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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Question about English in News title

I know that the English used on a news title sometimes is different than what people usually say. I saw this one today. It says 'xxx passes away'. So, I am wondering why 'passes' but not 'passed'. ...
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would vs would have been

In the Soviet Union, bribing government-employed sales clerks to avoid standing in line for scarce items, or just to find out when a shipment of oranges or imported Western shoes would be on sale, was ...
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future event with "It will be the first time"

If we are talking about a future event, which of the following is okay? a. It will be the first time that they hold a party. b. It will be the first time that they will hold a party. c. It is the ...
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I met my boss three years ago

Could I answer in three ways like these: It’s three three years since I met my boss. It’s three years since I last met my boss. It’s three years since I first met my boss. I think the first and the ...
1 vote
1 answer
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by the time you ..., you [present simple] or [present perfect]

I came across this sentence in my textbook: By the time you have enough money and time, you are quite old. I think "you are quite old" can also be "you have got/been quite old"(...
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What tense should I use for these two graphs?

There is no tense implied for the first graph but they use the past simple "received" for the second graph. Does this mean I should use the past simple for both of the graphs. I'm ...
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1 answer
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the choice of tenses: the present perfect/simple/continuous

1 My boss shouts at me often. But I have put up with it. 2 My boss shouts at me often. But I put up with it. 3 My boss shouts at me often. But I am putting up with it. Are all three correct? Which ...
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the proper tense of “within the past…“

Within the past week, Europe has imposed tariffs on American motorcycles, bourbon, orange juice and other products. NASA calls these missions EVAs, Extra Vehicular Activities and two of them were ...
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Past and present perfect

These are two definitions of the word ‘no-show’, which one is better and why? And what is the difference between past and present perfect? A ‘no-show’ is an informal expression for someone who has ...
1 vote
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'long ago' in the present perfect tense?

I was wondering whether 'long ago' is compatible with the present perfect tense. To my knowledge, 'ago' has to be used with the past tense. Why did the anchor choose to use 'long ago' in the present ...
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2 answers
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Which sentence is correct? I want to ask something about the future

Let's say I want to write an instruction for Amazon delivery and wanna say, if you faced the closed door, please put my package behind the door. If the door was closed, please put the package behind ...
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Is it still correct to say "This doll comes with her own dress" when you bought it 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years ago?

In the dictionary, 7 BE PRODUCED/SOLD [always + adverb/preposition] to be produced or sold with particular features come in This particular sofa comes in four different colours. Cats come in many ...
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It is probably because somebody "told" him that he "had" a very good physique. - is this the conditional usage?

Example 1 A: Why is he working out so hard? B: It is probably because somebody told him that he had a very good physique. Example 2 A: Why is he smiling? B: I don't know. He is smiling probably ...
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A girl who **told** him that he **was** good-looking does not exist - are the verbs conditional usage?

Example 1 A girl who is going to help you with your study and all of your trouble does not exist. Example 2 A girl who told him that he was good-looking does not exist. The reasons (because-...
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2 answers
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"I recall" or "I recalled"

When trying to remember or talking about a past event at present, should it be in past or present tense? For e.g. I recall having a conversation about the flight bookings. I recalled having a ...
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2 answers
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Conflict of tenses here?

When I wake up in the morning I heard her call my name This extract is from the velvet underground song called"I heard her call my name". I know that when you write songs you have licence to ...
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We arrived at the venue before the show starts - Do we use "starts" or "started"?

The show starts at 7, and we arrived at 4, so the show has not started yet. How can we express this logic? Example 1 We arrived at the venue before the show starts/started. Do we use starts or ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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> That was what I **do/did** - If I did something that I usually do even now, should I use "do" or "did"?

Example 1 That was what I do/did. If I did something that I usually do even now, should I use "do" or "did"? If I use "did," can it mean I currently still do that ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can "doing so" refer to a conditional clause?

What "doing so" should refer to is the fact that he had mastered English but here what I have is "he had not mastered English". Is this okay? He would not have been able to go ...
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The present perfect or the past simple

I think that both are correct, but what's the difference? It hasn't happened yet. It's all in the future. Before you find out what happened I'll have known about it for a few hours. Before you find ...
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3 answers
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The tense that we should use to give a reason for a past event

Suppose that we have run a process in the past, but we are able to re-run the process whenever we want in the future and always the same results would emerge. If we want to provide reasons for the ...
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Tense of the dependent clause when we want to explain a past finding

Suppose that in an academic writing we want to write about an experiment which was done in the past. In that experiment we recognized that there is an advantageous correlation between some variables. ...
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The story was written in past tense. Is it okay to ask a question in present tense regarding the story?

My kid has a comprehension exercise from school. The story was written in past tense. The questions were asked in present tense. e.g. Why does John feel happy? Why does the author use the word ...
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1 answer
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Once + present perfect + present simple

I wrote 2 sentences: Many ethnic groups migrated into Vietnamese territory at different historical periods: some came thousands of years ago and some came hundreds of years ago. Regardless of that, ...
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He insisted that the conflict would continue until conditions were met for a ceasefire. (The tense of ...)

He insisted that the conflict would continue until conditions were met for a ceasefire. 'were met' or 'are met', which one is correct? In 'the conflict would continue', the conflict would not stop ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What does a negative present perfect progressive tense imply?

