This tag is for questions related to usage of the past tense in English.

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I finished my essay yesterday but I (?) it in to the tutor yet

I finished my essay yesterday but I (?) it in to the tutor yet. A.I've given B.I hadn't given C.I didn't give Which is correct? My dear tutor said the answer had to be B. But I find no correct ...
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3answers
78 views

“Since she had given up smoking, …” or “Since she gave up smoking, …”?

Since she had given up smoking, she has been looking good. or Since she gave up smoking, she has been looking good. Shouldn't it be "had given up"?
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1answer
17 views

Present Perfect usage in a sentence; continue with the same tense or move to Past Simple?

I've been rewriting a known quote: Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. I used the Present Perfect and turned the quote into: Curiosity has killed the cat, but ...
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0answers
32 views

How do I stay in the right past tense?

I recently wrote in my journal about a crash that had occurred on my way to work. I couldn't decide if I needed to write: Thursday morning, a truck had hit and killed a woman on the motorway. The ...
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1answer
15 views

Tense in a general statement

Do all of these mean the same? Is one preferable to the other? It's important to finish what you start. It's important to finish what you started. It's important to finish what you've started.
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2answers
47 views

Why past simple whereas present perfect should be used instead?

In "Game of Thrones", season 6, episode 4 there is a scene when one guy spots that his mate is sick (his hand is getting rotten) and gets worried about it. But the mate says: "Don't worry. I didn't ...
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0answers
36 views

Past tense of “to steel oneself”? [on hold]

What is the correct way to render the past tense form of “to steel oneself”? My mind keeps suggesting “stole” but I know that is incorrect.
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3answers
47 views

Good decision I “made” / “have made” today

As a non-native English speaker, I'm a little bit confused. Should I say: The only good decision I made today was to ... or The only good decision I have made today was to ... What is the ...
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1answer
19 views

The date was advanced / The date has been advanced

What would be the difference between "The date of the meeting has been advanced by one week" versus "The date of the meeting was advanced by one week" The latter I've found in a dictionary. The ...
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1answer
45 views

We received/had received a letter [duplicate]

I want to acknowledge on receipt of a letter. Which one is correct "we received" or "we had received"? And please explain the usages too. Thanks
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0answers
20 views

Verb tense after someone died [migrated]

Let's say I had a friend that died. When talking about him, should I now say: I am his friend or I was his friend What about marriage? Should the wife say: I am his wife or I ...
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0answers
26 views

Conditionals in the past [closed]

If I have a conditional sentence of type 1, let`s say, "If it works out he will be awarded" how will it sound in the past, as if reported? Is it correct to say: "[Everybody thought that] if it worked ...
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2answers
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Coming and going in the past

If I call my mother when I am done shopping in the morning, I might tell her "I am coming home" if she is at home, but "I am going home" if she is not. That afternoon at home, discussing the day's ...
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1answer
43 views

Past Perfect Progressive

I came across a website that says, using a Past Perfect Continuous is a good way to show cause and effect. The writer then shows an example. He was tired because he had been exercising so hard. ...
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0answers
3 views

How do I show the past tense? [migrated]

She had to knew that I was there there for her help She had to know that I was there for her help She has to knew that I was there there for her help Please explain in details which ...
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0answers
21 views

rule for past to present converting

My question is How to know if a word must ends with "e" after you remove the "ed" to change it from past to present for an example "killed" after changing it to present it becomes "kill" while "loved" ...
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0answers
35 views

Survey Design: Past Tense vs. Present Tense

This seems silly, but I can't make up my mind. When asking survey participants to rate their attitude(s) about a past experience, should the statement be in past or present tense? For example, ...
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2answers
32 views

I thought I heard you call my name

I read several sentences, like these: "I thought I heard you call my name", should this be "I thought I heard you called my name"? "Yesterday I saw a lion kiss a deer", should this be "Yesterday I ...
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2answers
44 views

Laid vs. Lain in This Sentence [closed]

Which past participle would fit best in the following sentence? I've always struggled with this one. The idea that had presented itself during the meeting had plagued him all night, and he'd ____ ...
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1answer
106 views

“Have you washed it” vs “Did you wash it”? [duplicate]

What's the difference between these two questions? Speaker A: Your car looks very clean. Have you washed it? Did you wash it?
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0answers
28 views

Simple past or Past perfect or Present perfect?

The researcher finds a lot of articles about the famous cop having tampered with the evidence related to the arrests that he made. or The researcher finds a lot of articles about the famous cop ...
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0answers
69 views

I wished somebody told me

I got to the bank this morning to open an account, but I could not because I did not have one of the documents required. The day before, when I booked the appointment with the advisor, they told me to ...
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1answer
49 views

Does/did in the following sentence?

So the context is A: I play the piano every night before I go to bed. B: I thought I was the only one who does that/did that?? Because person B thought before that she was the only one who did it, ...
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1answer
41 views

Reducing the usage of HAD in past-perfect constructs [closed]

If I change the below excerpt In the secret study of Duchess Bianca Cappello, Agent Brüder had heard a sickening thud followed by a growing commotion in the Hall of the Five Hundred. He ...
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1answer
45 views

Gets older or Got older? [closed]

Is "I love her more when she got older." correct or "I love her more when she gets older."
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1answer
31 views

The usage of “was always”

Good evening everyone! Recentle I've been wondering if it's okey to use always with past simple. Here's a sentence I made up as an example: Baking cakes was always a hard task for me. Is it ...
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0answers
39 views

When do I have license to use the present tense in a *past* narration?

