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

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477 views

“I thought we talked…” vs. “I thought we had talked…” [duplicate]

I'm not a native English speaker and I find English quite difficult and confusing and one of the reasons is because of its tenses—which I find challenging and rewarding once everything becomes clear—...
3
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1answer
319 views

Past perfect or simple past with 'ago'?

As a non-native speaker but a teacher of the English language I've come across the following question reading a pupil's report: Should she use the simple past or past perfect in her sentence? Last ...
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1answer
40 views

Use of FROM with Past Continuous

Can we use from when we are talking about the beginning of a period of time in Past Continuous but without indicating when that period of time stopped. For example: We were playing in the garden ...
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1answer
26 views

how to introduce section content in a thesis [closed]

In my thesis work I want to explain the content of a section, my question is which is the best form to introduce the section, for example: In this section are described the technologies ... or In ...
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1answer
51 views

SAT Writing Question

Upon considering the facts of the case; he quickly made a decision and sent the police. A. When he considered B. Considering C. Upon Considering D. When Considering Hello everyone, I just ...
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1answer
51 views

Is it possible to write

Is it possible to write: they were driving for an hour, then they stopped near the cafe. ? I mean, are the tenses I've used correct?
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0answers
128 views

Is it grammatical to use redundant past tense?

is it grammatically correct to use "have" or "has" before a past tense verb? for example, which is more correct: (1) "Some called for..." vs. (2) "Some have called for..." or similarly, (3) "Some ...
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1answer
46 views

When can past indefinite tense be used instead of past continuous tense?

"I answered the phone in my apartment and heard the sloping drawl of one of my students , Travis. " Miss Diana , " he said , "Could you come on down the stairs a minute?" It was early May on the ...
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2answers
59 views

Do you ever use 'is' in a past tense narrative?

It's a story written in the past tense, but once I named the characters I found myself saying 'is' instead of 'was' and couldn't decide if it was right or wrong. IS: Mom loved our movie nights ...
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3answers
1k views

“Every-day” in Past Tense

Can the adverb "every day" be used in Simple Past Tense? I've seen plenty of online journalists writing articles by putting "every day" in the Simple Past Tense's sentence. So.....Is this correct? ...
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1answer
58 views

Past or present tense when talking about firsts that happened in the past?

When talking about firsts that happened in the past, is it okay to use the present tense? For instance, if we want to talk about George Washington being the first president of the United States, ...
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3answers
57 views

Is this question asked in the right manner?

"Do you think the children enjoyed their meal?" As you can see, this question started with the "Present Tense's auxiliary verb" which was "Do". Why can we still use Past Tense's verb (enjoyed) then? ...
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2answers
102 views

What's the difference between “I felt ill because I had drunk six cups of coffee.” and “I felt ill because I drank six cups of coffee. ” [closed]

I think both of them are correct. But i suspect there is a difference in meaning. I don't know what.
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1answer
63 views

“Which verb to use in a reporting clause?”

Direct: he said, “It used to be a lovely quiet street.” Indirect: he said that it used to be a lovely quiet street. Why is it not: He pointed out that it had used to be a lovely quiet street.
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1answer
917 views

grammar of “try as I might”

I understand the phrase "try as I might..." to mean "I'm trying very hard and still..." and I'm comfortable using it in the present tense. However, I don't understand the grammar of the phrase and ...
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2answers
1k views

“did she tell” or “has she told”: should we use simple past or present perfect here?

Stella isn't here, did she tell you where she was going? Stella isn't here, has she told you where she was going? That is, should simple past or present perfect tense be used? It is an exercise ...
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2answers
754 views

A second past-form: “dig” / “digged” / “digged”

I've been digging through the Internet and I can't find any legit answers to this question, even in English dictionaries. Probably because this particular usage is rarely used in the past tense. ...
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1answer
103 views

Past Perfect and Past Simple in AmE

I've recently been told that Past Perfect and Past Simple tenses are interchangeable in AmE. I know that it is possible to use the Past Simple tense instead of the Present Perfect one in AmE but have ...
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1answer
66 views

“can give” or “could give” as second verb in a past sentence [closed]

I have the following 2 sentences: "what Pablo said can give you a hint" "what Pablo said could give you a hint" Are they both correct? if no, which one and why? Thank you very much
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1answer
70 views

Using the word 'former' in this context?

