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

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1answer
36 views

“Until” followed by past perfect or past simple

Recently we have been learning tense sequence with using after, before and so on. One of them - until turned out troublesome for me. My first exercise was to write this sentence with until: not to ...
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1answer
43 views

using “if” - when to use present tense, and when to use past tense?

As a native speaker of English, these two sentences sound acceptable to me: A full refund can be claimed if the school fails to provide a textbook. A full refund could be claimed if the ...
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3answers
73 views

reporting past simple tense [closed]

Choose: He said that while he was watching television, the light (went/had gone) out. Some people say that past simple tense doesn't change in indirect speech, but my teacher says that the direct ...
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2answers
49 views

Can I use “when” to start a sentence with the past progressive?

My class is working on the past progressive and the simple past, and I was wondering if I can use when instead of while for the following sentence While I was eating, the bell rang. When I was ...
2
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2answers
38 views

to be + past participle

I wanted to ask a lot of questions concerning this phrase: I always consult with my children who are affected by the decisions to be made. What role does the particle "to" perform in this phrase? ...
0
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0answers
22 views

Describe the grammatical error in the sentence [duplicate]

"I did went to the movie" Describe the grammatical error in the sentence. I know that it is wrong but I am not able to explain it to my younger brother.
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2answers
36 views

“is + past tense verb”. Sugar is added or sugar added?

How to say correctly: 1) Sugar is added to the coffee. 2) Sugar added to the coffee. or 1) Software is tested successfully. 2) Software tested successfully. Thank you in advance
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0answers
40 views

Which is correct “was” or“ were”? [duplicate]

It's hard to imagine a pine tree wishing it was an oak. It's hard to imagine a pine tree wishing it were an oak. Which is correct sentence?
14
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4answers
1k views

What is the past tense form of s--t [closed]

Are shit, shat, and shitted all correct and fine to use as the past tense of shit? After a little bit of searching it seems that they are, with shat being Old English. Is any form more common in ...
0
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3answers
67 views

Simple past vs past perfect tense

In this sentence"Our presentation was scripted. We wrote down and rehearsed everything we said beforehand" In this case, can I replace "we said beforehand" with "we had said beforehand"
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3answers
1k views

Past tense of wake: is there a difference between “waked”, and “woke”?

I just stumbled over the verb "to wake", which according to various sources has two valid forms for the past tense: "woke" and "waked". Some further research stated, that there seem to be two (Old / ...
1
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2answers
73 views

Past Simple and Progressive; depending on the sentence?

My question is based on Past Simple and Past Progressive. I had a test a couple weeks ago, and there was this sentence with 2 verbs that you had to choose one to make the sentence true grammatically: ...
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0answers
55 views

English simple past “did” in an affirmative statement

The English simple past (pretorite) uses did in inversion and in negative sentences. I ate at the restaurant. I did not eat at the restaurant. Did I eat at the restaurant? But is the affirmative ...
3
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2answers
135 views

The habitual past “would” versus “simple past” tense

One can use the habitual past 'would' to describe past events. For example one could say, Jim would spend weekends at the farm. He would cut weed and water the plants. One can also use the ...
2
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3answers
133 views

Mixing tenses in past tense fiction

In past tense works (novels, etc.) is there a place for some present tense verbs, such as "think" or "know" or "was." Example: I turned to leave, and he didn't try to stop me. I think I surprised ...
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3answers
53 views

Does the following statement make sense? [closed]

"As I answered the questions, I realized that those who devoted their lives to create change are forever remembered." Or should it be: "As I answered the questions, I realized that those who devote ...
4
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3answers
281 views

Use didn't leave yet, or haven't left yet? [closed]

My knowledge of English grammar is very basic. I learned English mostly from movies and a lot of times I choose a specific way to say something in English based on intuition or the feeling that it ...
0
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2answers
196 views

While I was waiting for [closed]

Which one is grammatically correct? I want to say that I waited the time that the bus would leave the terminal in the past tense. While I was waiting for the bus leaves, a man came to talk to me. ...
2
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1answer
58 views

“when” and “would” in a sentence

I would like to use when and would in the following sentence: When I would study on the morning of an exam I would say something like that. So, am I right?
0
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1answer
68 views

Is there past tense form of 'got'? [closed]

Is 'gotten' the past tense form of 'got' or is there even a word gotten?
0
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1answer
61 views

How do I use the verb “has been”? [duplicate]

What is the proper usage of "has been" in the sentences below? He has been working on it. He started working some time back (it may be near or long past) and still working. He started working ...
0
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2answers
106 views

“Every day” and present continuous vs simple present [duplicate]

Every day I'm eating vegetables. I eat vegetables every day. Can someone explain if there's a nuance in meaning of the two? If there's a better situation to use one than the other? (doesn't have to ...
1
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1answer
96 views

special usage of the past simple?

I'm reading Jennifer Haigh's short story Sublimation, and I came across a sentence that grabbed my attention. "Their son's habit isn't news to her, not really, though she always imagined he'd ...
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3answers
79 views

“She had lost her consciousness last night at pub after having several cocktails”. Is this sentence grammatical?

She had lost her consciousness last night at the pub after having several cocktails. Is the use of had (the past perfect tense) right here?
0
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1answer
200 views

Have been awarded or was awarded? [duplicate]

My question is which one is correct: a) I have been awarded the science award 5 times or b) I was awarded the science award 5 times Thank you :)
2
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1answer
121 views

What does “not far wrong” mean?

