Questions tagged [tense]

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

322 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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Different tense in one sentence

I have been trying to use the 'past perfect' tense and other related grammars in my sentence. I want to make sure if the sentences below are grammatically correct. I would also like to know if these ...
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31 views

what are the appropriate tense forms to be used in these sentences and why?

She promised me that she (to ring up) me as soon as she (to return) from London. She (to tell) me that the plane (to take off) at exactly 5 o'clock. I learned that she (to get) a parcel from her ...
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25 views

having been vs being

In the following sentence, I am supposed to pick correct choice: Several guests complained about (being/having been/to have been) served cold food last night. I think it should be having been but ...
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28 views

correct usage of “will have”

In this website: British Council Learn English, they say—"We use will have when we are looking back from a point in time in the future, or looking back from the present":: It's half past ...
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What's the Difference Between “I would've had to say” and “I would've had to have said”?

If they'd asked me, I would've had to say... If they'd asked me, I would've had to have said... What's the difference between them?
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Difference between will and will be

What is the difference between below sentences or they are completely same at all? We will be looking at the questions very soon I will focus on new questions and We will look at the questions very ...
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Questions regarding the differences between simple and progressive past

I have a few sentences in which I don't know which tense to use. In the first sentence, I want to describe how a zoom meeting ended, but everybody stayed. So should I say: I saw that everybody was ...
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Use “would” and “could” to express possibility or politeness: do we need to change tenses in the subordinate clauses?

According to https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verbs-modal-would.htm, would can be used to create remoteness of possibility or probability remoteness between speakers (formality, politeness). Here ...
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18 views

Is the tense usage in “Bob has tried to help but can't crack the code” correct?

Context: Alice has some issues with an app. She talks to Bob who is familiar with the app, but he couldn't fix it and refers her to some experts group. Alice initiates a conversation with the experts ...
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53 views

Sequence of tenses for modal verbs?

Would, could, and might can be used to express possibility or uncertainty in the present or future (they are the "softer" and more "indirect", or more "polite" forms of ...
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Is this right to say “It has been 20 years since they have seen each other.”

I saw this sentence below on the internet. It has been 20 years since they have seen each other. Is this right expression? Should I collect like "It has been 20 years since they saw each other.&...
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On of the usages of the past continuous

If I say: 1 I was living in America for a year. (it will be a bad sentence on its own) If I say: 2 I lived in America for a year. (it will be OK) If I say: 3 You were eating this sandwich for an hour. ...
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What is the differences between using “was” or “is” or even others like “will be” in these conversations?

I found that in discourse, "that" or other pronouns can refer to many things. Sometimes it is an idea or it can involve specific elements in the discourse. But because I am not a native ...
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Do words such as “could have”, “should have”, or “might have” represent the past possibilities of the past?

We know that words such as could have, should have, or might have mean past possibilities. When they are used in a noun clause following a verb, do they represent the past possibilities of the past? ...
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…and is/has gone a second later when

Jack is walking down the hallway when suddenly he hears footsteps just around the corner. He runs for the nearest door and is/has gone a second later when Pete and Toby come around the corner. (The ...
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can I use 'will' in the past tense sentence?

Tom said that he will/would save his allowance. 'will' and 'would' are both possible in the given sentence?
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Why do we use present perfect if we have never done an action before?

Example: She has never read this book. I haven't met her before. "past activities that have a present result" Why does past tense exist in this context? If she never read the book before, ...
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41 views

Which tense would be appropriate to mean that: “I've stopped doing an action that I used to do often.”?

I want to write a sentence which means that: I used to go to the gym often, but not anymore. The sentence that I wrote was this. "I recently go(went) to the gym often because I become interested ...
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29 views

How do I ask someone about his sleep

I find it difficult to ask my friend about his night rest whenever we chat
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2answers
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i've a bit of confusion in using “has/have been”

have been is basically used to express the action that was started in past and is still happening up to present. Now sometimes we use have been in the following contexts as well:- your device has ...
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23 views

Is “missed” or “miss” correct here?

Though I miss the jump into my teammates’ arms, I continue dancing. OR Though I missed the jump into my teammates’ arms, I continue dancing.
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Have/has sentence usage in the following sentences. Can someone help me with it?

Does Jules have/has feelings for him? Does Jules have/has the golden touch? Does Jules have/has a plan? Have is plural and has is singular. So technically for the last sentence, I should choose have. ...
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32 views

“If you don't listen to me, you were ruined.”

