Questions tagged [tense]

Tense is location in time by grammatical forms and constructions rather than by semantics.

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3answers
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I have always been or I always was

Could you explain me which is the correct answer: I'm 19 and I'm quite shy. I _____ (always was/have always been) like that since I remember and probably would still be if I hadn't met Rebecca.....
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1answer
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Present simple or progressive

This is from Macmillan English Grammar in Context by Michael Vince. Alan Chester is a 25-year-old journalism student from Ohio who is taking six years to complete his undergraduate degree. In order ...
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“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 (...
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1answer
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Expect and is expecting

This passage is from "Macmillan English Grammar in Context" by Michael Vince. "They are still examining the wreckage of the high speed train. They don't believe the accident involves ...
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1answer
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“Realise” or “are realising”

This passage is from Macmillan English Grammar in Context by Michael Vince. "Every year thousands of children go to the doctor because of back pain and in fact this kind if problem is rapidly ...
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1answer
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She was not what she was/had been?

There is a sentence like, "She has changed a lot, and she is not what she was.", and when it comes to make the tense of this sentence one more past, which do you think is better? She had ...
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Past perfect or Past continuous? “Last year, I spent a month in France. I had dreamt/was dreaming of going there since I was a child.”

Last year, I spent a month in France. I had dreamt of going there since I was a child. Last year, I spent a month in France. I was dreaming of going there since I was a child. Which tense should I ...
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What sentence is correct? [closed]

(1)They tried to finish the task when the other mates left the room. (2)They had been trying to finish the task when the other mates left the room. (3)They were trying to finish the task when the ...
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3answers
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Difference between was not and could not have been

What is the difference between these two sentences : It was not possible. It could not have been possible. What is the difference in both the sentences? It was not possible that day. It could not ...
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2answers
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Was / Had been under the impression

I am writing about my childhood. Which tense should I use? I only played outdoor games. My friend once took me to his home and made me play the video game Mario. A.Before I played Mario, I was under ...
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It is or was expensive

(1) May asked Tim, "When did you buy your jacket?" He answered, "Last month." May asked, "Is it expensive?" He replied, "It was expensive." I heard this ...
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Which tense is correct tense “This is/was the first stamp I (ever)”?

Suppose I am holding a postage stamp in my hand, and then I talk to my friend about it. (1) This is the first one I got for my collection. (2) This was the first one I got for my collection. (3) This ...
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1answer
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Present Perfect Tense vs Past Perfect Tense

1). Something has happened in the past twenty years that surely must transcend anything that has happened before. 2). Something has happened in the past twenty years that surely must transcend ...
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1answer
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Present simple and present continuous with NOW

What difference does “now” make when used with the Present Simple and the Present Continuous? Do you smoke now? Are you smoking now? (not right now but these days)
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I pray every day / I hope… + … doesn't / will not

Do all my sentences sound natural? "I pray every day that such a thing doesn't happen." "I pray every day that such a thing will not happen." (Or "will never happen"). ...
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2answers
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I have visited I have been visiting today

Is there a difference between "websites I have visited today" and "websites I have been visiting today"? Can both be used when I have ( recently) finished visiting sites for the ...
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1answer
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Is the sentence natural with the tense used?

Context: Ted is speeding around in his car inside a parking garage where the exits are blocked. There are some bad guys there too, who are shooting at him. Ted is on the phone with his friends, Tom ...
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1answer
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Is it correct to say to your child “you go to school tomorrow” when that event is a part of a school time-table?

We often use the simple present tense to talk about scheduled future event. For example, The train leaves at 6 AM tomorrow. Children go to school according to a fixed timetable that is set up by their ...
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1answer
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“He has played cricket with me”

In the below sentences, I want to understand why the usage of has is correct Sentences He has played cricket with me He is played by me Above sentences are the right ones. I want to understand why ...
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1answer
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I met/have met many people

I have met many people in the past few days. I met many people in the past few days. What is the difference between 1) and 2)? What is the time duration that in the past few days implies in each ...
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1answer
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Conditional 2nd type, with might; what tense is it referring to?

If I tell this to someone: If you asked me nicely, I might get you a drink. Do I mean 'Please ask nicely, and I get you a drink' or am I emphasizing that 'you have already asked me but it was not ...
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1answer
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“I had an assignment to complete for yesterday”

If I said: "I had an assignment to complete for yesterday" what tense am I using? (Esp 'for yesterday' bit)
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1answer
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“A cheat sheet {that shows|showing} the most used irregular verbs”

A cheat sheet that shows the most used irregular verbs A cheat sheet showing most used irregular verbs The former sentence is in simple present, and the latter one is in continuous present. I know ...
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Past continuous or present perfect continuous?

If you see two people talking and then they stop. One of them comes up to you and you ask: 1 What were you (just) talking about? or 2 What have you been talking about?
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Can you mix past with present?

The eternal angel slept on the grass where a shepherd often stayed, ignoring all sounds even as the cow grazes. He stayed there, ignoring all even as the cow grazes often by. You always ignored ...
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Why is it a present sense in the sub-clause, not the same past tense as in main-clause?

