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

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2answers
113 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
132 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 ...
4
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2answers
527 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
298 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
70 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
2k 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
331 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
83 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?
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1answer
79 views

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

Is 'gotten' the past tense form of 'got' or is there even a word gotten?
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1answer
85 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
482 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
125 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
112 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?
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1answer
1k 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
272 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
179 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
148 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
45 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
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
468 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
277 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k 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
80 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
801 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
92 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
131 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 ...
4
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2answers
366 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
48 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
170 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
119 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
132 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.
0
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2answers
111 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
177 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
98 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
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2answers
589 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
83 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 ...
0
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2answers
281 views

Two past perfect verbs in the same sentence

Both these sentences contain two verbs (correct me if I'm wrong) that are in the past perfect tense. I'd like to ask how do they occur in chronological order. Though my question is related to the one ...
3
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2answers
210 views

The correct usage of past tense with just

I understand that phrase: "I have just bought a house". is correct. But I also saw, that sometimes people could say: "I just bought a house." Is it correct?
1
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1answer
182 views

present simple plus past simple in the if-clause

Please help me understand whether I can use the past simple tense with the present simple tense in one if-clause. My example is the question that I want to ask when speaking with English native ...
0
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1answer
311 views

“Had been planning” or “were planning” What is the difference? [duplicate]

We_________(had been planning /were planning) to felicitate John at our annual cultural fest when the news of his death______(had arrived /arrived). Can someone tell me which one to use and ...
2
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1answer
237 views

Past perfect example confusion

My text definition of past perfect tense tells me that it is used to refer to an action that is completed at some point in the past and before the commencement of another past action. I came across ...
1
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2answers
172 views

Past Simple vs Present Perfect?

We _ Harold for three years before he died. a) knew. b) have known. Which answer should I use in my exam question? I have doubts, as I want to choose a, but a friend of mine advises me to choose ...
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0answers
57 views

Question about about various uses of “to be” and correctness of their usage in my sentence

If I were the man involved, and didn't know my wife was 'pretend', I would be totally crushed when I did find out she was fake. How could I make the above statement correct? If it already is, ...
0
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1answer
406 views

Something was or is nice

When we say " X was nice", does it imply X was nice in the past, but not nice any more at the present? Here is one context: One day I went shopping with a friend, and we saw a nice item in a shop. ...
0
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1answer
105 views

past tense, passive verb [duplicate]

What is correct usage -- or correct semi-slang usage -- for verb in this sentence: 'he was a boy who got beat up often'
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1answer
34 views

Is “flewed down” an attempt at past imperfect? [closed]

From a non-native speaker of English: "My friends have flewed down for my surgery." Is this is attempt at past imperfect? I am not sure, since the intent is to indicate the very recent past. Does ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to use “The first thing I did was”? [closed]

I'm unable to figure out if the following sentence is correct: "After I watched the movie, the first thing I did was shutdown the laptop and go outside" Is this grammatically correct? Or should it ...
0
votes
1answer
264 views

Past tense usage in a formal email [duplicate]

During the period between January and today, I have added many changes to my resume that i want to make an employer noticed of. I doubt between 'have done' and 'had done'. " I would like to inform ...