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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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Be going to used in the past

I'd like to check if I know how the structure "be going to" works. I am going to help when she arrives As I understand 1 means it is my plan to help once she finally is with me. What about ...
Adam's user avatar
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0 answers
53 views

I never left vs I have never left ( convey the meaning until now)

see the clip here In the movie Mother of the Bride, A bellman talking with the customers: (1) I came over here on holiday 32 years ago, and I never left So, how about this sentence using present ...
LE123's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
54 views

I’ve already called her four times ________. Why not before?

I’ve already called her four times ________. today again before yesterday Why is the answer today not before?
Tim's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Past Simple or Past Perfect? "We [finish] eating our lunch and we were taking the plates out to the kitchen"

Here's my question: We ___ eating our lunch and we were taking the plates out to the kitchen. A finished B were finishing C ’ve finished D ’d finished It seems that this should be Past Simple (...
supercat's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
52 views

How to understand the need for so many tenses in, some kind of, logical way?

I'm a native Polish speaker. I'm 31 and I speak English since I was, probably, 7 or 8. I still don't "get" tenses. I read in English. Fiction and non-fiction. I speak and write. I watch ...
yonki's user avatar
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2 answers
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Can I say "I'm not now" to mean "I'm not keeping a pet now" when the asker used the present simple earlier?

Q: Do you keep a pet? A: No, I don't. I don't feel responsible enough for it. If I kept a pet, I would want to give it proper attention, but my current lifestyle doesn't allow for that. So I'm not. ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
72 views

Did you read vs Have you read to refer to life experience

*Context 1: I saw this dialogue in a movie. A: You acted like a character in X novel. Did you read X novel? B: No, I haven't. A: Let me tell you about that novel, the main character is a nice girl.......
LE123's user avatar
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When you tell a story in the past, when is the suitable time to switch to narrative tense?

I know people use the present narrative simple tense to tell stories happening in the past. However, I have never figured out when I should switch to this tense. I'm gonna tell you about my grandpa. ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
252 views

If something happened in the past but I feel that it's still true now, can I use either past simple and present simple?

A: I once bought a laptop for half the original price, but it broke the very next week. B: Did the shop owner time it or something? A: I don't know but it's crazy bro. I was so pissed. A says "...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
79 views

David thinks if he can/could grow taller, he will/would attract more attention from others. - what is the difference?

Example 1 John: My friend David thinks [if he can grow taller, he will attract more attention from others.] However, I don't think he can grow taller anymore because he is a grown adult. Does this ...
VinceL's user avatar
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"it would be" in reference to something that someone else did or does

I find conditionals quite difficult to understand in English. That's why sometimes, here or elsewhere, I quote conditional sentences written by native speakers and ask questions about them to ...
Mr. X's user avatar
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How did you know I ran/ have run a marathon?

I encountered a sentence like this in a story, B ran a marathon quite a long time ago: A: I tried/ have tried a training for a marathon, but I failed. Could you give me some of your experience? B: (...
LE123's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does subjunctive mood reflects the speaker's estimate of the likelihood?

Example 1 John:She thinks if it rained on her birthday next week, she would not go out and celebrate her birthday at an open air restaurant. However, I think it is actually very likely to rain on her ...
VinceL's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is past perfect the appropriate tense in this context?

Here is the context: John retired last last year in January and he is still adjusting to retirement. He had been working since he was 16. The alternative tense I'm considering is past continuous He ...
Odette de Crecy's user avatar
-2 votes
0 answers
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wasn't there when it was claimed he was

a. Jeff hadn't been in London when it was claimed he had participated in a chess competition there. b. Jeff wasn't in London when it was claimed he had participated in a chess competition there. c. ...
azz's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
51 views

Can "turns out" be used to talk about past events?

