.” sound natural if it is a message written in an email with the product manual already attached?

The other day, I received an email saying "I will send you a product manual. Please read it carefully." The manual mentioned was attached to the email. I'm curious to know if that expression ...
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31 views

Besides that, I’ve to mention; [duplicate]

Dear All My teacher gave me a tasks to find a solution for this sentence. He marked that the "I've to" part is wrong. But to be honest I don't know what is the resolution. The original ...
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63 views

I have got paid or I got paid?

I have received my last month salary and I want to give a receipt to my employer. Should I write “I have got paid for last month”? Or “I got paid for last month”?
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41 views

“He was hungry because he hadn't eaten anything all day”

He was hungry because he hadn't eaten anything all day (Past Perfect) Her hand was hurting because she had been playing the piano all day (Past Perfect Continuous) If both sentences mention "all ...
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23 views

“Message me whenever you thought you needed/need help?”

Message me whenever you thought you needed/need help? What is the exact grammar called? Is it conditional or the conditional would be like “If you thought you needed help...”? Secondly, should it be ...
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36 views

“I wish I had never woke up” or “I wish I had never woken up” - which is correct?

I would like to say in Spanish "desearia nunca haberme depertado" but in Google translator it appears like "I wish I had never woke up", is that correct? I thought it was "I ...
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23 views

Why not use ‘had’ instead of ‘have’?

Modern sculpture rarely surprises us any more. The idea that modern art can only be seen in museums is mistaken. Even people who take no interest in art cannot have failed to notice examples of modern ...
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Can I use “be verb” in past simple tense for a time period in the past?

Can I use "be verb" in past simple tense for a time period in the past? For example, I know it is correct to say "I worked as a teacher for more than 4 decades." But can I say &...
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48 views

Does “Remember when I said I'd killed you last? …I lied” make any sense?

resource: https://generalsrotr.fandom.com/wiki/Manticore/Quotes "Remember when I said I'd killed you last? ...I lied." I think "I had killed you last" is neither meaningful nor ...
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How to write it correctly in the past tense that I realized something should be done in the future?

Example: I realized our society should reduce the emission of carbon. or We thought our team should do it. I realized this (in the past) we should do it in the future (in the future). Are my sentences ...
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How to write a sentence properly when three or four incidents occurred in the past?

For example: I knew he had worked in the company for five years before he got a promotion. Someone worked for a company for five years. After that, he got a promotion. I knew about it. We knew he ...
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Present Indefinite or Present Perfect in conventional everyday talking [duplicate]

When I see someone of my family in the morning, how should I ask them? Hullo, have you brushed your teeth? Hullo, did you brush your teeth? And what tense would fit better with an adjunct "...
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81 views

What's the difference between 'It was starting to rain' and 'It started to rain'?

Momentary verbs such as "start", "finish", "marry", and "put up" are rarely used in "continuous tense". However, I found this example in a dictionary: ...
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Tense of ‘almost’

Let’s assume I will be die, and I’m near to death, but I don’t die now. Why is ‘I almost die’ appropriate, not ‘I will almost die’? The action of death will be in the future. Is it like perfect tense?
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35 views

will be on VS is on?

Which is correct? The new schedule for the examination is on Tuesday, 23 March 2021 OR The new schedule for the examination will be on Tuesday, 23 March 2021

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