I have learned the present perfect progressive on youtube and some other sources. It's clear that the tense implies something that started in the past and continues in the present. However, what does ...
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1 answer
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What is the right tense form here?

This is an idea he had introduced in his article which would appear six years later in a book by a different author. Are the tenses right in the sentence? Here, we are talking about the second action ...
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If [something] be

In a math book, an assumption is introduced using "if be": if y be the original capital, and the yearly interest is y/n, then, at the end of n years, his property will be [...] Is the ...
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Can you use simple tense with preposition "by"?

My teacher always tells me that whenever I am using the preposition "by", I should use the perfect tense, whilst the simple tense is appropriated when I am using "in". For example: ...
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someone asked if we have something or had something?

Which one is correct? 1 Last night, one of our neighbors knocked on our door and asked if we had a pair of pliers to lend. 2 Last night, one of our neighbors knocked on our door and asked if we have ...
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1 answer
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"should + PRESENT PROGRESSIVE" vs "should + PRESENT"

I was wondering about the difference in meaning between the below two sentences, which only differ in their tenses. I came across the first sentence in a YouTube video explaining the five things to ...
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1 answer
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Using two tenses in the same sentence

While reporting a past even as a reason for the current action, should I use past tense or present tense? For example, "The parents curse the young man who eloped with their daughter" Is ...
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Present Simple (can) or Present Progressive (be able to)

They can't stop working now, as they have to finish something by three o'clock! They aren't being able to stop working now, as they have to finish something by three o'clock! I don't know which one ...
2 votes
2 answers
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Why does the dictionary use 'pertained' rather than 'pertains' in this sentence?

When I googled 'pertain definition', it gives the explanation be in effect or existence in a specified place or at a specified time and this sentence: their economic circumstances are vastly ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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An exercise from English Grammar in Use about been or gone in present perfect

Joe and Lisa are on holiday in Japan. They’ve been to Japan once before. This is the second time they have been to Japan. Why use 'been' instead of 'gone' in the last sentense, shouldn't we use 'gone' ...
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I told her that last month, I "had met/met" my old friend at Disneyland - is there a differece?

Example 1 I told her that I met my old friend at Disneyland. Example 2 I told her that I had met my old friend at Disneyland. Simple past tense in a reported speech means the event is a bit ...
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1 answer
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What's the difference between these two examples of "could be"?

He felt almost nothing that could be called sexual desire. The motel was so rusty it could be mistaken for an abandoned house. The first sentences sounds okay to me. I think the second sentence ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is it correct to say - "I owned it for 3 years ,before selling it . Or should we say -"I owned it for 3 years before i sold it

Is it correct to say - "I owned it for 3 years ,before selling it . Or should we say -"I owned it for 3 years before i sold it . Or should we say "I had owned it for 3 years before i ...
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Frequency expression in a single past event

Frequency expression in a single past event. Example 1 He and I played ping pong yesterday. He hit the ball too hard from time to time. Example 2 He and I played ping pong yesterday. He hit the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What tense(s) can be used with 'by now'? (+ conditionals)

Which of the following is not correct and why? If we had stopped that taxi earlier, we would be home by now. If we had stopped that taxi earlier, we would have been home by now. My teacher told me ...
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Past Continuous to create an atmosphere and I insert an event?

Can I use past continuous to create an atmosphere and then insert the event I want to talk about? Example 1 At the time she was driving, and her friends were singing in the car. All of sudden, her ...
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The use of the singular form of the verb, "set"

I'm trying to learn the correct use of the singular form of the verb "set" which is obviously "sets". Pls note, I need it for the practical application of constructing news ...
1 vote
1 answer
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"removes substances that built up" vs "build up"

In the sentence, "A theory that crying removes toxic substances from the body that build up during times of stress." Should "build" be replaced with "built" or "had ...
1 vote
2 answers
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Having been married vs. Being married

Is there a difference in meaning between the following two sentences? I'm curious about the grammatical point(s) illustrated below. After having been married for ten years, last year they separated. ...
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1 answer
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Is the use of 'would have' in this sentence grammatically correct?

I wish this day would have never come. Shouldn't 'had' be simply used in place 'would have' here, since, 'would have' is used in reference to the past, and furthermore, when talking about a wish, ...
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Why use past simple tense in this sentence? → If it isn't written down, it didn't happen

"If it isn't written down, it didn't happen." I notice this common quote use past simple tense. I can't get why using this tense here. I think it should be "If it isn't written down, ...
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3 answers
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What tense should I use when I mention a clock which has stopped?

When you found that your clock was not working, and you don't know when it had stopped, how would you say it? It was working last night, but it didn't work this morning. It was working last night, ...
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Is it true that when we use 'before' with the Past Perfect tense, the action in the past simple happens first?

I've stumbled across the following rule in the grammar book 'My Grammar Lab': with before + past perfect the action in the past simple happens first. The following example has been given: I left ...
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We will jump ropes a bit so that we "will" warm up - "with" or without "with" - what is the difference?

Scenario: My friend and I are on the way to the gym and we haven't arrived at the gym. Example 1 Me: We can jump ropes a bit so that we warm up. Example 2 Me: We will jump ropes a bit so that we ...
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1 answer
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People "don't" pay money to watch movies today. - Do I use the present tense if it's just an one-time event?

If it is just a one-time thing, do we use the present simple tense? Example 1 Today people have a strike which is not a regular event, and I want to talk about this. Do I use the present tense? A: ...
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