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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

-3
votes
0answers
25 views

Past participle [closed]

Material used for the construction of the machine, the used products and made for during the working cycle are not harmful for the safety and wealthy of the people that use the machine. In this ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

“Does not revealed”

I've found this sentence, and thought it has a bad grammar: Audiometry, abdominal ultrasonography, echocardiography does not revealed other abnormalities. But there are many usages of this ...
-1
votes
1answer
32 views

Can't or Couldn't?? [closed]

i want to ask what's the difference between these sentences. Because Can't is present tense and happened is past tense. Could anyone explain it to me thank you! She Can't believe what happened to ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Simple or perfect [closed]

Recently I wrote this sentence: I am sending you the edited mail as I typed the wrong data before. At first I was happy with it, but since then I ve been doubting the use of past simple in the second ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

How should I say this

I have tense gramatical Issue here If I want to say I couldn't find out something in some nonspecific time in the past, I should say. "I couldn't figured out how to ...??" Or "I haven't were able to ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Past Simple VS Past Continues

They came, four by four, down the vast hall between double rows of columns. The drum beat dully. No voice spoke, no eye watched. Torches carried by black-clad girls burned reddish in the shafts of ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

“was reconstructed by…” / "has been reconstructed by… (simple past vs. present perfect)

I'm editing a book in which the following formulation appears frequently in the notes: "This article has been reconstructed by [...]. The sources for this reconstruction are [...]. The text has been ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

“I'd the house to myself” Is this incorrect? [duplicate]

"I'd the house to myself." Since "I'd" can be a contraction of I had, would it work in this case for "I had the house to myself?"
2
votes
2answers
119 views

Is “He should have gone running away” grammatical? [closed]

Is the use of the construction should have gone running away correct? Would not a better answer be “should have run away”? A teacher at my school had this question on her students exam and is curious ...
-1
votes
1answer
35 views

Modals of obligation in the past [closed]

Can you say 'You needn't have to go' instead of 'You needn't have gone'?
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Present Perfect vs. Simple past in this situation [migrated]

if somebody hasn't answered my question, what will be the difference of these two response in meaning? "You haven't answered my question!" "You didn't answer my question!" thanks
8
votes
2answers
787 views

When describing a detail of an ex, is it correct to use past or present tense?

To start, would it be correct to say "My ex-girlfriend used to eat at Red Lobster." or "My ex-girlfriend eats at Red Lobster." Another example: "My ex-girlfriend used to be into ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Tense and 'had had'

Which of these is correct? Instinctively, I'd say (1), but it feels a bit formal. I'm also tempted to use (3) but soften the double 'had' by using 'she'd' instead of 'she had'. Thoughts? (Thank you!) ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Is it may or might?

I know that the past tense of may is might so, basically, if the truth of the situation is known, you use "might have." For example: If I were to go to the store but didn't, I would say: I might ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

could past perfect tense and present perfect tense coexist in a compound sentence. Please do not mark as duplicate if you have not read the question [duplicate]

Mike ( had broken | broke ) his mother's vase last night but he has not told her yet. Question: Some argue it must use "broke" instead of "had broken" because "last night" could not be used with past ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Usage of conditional in past

I am a non-native speaker, currently reading English fiction to improve my language skills. I stumbled over the following sentence: [...] every creeping sound of the night was magnified, and if ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Past Perfect and Until

In the book which I use to prepare for the IELTS exam they have the following sentence: " The situation remained unchanged for the next two years until more universities were opened." I do not ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

What tense should I use in the following case? [closed]

I'm describing something in the past tense. However, that something repeats over and over again. What is more correct? A ball destroyed a vase. It was an infinite loop. The ball bounced up. It hit ...
-3
votes
1answer
127 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
122 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"?
0
votes
1answer
33 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
37 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
19 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.
0
votes
2answers
63 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
65 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
27 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
157 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
1
vote
0answers
27 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
42 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
53 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. ...
0
votes
0answers
52 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
35 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
65 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 ____ ...
1
vote
1answer
161 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?
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
72 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
62 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
42 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
106 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."
0
votes
1answer
39 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
40 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 (...
0
votes
1answer
51 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?
1
vote
2answers
155 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
81 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..., ...
3
votes
3answers
72 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", "...
4
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
41 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
73 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.
0
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
83 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) ...