Questions tagged [time-reference]

For questions about verb tense in sentences where the timing of events makes it difficult to know the correct tense to choose.

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What is "The day before yesterday" in reported speech?

If "yesterday" becomes "the previous day" in reported speech, what about "the day before yesterday"? Direct Speech: "I came back the day before yesterday" he ...
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1 answer
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Time duration with past perfect tense

Is it correct that just like present perfect we do not usually use time duration as in "for two years" with past perfect tense, apart from certain fixed sentences as in lived, owned, known, ...
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1 answer
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Is it appropriate to say "When it was my birthday"?

Is it appropriate to say: "When it was my birthday..." when speaking about my childhood, for instance when I want to say what I used to do, eat and things like that? I had always thought ...
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37 views

'Simple past' with unfinished period of time 'this week'

I've read that 'present perfect' is used with 'this week' mostly, as it's an unfinished time period. For example.. I've had Chinese food this week. But if we add the adverb 'thrice' in the sentence, ...
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What would you say if tomorrow or yesterday were a milestone moment for you?

If today were your and your partner's 5th anniversary you would say: "It's been 5 years since we started dating" or "We've been dating for 5 years already" or some might say: &...
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Sentence concering unreal time

Can you please explain to me why this following sentence uses Past Perfect when we have a hypothetical current situation? From what I read when we have sentences with Supposing/Imagine (functioning as ...
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4 answers
118 views

Can we say “some time” when talking about a short unspecified time?

In dictionaries I looked at, it says “some time” is used when talking about an unspecified long time. Is it wrong to use it when talking about, say, a few minutes? For instance, let’s say someone ...
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Should I say "coming week" when it is weekend?

Today is Saturday and the date is May 8th. I want to say I'm available at 3 PM for all the days for the coming working days. That is for the date May 10 - May 14. Should I say: "I am available at ...
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"It will be Ann’s birthday on Saturday." & "It is Ann’s birthday on Saturday."

Are these sentences correct? Have they got the same meaning and similar usage? It will be Ann’s birthday on Saturday. It is Ann’s birthday on Saturday.
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Adjunct of duration

I was running for one hour and a half. This sentence is said to be grammatically correct on a grammar book written by non native speakers. But I can not think of a circumstance that the sentence can ...
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Can you say "it's ten o'clock p.m."?

This might be a question of individual style, but it still bothers me: The words in the title are part of the lyrics of swiss singer Jael Malli in her song "Driving with You" on her album ...
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2 votes
4 answers
173 views

Prepositional Phrases used as Noun Phrases?

The country’s Supreme Court ruled last year that the ban was illegal, and gave the Knesset, or parliament, until March 1st to amend the law to allow gay couples to commission surrogacies domestically. ...
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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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1 answer
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Use of "will be" with time clause

Can we use future form in below sentence? There is 'after' which indicates time clause (as far as I know present simple or present perfect should be used instead of future in such case) so can I use ...
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1 vote
1 answer
35 views

Christmas came three days early to felons [duplicate]

Which is correct? "Christmas came three days early to felons" or "Christmas came three days earlier to felons"? The wave of corrupt presidential pardons began Wednesday. Christmas ...
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Time clauses and present perfect progressive

I have found a rule that we cannot use future forms when using time clauses including expressions such as: while, before, after, until/till, as, once, as soon as, as long as, by the time Does this ...
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1 answer
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You can't be tweeting photos

"You can't be tweeting silly pictures of your grandfather like this. He is a respectable man." Please note that I made this sentence up so there might be mistakes. My question is about 'you ...
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Can you deliver it [when,after] it [is | will be] assembled?

Right now we are assembling a device. I am asking another person if he is can deliver it [after/when] we finish. What question construction is the most correct? Can you deliver it after it is ...
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1 vote
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just at the time that I dated my creation

The following sentence is from Frankenstein. Does the boldfaced prepositional phrase describe the time at which the speaker was seized with the nervous fever, or the time at which he remembered the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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from time without end time

I would like to appreciate all reviewers of our paper. We submitted our paper two times and I would point to reviewers of both submissions and revise. If I say from the first submission does it have ...
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Inexact time periods (with the first point being known)

I wonder how English-speaking people can describe time periods in this particular case. The amount of work to be done is big and will surely take three days but how many days after it is not known. ...
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1 answer
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Does "in any conscious or dishonest way" refer to the former statement?

Does "in any conscious or dishonest way" refer to the former statement? i mean. refer to "i have observed many.." In speaking of Miss Kate Fox, Professor Crookes says: "I have ...
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1 answer
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Have you seen Jane this morning? (meaning: this morning)

I have a question about the present perfect. A: Have you seen Jane this morning? (said in the morning) B: Yes, I have. I saw her an hour ago. Here, does "this morning" mean "from the early ...
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1 vote
1 answer
881 views

I had been practicing or I practiced

I've always used 'had been' in conditionals but today I was talking with a friend online and before logging in I practiced speaking English with myself for 30 minutes. So I said: "I had been ...
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  • 515
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1 answer
42 views

Time reference of subordinate clauses

May I request to clarify the time references for the following subordinate clauses of the sentence : "He will come to know what I need" or "What I need will be known to him" "He will come to ...
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1 answer
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Using Present Perfect tense after "when" to reference the future

Imagine I registered on a web store and bought a subscription in order to sell some stuff. I want to ask what happens to the items I have listed on the store when my subscription expires. I made up ...
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1 answer
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¨wish + the next day¨