I am narrating a past series of events; of course, all the verbs are in the past tense. One verb, however, signifies an action that will be complete long after (years after) the moment of narration ...
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1answer
32 views

“Have you known” or “Did you know”? [duplicate]

Which tense should I use if for instance I'm talking about a curiosity and I want to ask if the person knew it?
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2answers
119 views

Can Present Participle verbs be used in Past tense stories?

I'm writing a 3rd person story in the past tense. I'm asking the above question because I noticed Roald Dahl used present particles instead of past particles in The BFG. The BFG, with Sophie ...
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2answers
72 views

I realized I was or I am

Which of the following is correct, and why? I was an atheist till I realized I was God. I was an atheist till I realized I am God. Quite a few individuals have pointed out the ummm..., ...
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3answers
62 views

A word that is the past participle for having become something

I want to say: As someone who has recently become a father, ... but I would like to use the shorter form: As a recently ____ father, ... What word could I use here? "Become", "becomed", ...
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1answer
45 views

How to distinguish previous holders of titled administrative positions

When writing about an event that occurred in the recent past, how should one refer to people who held well-established positions for a short amount of time? For example, if I am writing about a bill ...
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1answer
36 views

Past tense of people watching (applied to zombies)

My characters in a book are watching zombies, ie people watching, but the people are the walking dead. Anyway, I'm wondering what the correct tense usage is, as I'm writing in past. 'drinking from ...
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2answers
67 views

Is saying “may have” incorrect?

I believe I've heard that might is the past tense of may. So you should say might have never may have.
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1answer
68 views

Asking subject - object questions. 'Did' or past form of the verb in Past Simple?

The question is about the rule of asking questions in Past Simple tense. Please, look at the questions below and tell me if my thinking and naming of questions stated here are correct? For example ...
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0answers
72 views

Present Perfect with question words: ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’ etc [closed]

Is it appropriate to use present perfect (pp) after question words such as: when, where, what, and who? Or should I just use the past simple (ps)? Why? When have you met your wife? (pp) ...
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3answers
256 views

Why is past tense of ‘love’ used in: “I thought you loved me”?

I am confused by the past tense used in the following sentence I thought you loved me. Why is it loved here? Does this mean that you expected someone to love you, but it turned out to not be the ...
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0answers
38 views

Past perfect progressive/continuous tense in the passive voice [duplicate]

Here's the hypothetical situation ... Our CEO (Joe) was coming to visit our office from out of town, and he wanted to see a report that we had been preparing for him. At the time of his visit, ...
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3answers
49 views

Why does the Past Tense not include Past Participles?

If I say, "The cat ate the fish," then that's in the active voice and the past simple tense (I think). If, however, I say, "The fish was eaten by the cat," then that's in the passive voice, but I ...
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1answer
61 views

Does “there's more to come” require a past tense after it? [closed]

I wrote the following phrase: There's more to come once this pull request get merged (a pull request is something that can be merged) I saw on various places people using There's more to come ...
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1answer
48 views

Passive and past tense

I have to write an abstract which present my research and results. Do you think the following sentences are right in terms of tense and using of passive together? 1."It has been observed that the ...
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1answer
45 views

Had been working or had worked [duplicate]

I'm trying to figure out what to choose between Past Perfect Simple and Past Perfect Continuous in the following sentence: Mr Georgiou had been working/had worked for the company for twenty years ...
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3answers
114 views

When is “loved” a past participle and when is it simple past?

Some one asked this question: He is loved. This is something that I've always kind of wondered. In a sentence like this, is loved a verb or an adjective? Can it be considered either? The simple ...
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1answer
49 views

Participle Clause - past particple

As I hadn't finished my assignment, I was very anxious. = Not having/Having not finished my assignment, I was very anxious. Consider changing the sentence: Not finished my assignment, I ...
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2answers
102 views

Is the word, “Council” singular or plural?

This question came up in regards to recording meeting minutes. Which is proper: MOVED by Councillor Edmonds that Council accept the updated Snow Removal Policy: Policy #S-45-1. or: MOVED ...
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1answer
74 views

past simple vs present perfect in following examples

I am trying to understand differences in using past simple and present perfect. Let consider following examples. I have put onion in the soup. I am cooking the soup now, onion is floating in ...
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9answers
4k views

I sightsaw London. Is this correct?

I want to ask if the following phrase is correct: I sightsaw London/the museum.
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2answers
76 views

Time tense consistency

I was taught that we have to keep time tenses consistent throughout a sentence in English. I am writing a paper, and I wasn't sure of this. "I came to realize that information security is becoming ...
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1answer
79 views

Wash or Wash up [closed]

Today i used to tell my friend on a chatsite: Finally you washed your greasy hair. Suddenly another person appeared there and corrected me that it should be Washed up. My sentence is wrong? and ...
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1answer
533 views

What is the name for the grammatical figure, where the present tense is substituted for a past event?

I am preparing a book for publication which contains the following passage: Stromberg in Religious Liberalism in Eighteenth-Century England (1954) noted that 'the critical moment in the ...