In this video, the speaker said: It turns out it was designed by a Lithuanian Catholic. I wonder why he didn't say "turned out". If that means we can use "It turns out" to ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
43 views

How to use continuous infinitive

I'd like to go there now I'd like to be going there now Both examples are correct and 2 is better at showing and emphasizing that the action is heppaning now. Can we do the same wih these verbs? I ...
Gregor's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
110 views

Paraphrasing sentences

I will have been doing it for 20 years by Monday I'd like to paraphrase sentence number 1. I have my own versions. Can you check if they will do? I will be doing it for 20 years by Monday I will do ...
Gregor's user avatar
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1 answer
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Future tenses doing something up to a point in time

I want to say that I will be engaged in doing something by some time in the future and maybe even after that deadline. How to do it? I will be doing it by Monday Or 2)I will have beein doing it by ...
Gregor's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Can we use past perfect to emphasize completiton? [closed]

I did it by Monday I'd like to ask you if we can rewrite this sentence using past perfect just to emphasize the completiton. I had done it by Monday Does 2 mean the same as 1? 2 is better at ...
Gregor's user avatar
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0 answers
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Why did the author use the simple past instead of the simple present?

Practice English Usage(by Michael Swan) says, "We often use the simples present to talk about timeless truths..." but why did the author use the simple past in the passage? Did he just want ...
TUALL's user avatar
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0 answers
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Present continuous to emphasize

Present continuous- used for things that happen now, around now or for temporal events Present simple- used for repeatable events, routines. Can I use present continuous even if something happenes for ...
Gregor's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why Simple Present Tense?

Global warming This is an excerpt from a girl's article in which she describes her horrifying family vacation. A polar bear tried to attack the group at Ella Island, Greenland: A few days after our ...
James Mathai's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
60 views

What's wrong with past continuous

I'd like to ask a question about the past continuous. I was taught to use it when: two or more actions happen at the same time -to emphasize length or show that something annoys us with expressions ...
Adam's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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"When I was playing she was cooking" and "she had been cooking"

When I was playing she was cooking. When I was playing she had been cooking. Shows that two actions started at the same time and continued for some time simultaneously. Shows that two actions were ...
Adam's user avatar
  • 421
2 votes
1 answer
50 views

Future continuous vs perfect continuous

I want to show that one action will be already in progress before another one happens. Examples When we come they will be waiting for us When we come they will have been waiting for us Are both ...
Adam's user avatar
  • 421
-1 votes
1 answer
40 views

Continuous infinitve with modal verbs

Before I ask another question I want to clarify that I have been to the USA, UK and even New Zealand I speak English well but still for example in my native language these two forms " I was ...
Adam's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
22 views

It would be just as well if you paid me now

It would be just as well if you paid me now. VS. It would be just as well if you pay me now. What's the difference between the two sentences in terms of either 'meaning' or 'grammar'? And if you ...
gomadeng's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
29 views

Continuous infinitive with modals

In the past I could/would/might/used to work for hours Can we write "be working for hours" instead of "work for hours" to emphasize duration?
Adam's user avatar
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1 answer
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Sequence of actions

"When she comes we will be playing games" It has two meanings I either start playing before and she enters when I'm in the middle of it or after her arrival we start playing together. It's ...
Adam's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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How to use tenses correctly? Because I am having trouble understanding it with passive and active voice

I want to ask y'all about my problem that when we say "he had been good" we use past perfect continuous tense but we pretend that we are using past perfect tense and, if we say "she had ...
Joseph's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
31 views

had been working for us before... /part 2

a. He had been working for us before he started working for you. I can see three possibilities: He started working for you right after he stopped working for us. There was a time lapse between the ...
azz's user avatar
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0 votes
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27 views

before he started working for you

a. He had worked for us before he started working for you. I can see three possibilities: He started working for you right after he stopped working for us. There was a time lapse between the time he ...
azz's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is this structure incorrect: past perfect + after 2 months since + past simple?

(the previous part talks about a show using past simple) ...Due to the failure to attract viewers, this show had been closed after only 2 months since the day it was aired. I feel that the above ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
152 views

Are you coming to see the movie?