I wished I would have handed in the exam the next day. ( = But I did not, I regretted not having handed in the exam the next day. ); For a start, is this sentence both grammatically and pragmatically ...
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2 answers
538 views

past or future: later today

Can the phrase "later today" refer to the past as follows? A: When did you give John the document? B: Later today. I'd appreciate your help.
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1 answer
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"ago" used with a past tense

Alice: "I moved to Rome four years ago." Last year, Alice said she had moved to Rome [...] Alice: "I moved to Rome long ago." Last year, Alice said she had moved to Rome [...] Would ...
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0 answers
25 views

Differences between Until vs Up to vs As on

I have two queries regarding how to use until/up to. I have searched a lot, but I couldn't find a satisfactory answer. Suppose, someone submits a report, which was updated up to 31st October 2019. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
116 views

Less + Ago meaning

Due to an argument with a friend, can you please share with your thoughts about the meaning of the next sentence? Could you please add an example with time period, i will really appreciate it: ...
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1 answer
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Grammaticality and past perfect tense

Let's say there are two summers. Summer of 2012, summer of 2011. And summer of 2012 was bad time, whereas the summer of 2012 is the best summer I've had. Now, if I put it this way. "I knew that ...
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2 votes
1 answer
355 views

"someone will have arrived yesterday" - Future Perfect Tense in the past?

If they’re following their schedule, they will have arrived yesterday. Yesterday? But yesterday is not a part of the future? I'm confused now.
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0 answers
111 views

Present/Past perfect with 'Recent'/'Yesterday'

Which sentence is correct? Recently they have watched a new film and now we are expecting their mind about it. Recently they had watched a new film and now we are expecting their mind about ...
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1 vote
2 answers
104 views

Why is past simple used in this sentence when it happened before?

Philippe Siegfried called me one day in February to announce that he had unpublished titles of his group PANORAMAS. It was Emmanuelle Jean-Luc Taccard's wife (LUCAS TROUBLE, TANGO LÜGER ...) who ...
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0 votes
1 answer
6k views

How long vs. How much time

Yesterday, I bumped into a friend of mine. While conversing, he told me that he goes to a center. Then I asked him which center do you go? (to. Should I add "to" or not?) then he told me the name of ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
3k views

After something (is done/has been done) something else (will) happen [closed]

Which of these sentences are grammatically correct? After this code is compiled you get the next HTML. After this code is compiled you will get the next HTML. After this code has been ...
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0 votes
1 answer
137 views

Future in the past + adverbial clauses which indicate time or condition

I've seen the following examples in my textbook so far. He said that his son would graduate from college next spring. He said that he might come tomorrow. I wonder that if a clause which ...
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0 votes
1 answer
117 views

Using "from" and "already" in the Past Simple

From the very first lesson, she already surprised my quite a lot by how quickly she could do simple addition problems. And later, she has never stopped surprising me by other, even more ...
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1 vote
3 answers
84 views

If "I read the book in five minutes" is to duration, what is "I read the book five minutes ago?"

If duration is the general term for the class of words that reference the time difference between now and the future when an event is finished (i.e. I read the book in five minutes), what is the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
2k views

"From 4 years out" meaning

I was listening to NPR where Michele Krebs the executive analyst of autotrader came on to be interviewed on "How the auto industry is reacting to the tentative US-Mexico trade deal". The program was ...
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2 answers
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How to describe sequence in the past?

I can't describe it well so I'm going to tell you a sequence so that you can understand me and complete this sequence: Next bill --> current bill --> the last/previous bill --> the bill before ...
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0 votes
2 answers
10k views

Can we said "last morning"?

Normally we'll use last night when we're talking about yesterday's night, but how about yesterday's morning? Why can't we use last morning so as afternoon? Just like last weekend, last Friday, last ...
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1 vote
1 answer
34k views

Future tense - I would be available anytime until 12pm or after 8pm from 2nd of April

Is this sentence grammatically correct? I will be available anytime until 12pm or after 8pm from 2nd of April. or I am available anytime until 12pm or after 8pm from 2nd of April.
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1 vote
1 answer
21k views

"past year" vs "last year" vs "previous year'?

Are there any semantic or grammatical between "past year" vs "last year" vs "previous year'? Are they similar from the definite article point of view? (last year vs the last year). I know that when ...
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0 votes
1 answer
117 views

The origin of "yogurt" __is/was__ from Turkish

The origin of "yorgurt" is/was from Turkish. Which is correct between is and was in the above sentence? I am very confused about this matter. When only focused on the geography, I feel that stating ...
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3 votes
1 answer
61 views

using perfect tense before "before"

He abided by all the rules that were explained to him before the programme. He abided by all the rules that had been explained to him before the programme. What is the difference b/w the two ...
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2 votes
1 answer
157 views

"I cleaned the carpet for 3 hours" - simple past tense vs present perfect

I want to talk about an action that happened three years ago, and the action took 3 hours. I cleaned the carpet for 3 hours. Can I use "for" with simple past tense to talk about the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
4k views

During that time I saw or I have seen

I (see) ___________ Judy for more than five years and during that time I _______ (see) many changes in her personality. My solution was I have been seeing Judy for more than five years and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
3k views

'All week, all the time, all day' time markers

I have locked up the internet to find an answer to my question by unfortunately I did not find a clear answer. So my question is: Are these time markers used for particular tenses (e.g: Past ...
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