American Airlines confirmed that it would slash 19,000 jobs in October, when the requirement to retain staff ends under the conditions of the federal bail-out of the aviation industry. The government ...
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2answers
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Is it correct to say, “That was a little disappointment for me.”?

That was a little disappointment for me.
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2answers
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Can't define tense in a sentence

"I’d been driving home late that night." What hides under "I'd"? If it is "I had", then it seems Past Perfect Continuous tense suits best here, but Past Perfect ...
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3answers
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What would be the proper way to address this situation?

The fact is that the price for that item is still $7.99. I saw the price in the past and the price didn't change. A. I saw that the price for that item was $7.99. B. I saw that the price for that ...
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1answer
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How do you say “hadn't made them” with didn't?

"I didn't have this" is equivalent to "I hadn't this" But is there an equivalent sentence to "I hadn't made them"? I can't think of one, because "I didn't made them&...
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1answer
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A tense problem in if-clause

When we are not sure about the past situation, how do we use if-clause? I'm not sure whether he came to London last night. If he did, today will be a perfect day. I'm not sure whether he has come to ...
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A tense problem about an auto reply model

I want to set an auto reply model when I'm holding an online chat room and dealing with some other things. Which of the following is correct: If I didn't say hi, it means I am working. If I haven't ...
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1answer
36 views

“I played football when I was young” vs “I was playing football when I was young”

What's the difference between these two sentences: 1- I played football when I was young 2- I was playing football when I was young
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1answer
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how do you express habits by using past tenses?

what's the difference between these two sentences: 1- I played football for 3 years 2- I was playing football for 3 years
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2answers
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Difference between 'The police arrested a man' & 'The police have arrested a man'? [duplicate]

The police arrested a man. The police have arrested a man. I don't know the difference between these two sentences. Could someone please explain?
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“It should have killed me, but I hadn't died” - is this sentence correct?

If it's correct, why the Past Perfect tense has been used here instead of Past Simple?
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2answers
32 views

Present Perfect Simple and Continuous

Jake has watched TV every night this week (recently and repeatedly). Why we use present perfect simple instead of present perfect continuous in this example? Isn't it incorrect?
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3answers
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Does 'in 20 years' indicates time in the past or future

ABC city sees a doubling of air pollution in 20 years. does this 'in 20 years' mean the past 20 years or the next 20 years to come? I have found a similar structure in news titles, see quoted: With ...
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2answers
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What’s the different between says and said

Ken says that he lived many years in England. Ken said that he had lived many years in England. What’s the different between this two sentences? I know one is present tense and the other is past ...
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1answer
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“xxx is foolish” and “xxx is being foolish”

Tom Brady is being foolish for practicing during the pandemic. In my understanding, the commentator implies, by using present continuous tense, that Tom Brady's foolishness is just temporary. If this ...
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1answer
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(jog 10km, swim for five hours and eat five hot dogs) or (jogging 10km, swimming for five hours and eating five hot dogs)

(1) If I want to, I'll do some things all in one day I have never done before: jog 10km, swim for five hours and eat five hot dogs. (2) If I want to, I'll do some things all in one day I have never ...
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1answer
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Not everyone was/is born equal

I'm not sure if I should use 'was' or 'is' with born. This is what I understand: Not everyone is born equal. Everyone is born with limitations. 1 and 2 are general statements talking about everyone ...
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1answer
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Which tense should I use, past tense or present perfect?

Scenario I m having coffee with my girlfriend. She says " Nice coffee" Its present tense, so what should I say? Thanks, I made it. Thanks, I have made it. Thanks, I make it. Is past tense ...
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Why does it work like this? [duplicate]

I'm trying to figure out why does it work like this when there's 2 verb in a single past sentence. for example, "I've never seen him dress like that before" and "I helped someone find ...
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2answers
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Using 'had risen' instead of 'rose', 'was growing' instead of 'grew'

The question asks me to use the correct tense in the blank. By 2007, UK household wealth ________(rise) from XX to just under XX billion Pound. My answer: Rose || Correct answer: had risen At the ...
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2answers
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past perfect + since past simple

S1: He became a physicist in 2000, since when he had done research on the molecular theories. However, he decided to abandon his physics career for personal reasons. S2: He had done research on the ...
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1answer
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Is “ if the negotiations failed, there should be no …” a second type conditional?

If the idea of negotiating were entertained at all, something would be gained; for each additional day of suffering and privation diminished the Roman strength, and brought nearer the moment of ...
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1answer
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Future continuous Vs future perfect continuous

It is about the future tense in English. What is the difference between the future continuous and the future perfect continuous? Examples: He will be tired because he will be exercising so hard. He ...
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1answer
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“It is not necessarily be limited”

I recently received a mail, and ever since I have been whacking my head if the sentence is right. "Although, the requirement is Modeling (Using a software) it is not necessarily be limited to it.&...
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In English, do we use the past tense to indicate hypotheticals?

I read an article titled COVID-19 is awful. Climate change could be worse. In this case, why was could used instead of can? If I say COVID-19 is awful. Climate change can be worse, wouldn't make sense?...

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