What is the difference between the three answers or do they mean the same. Is the past perfect usage correct ? ( The past perfect tense is used to describe a past event that occurred prior to another ...
James Mathai's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

Present continuous and continuous infinitive

I'd like to ask about present continuous and continuous infinitive I'm planning to be working when we are there I'm planning to be learning all the time Do 1 and 2 make sense to you? 1 and 2 to ...
Adam's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
31 views

Meaning of "Would never have thought"

The Englishman had been profoundly impressed by the story. But he would never have thought it more than just a myth.. I could not understand what "would never have thought" means here. Is ...
cetinkaya's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
39 views

Simple tenses for (un)finished actions

Past simple means a finished past action, doesn't it? "Every summer I fell in love" implies that I don't fall in love every summer now. "I read /red/ a book" implies that I'm not ...
naodibxejd's user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
42 views

In general, most male adults have acted/acted rebelliously at a certain point in their lives. - are both acceptable when talking about a general idea?

Example 1 In general, most male adults have acted rebelliously at a certain point in their lives. Example 2 In general, most male adults acted rebelliously at a certain point in their lives. Are ...
VinceL's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
299 views

"Robert had suggested he invite her to his graduation . . ."

(From A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe, Part I, Aberfan, chapter 11) Robert had suggested he invite her to his graduation, telling William that he and Evelyn had exchanged letters over the ...
philphil's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
25 views

Why is "have cooked" used instead of "cook" or "cooked" in this sentence? [duplicate]

I came across the following sentence: "Why would they have cooked their food at all?" The context is a discussion about the behavior of people in ancient times. I'm curious why "have ...
kokomi's user avatar
  • 147
1 vote
1 answer
28 views

"might be" + "being taken care of"

There is something that maybe is "being taken care of", but I'm not sure it is or not, so I want to say that it "might be". I'm confused as to how to put these 2 together. If I say ...
msb's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers
3k views

How Do I Explain "Be Born"?

"Be" is a unique verb, if I am correct, in that it most always relates to: adjective and ID words (nouns and places), the progressive tense, or the passive voice. But here we have "...
Alexander Jorgensen's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
481 views

Is this dialogue Got or get?

A Primary School Story “Ranger Anne and the Clever Tiger” Inside it says: She thinks, “Tim, it’s time you got some exercises.” Why is it got and not get?
Orange Zhan's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
39 views

How many times it is done

I asked this question before but now I will try to be more accurate. It's common that when we give the exact number of attemtps or how many times we did something. We use simple tenses instead of ...
train bee 282's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
24 views

Is it grammatically correct to write: "It needs not to be known"? For an academic writing, is it correct to say: "she thought there will be".?

Is it grammatically correct to write "she thought there will be no one by her side at her lowest"? Or it should be "she thinks there will be no by her side at her lowest
Munni Akter's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
32 views

Why use "revived" instead of "revive" in "if your diet has lapsed it's time you revived it"? [duplicate]

The following sentence was found in Oxford Online Dictionary: if your diet has lapsed it's time you revived it. I can't see for myself why "revived" is being used here. I think it should ...
Tran Khanh's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
60 views

Number of attempts

Dislpaying a number of times something was done forces us to use for example present perfect simple and not continuous. 1 version right 2 wrong. I have played 5 times this week. I have been playing ...
train bee 282's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
15 views

You can always expect me to tell you what I have done/did. - differences in meaning?

Example 1 You can always expect me to tell you what I did. Example 2 You can always expect me to tell you what I have done. Does Example 1 refer to a specific past time or it can mean the same ...
VinceL's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
23 views

If I am still happy now, "I am happy to talk to an old friend last week" an acceptable structure?

I talked to an old friend last week. Now I am still happy. Can I say, Example 1 I am happy to talk to an old friend last week or Example 2 I am happy that I talked to an old friend last week. or ...
VinceL's user avatar
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