If you don't listen to me, you were ruined. Is the above-mentioned sentence correct? The speaker is sure that if the listener doesn't listen to him, the listener will be ruined. What perplexes me is ...
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I am confused about the tense and the sentence structure here

If I couldn't get out of it could she come with me? If I can't get out of it can she come with me? Which sentence is correct as I want to use for if condition talking about future?
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“I had been away for so long that I ended up starting a new novel when I was on the road”

This book is supposed to be a funny and a quick read but I had been away for so long that I ended up starting a new novel when I was on the road. Is "I had been" correct or should should it ...
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She should have babysat/been babysitting

Don't listen to her, she's just cranky because her mom blew her off at the last minute. She should have babysat/been babysitting. (This is said at a party about a woman who has brought her baby with ...
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16 views

Serious resource for learning tenses

Can anyone recommend a serious, advanced, comprehensive resource for learning English tenses that would cover virtually everything there is to know about the subject?
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She goes/went to bed before midnight at the weekend

She ____ to bed before midnight at the weekend. "goes" or "went" This question was on my English test. What is the correct answer?
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Past perfect, past perfect cont

Is it correct to say? I got burned 2 weeks ago and got scorch on my hand. It hadn't been getting better until 1 week had passed should I use past perfect at the end or would simple past be more ...
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1answer
24 views

Can you correctly drop auxiliary verbs in writing?

While creatively writing, I found myself dropping an auxiliary verb (I believe?) in a description. The statement went: "He seemed to be a freak of nature, his mutilated feautures artificially ...
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31 views

“Something will have been/would be/would have been kept in 2000.”

When we want to say we have something kept in the past,which tense should we use? Something will have been kept in 2000. Something would be kept in 2000. Something would have been kept in 2000.
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39 views

“It's believed that he (has painted/painted) the portrait”

"The portrait is believed to have been painted by him" I changed the sentence and made it like this: "It's believed that he (has painted/painted) the portrait" I'm not sure ...
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1answer
14 views

Talking about future in Past

There is cue card section in IELTS where the test-taker has to speak at length about any given topic. While talking about future in past events I am confused what we have to say: I told him that I am ...
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Are these sentences all mean the same thing? (word placement)

There are still people who keep denying its existence Still there are people who keep denying its existence There are people who still keep denying its existence Are these sentences all mean the same ...
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A question about performatives

Some verbs used as performatives with the present simple in affirmative sentences have a similar meaning with either the present simple or the present continuous in negative sentences. Source What is ...
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Past perfect tenses in compound and complex sentences

Consider the following sequence of events. My smartphone starts behaving weirdly. On a Friday, I send an email describing the problem to the customer care of the manufacturer of my smartphone. The ...
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What is the difference between these two sentences has vs had

I was reading a story and I got confused about why the writer wrote: She always goes to her art studio on Saturdays. But today she had stayed at home, waiting for me. Instead of She always goes to her ...
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138 views

Is it gramatically correct to ask “what were you doing this summer?”

I was asked few times on my English classes "what were you doing this summer?". And now I'm wondering if it's correct to ask that question like that? As far as I know Past Continuous is used ...
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Is it correct to say “Does he say 'sink' in place of 'think'?”?

I saw a discussion below a youtube comment regarding the grammatical correctness of this question. Find the comment here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvzbS7nlYX4&lc=UgzPb9XrJ-VcZLCjxs54AaABAg ...
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1answer
29 views

Verbs after “In case”

As a grammar hint, it is stated under the entry for "In case" within Longman Dictionary of Contemporary that we have to use simple present/past or should after in case, for example: They ...
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31 views

how to use verb form (past tense or verb+ing) correctly?

I've been reading some books and been confused about the verb tense used in the sentences, for examples: 1: But I knew Lefty’s dumb sense of humor. “Nice try, Lefty,” I said, and followed him through ...
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Grammar Past Tenses

Which one of the following is correct: Have you remembered to bring home your football bag? OR Did you remember to bring home your football bag? Many thanks.
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“I've kept on falling asleep”?

I would like to know the difference between the following sentences in meaning. I've kept on falling asleep during class. I keep on falling asleep during class. I've been falling asleep during ...
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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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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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39 views

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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19 views

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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29 views

“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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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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22 views

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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