First, what does the sentence below mean? He may not have been far wrong Second, why do we use have rather than has?
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4answers
159 views

Modals - ability

"He was able to win the race." It means he won the race. Can it also mean he didn't win? - he didn't use the ability to win. If not, how to express the idea?
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0answers
103 views

Present perfect or past perfect? [duplicate]

Since I have stopped working, I started to learn English at home. Since I had stopped working,I started learning English at home. Are both questions having the same meaning in this context?
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2answers
39 views

“X used to be Y”

"X used to be Y" or "X was previously Y" both sound clunky to me, considering the present tense "X is Y" and the future tense "X will be Y". I find "used to" clunky because the word "used" generally ...
2
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1answer
68 views

“Has changed since March 1” vs “Changed on March 1”

My address has changed since March 1. The new address is now 123 Mapple Street. Is the verb tense in “has changed” correct in this case? If the action is completed, it seems like it should ...
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2answers
49 views

Was emerging vs Is emerging

The sentence below was written using was emerging: Narayanasamy said Congress was emerging as a forceful organisation and the people would be convinced that the PM and BJP had only extended false ...
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4answers
424 views

Past passive tense for smite without connoting infatuation, or an alternative

TL;DR: What is the past tense of smite in the passive voice? Is there an alternative word or series of words with the intended nuance? I am trying to find an alternative to the past passive tense for ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Past Perfect Continuous vs. Past Continuous

Every now and then I come up with a sentence, that eventually undermines my confidence as to whether it's correct or not - just a part of my OCD issues I guess. Same thing happened yesterday and ...
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votes
2answers
101 views

In writing and speaking, which one can I use? have took or taken [closed]

Which one is correct? I have took the class or I have taken the class? Would it be ok it I use I have took in spoken language?
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0answers
44 views

Is this the right use of “laid”? [duplicate]

The campfire crackled. Hunter laid in his sleeping bag and gazed up at the stars.
0
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2answers
67 views

Past modals and “like” [closed]

I need to rewrite a sentence by using the past modals. "Luke's given that watch away to a friend" (standard sentence) "Clearly he didn't like it then". (the sentence I have to rewrite with a modal ...
3
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3answers
319 views

Past tense of lightning

When we talk about lightning and thunder, we generally use the words like this: It's lightning It's thundering The antenna was hit by lightning But sometimes we use thunder in the past tense... ...
1
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1answer
74 views

Correct tense for “I wish I had more time so i could've baked some cookies” [closed]

Whats the correct way of saying this? I wish I had more time so i could've baked some cookies I wish I've had more time so i could've baked some cookies
0
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2answers
99 views

Compelled and compeled - American English

As for the British English it's always taught - compel, compelled, compelling Some of the books/dictionaries say that in American English you say compel, compeled, compeling instead, you simply don't ...
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2answers
198 views

Can “earlier this year” be used in the present perfect?

Is "earlier this year" a specific time reference? i.e. Can you say (A) is definitely wrong and (B) is right? (A) Earlier this year, ABC, Inc., has conducted a survey. (B) Earlier this year, ABC, ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Sorry I'm late, the car wouldn't start this morning!

This sentence is used in a Grammar book. I wonder why they used "wouldn't start"? Thanks so much!
1
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1answer
43 views

Past Simple or Past Perfect? [closed]

Which is grammatically correct? He woke up late this morning because he had a party with his friends last night. Or He woke up late this morning because he had had a party with his friends ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Verb tense in short flashbacks

I am writing a short story (approx. 650 words) in the past tense, and one paragraph of this story (100-125 words) is written as a flashback. I originally planned to write the entire flashback ...
1
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1answer
74 views

Past tense progression [duplicate]

My mother was raised in a family that had placed extreme importance on filial piety. Is had superfluous, wrong, or correct? I can see arguments in both directions: Perfect past (raised) ...
0
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1answer
88 views

is this sentence all in the past tense? I'm struggling to write in the past tense but use active words?

The turf wicket at Cook reserve in Bedford has been vandalised on Sunday after diesel was poured liberally across all five cricket pitches, rendering them unusable.
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2answers
78 views

Present perfect and Past tense in a specific place

Have you seen/Did you see my shoes in here Do I have to say Did you see because it happened in a specific place?
0
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1answer
122 views

Tricky Past Perfect sentences

I'm having trouble establishing a sequence of events in the following sentences (italicized) and understanding why the past perfect is needed. "Once upon a time, when I was a child reading fairy ...
0
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1answer
79 views

He has been banned or He is banned [duplicate]

I'm wondering what is difference between these both? She has been banned and She is banned
5
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2answers
550 views

Why is it “could” and not “can” in the famous line: “If a face could launch a thousand ships”? [duplicate]

This is from a song lyric If a picture paints a thousand words, Then why can't I paint you? The words will never show the you I've come to know. If a face could launch a thousand ships, ...
0
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2answers
60 views

Can I omit “had” if it is repeated too many times in a paragraph?

Example: I’d heard about this mystery before. However, I'd only thought it as a ghost story; something you'd tell around a campfire. Maybe I'm mistaken but the paragraph sounds better without ...