Questions tagged [tense-agreement]

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13 votes
5 answers
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Tense agreement in the past irrealis conditionals

The following is taken from PEU1 123.5: Could have + past participle can refer to present situations which were possible but have not been realised. He could have been Prime Minister now ...
  • 7,005
4 votes
2 answers
263 views

Non-deontic uses of "should have done"

Next day we got on to more intimate subjects and I began to learn something of his life. He was now nearer fifty than forty years of age, though I should have thought him younger. I had been ...
  • 7,005
4 votes
2 answers
204 views

tense in a sub-clause

Someone introduced himself to us. After that, when we look back and say what he said, which is right to say? What did he say his name is? What did he say his name was? I think the first one ...
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1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Tense simplification in the present or future irrealis conditionals

PEU1 580 tense simplification in subordinate clauses Past (form) instead of would... Would, like will, is avoided in subordinate clauses; instead, we generally use past verbs. This ...
  • 7,005
11 votes
3 answers
629 views

"When I have had to break bad news I never know whether I .." or "I never knew whether I ..."?

From "Do No Harm" by Henry Marsh: 'Well, it's very difficult,' I said in a gentler tone. 'That's why I was asking you.' When I have had to break bad news I never know whether I have done it well or ...
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3 votes
1 answer
260 views

mixed tenses/tenses agreement

Would it be okay if I called you when I got back home? Would it be okay if I called you when I get back home? Are both the above sentences grammatically correct? I'm still kinda confused ...
  • 2,669
3 votes
4 answers
6k views

She is/was going to the cinema [duplicate]

Incident which happened a week ago: Me to Kate: "Where are you going"? Kate: "I'm going to the cinema". Now today I happen to tell this story to Jim and I say, "I met Kate a week ago." ...
  • 361
8 votes
4 answers
59k views

We each has/have?

I'm confused by the following sentences: Each of us has a laptop. We each have a laptop. How can I intuit the differences between the two sayings? Why is it "we each have" rather than "...
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5 votes
1 answer
374 views

Tense matching problems, e.g.: “I found out Pat is/was male”

Suppose Pat is male. Which one is correct? I found out Pat is male. I found out Pat was male. Does the following change make any difference? She said Pat is male. She said Pat was ...
  • 827
2 votes
1 answer
665 views

Reported speech: When to not change "was" to "had been"?

Recently, I was studying about reported speech and while thinking about a few "directly" reported constructions came to mind. I'm trying to change those sentences to reported speech. Barbara ...
1 vote
1 answer
197 views

past simple or present perfect

Please have a look at this sentence: We haven't gotten a lot of Finnish groups that we liked here at Bananas but I'm pretty happy with this four tracker from Helsinki, apparently recorded in the ...
  • 6,161
1 vote
1 answer
162 views

tense agreement (simple past tense after past perfect tense)

I found this sentence below in a test passage: Less well known at the time was the fact that Freud had found out, almost by accident, how helpful his pet dog Jofi was to his patients. Why is "...
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1 vote
2 answers
2k views

"It had now been two weeks since he had left the house"

It had now been two weeks since he had left the house. Is this use of since correct? Is the tense of the verb after it correct?
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0 votes
1 answer
4k views

There is no or there was no

I read a sentence in an exam: There is no child who did not bring his parents to the picnic. I think that the sentence does not have tense-agreement. Why is is used instead of was? Please explain ...
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

The order of events when using past perfect

I have a question regarding the order of events when using past perfect.When there are three events I want to describe out of chronological order, will the listener be able to figure out which ...
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3 votes
3 answers
200 views

I wanted to do something but have forgotten

I wanted to do something but have forgotten. Is this sentence valid? Can I use the past simple with the present perfect in this case? As another example: I have wanted to buy something but have ...
2 votes
1 answer
244 views

Necessity of past perfect

What indeed? While she was walking through the forest, she saw a wolf strolling slowly towards her, humming something to himself. A minute or so earlier, the wolf had been watching her from behind a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Use of present perfect with "until" - "...until he's eaten everything" [duplicate]

I came across the following sentence and I would like to ask if it is grammatically correct to say the second one also and if we can what will it mean? 1 .His parents make him stay at the table ...
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Tense disagreement in "I guess he would + perfect infinitive" sentences

In 1966 all of the US currency was withdrawn from Vietnam and our government printed Military Payment Certificates. How did he know and how did Bulldog know? I guess he would have just ...
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