I'm writing a document about my study progress. I'm about to refer to the tutor I had last year for a certain school subject that I didn't pass. So I have to write about catching up and handing in the ...
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1answer
249 views

`Since as a` vs `Ever since I was a`

Example: Since as a little kid, I had passion about ... Is this acceptable to say as opposed to: Ever since I was a little kid, ... or Since I was a little kid, ... Is It possible to ...
0
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2answers
153 views

Is it acceptable to use both 'written' and 'wrote' in the same surprising sentence? [closed]

In that project I wrote the most complex code I had ever written in my life. Is this grammatically correct?
1
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1answer
95 views

Changing usage of past-perfect constructions in American and British usage

I notice a great many American speakers using the construction had loved as a preterite, that is, a simple past tense. I also hear the simple past tense used in instances in which I was taught to use ...
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0answers
112 views

Since we went vs since we have been

Sentence transformation from a PET sample paper: We haven't been to the theatre for a long time. It's a long time since we ........ to the theatre. My solution: went Textbook solution: have ...
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1answer
51 views

What's the tense for remarking a thing happened in the past? [closed]

Shall I change That Bilbo said he was a legendary burglar is really funny. to That Bilbo said he was a legendary burglar was really funny. ?
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1answer
69 views

Past or present in: “Why was it imporant that he rub” / “Why was it important that he rubbed” [closed]

(1) Why was it important that Andrew rub the robot with grease? (2) Why was it important that Andrew rubbed the robot with grease? Are both acceptable? Is there a nuance suggested by one which isn't ...
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1answer
2k views

Has/have been vs was/were

I understand we should use has/have been for something which started in past and still continuing in present. But is it right to use for something which started in past but has just completed or ...
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1answer
83 views

how can I express enforcement in past tense

How can I express enforcement in the past,please looking at below sentence present : He has to wait for a long time. past :He had to wait for a long time (it's not past perfect i want to mention an ...
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1answer
160 views

Verb Tense question:

I'm writing in the past tense, but this sentence needs to be in past perfect. Is this correct? "When they had the chance, they had fought their way out." Or should it be: "When they'd had the chance,...
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2answers
147 views

Can “yesterdays” (plural) be used to denote a range of past days?

So I just learned that "yesterdays" is a word (without the apostrophe). It is the plural of "yesterday". The trouble is, what does plural of "yesterday" really mean? I could not find any example ...
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2answers
943 views

I have drunken the water / I have drunk the water [closed]

Assume that it is impossible to rephrase. I am inclined to believe drunk is correct, but I need another opinion.
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2answers
296 views

Discussing two people - one of whom is deceased

I am writing about Don and Doris Fisher - founders of the GAP - and their love of modern art. The problem is that Don is deceased, yet Doris is alive. Writing that the Fishers loved modern art is ...
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2answers
1k views

Did you still want vs Do you still want

Is it grammatically correct to ask: "Did you still want to go to the park today?" Or should it be: "Do you still want to go to the park today?"
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1answer
52 views

Which is better: “related more” or “was more related”

It actually related more to his genetics than his behavior. or It actually was more related to his genetics than his behavior.
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1answer
825 views

had not vs did not - past perfect [closed]

I recently watched a YouTube tutorial which talks about right usage of past perfect tense. For negative sentences in past perfect, a simple rule to frame sentences is - Subject + hadn't + main verb ...
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0answers
71 views

“It's (high) time” vs. other uses of the past subjunctive

The most common usage of the past subjunctive is in counterfactual if statements: If I were you, I would eat more vegetables. Additionally, statements starting with "it's (high) time" are also ...
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2answers
255 views

Using “done” instead of “did”

How does it work the use of the past participle done instead of the past tense did? Where is this form used? Only in southern U.S.? How often?
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1answer
169 views

Words that are their own past tense

Does anyone know of a particular "rule" to know which words are their own past tense (such as "hurt"), and aren't modified for time? I'd like an easy rule to tell my students
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1answer
163 views

Must + present perfect in a narration about past events

As far as I understand, the construction must + present perfect is used to make presumptions about past events with the connection to the present: Look, somebody must've been here - the stove is ...
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2answers
116 views

What one should reply to - “Can I talk to Jeremy?”

Situation I receive a call caller asked me;" Can I talk to Jeremy?" What is correct reply and What should I respond to this situation with. he has gone for lunch. he went for lunch. he is ...
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3answers
76 views

Talking about general truths but within a context that uses past tense

Pikachu strolled along the street blissfully unaware that the Earth is round. or Pikachu strolled along the street blissfully unaware that the Earth was round. What is the rule/preference ...
3
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1answer
169 views

What is the difference between 'past' and 'present perfect;? [duplicate]

Are they here? 1) Yes. They arrived. 2) Yes. They have arrived. I cannot understand what the difference is. Of course I know 1) is 'past' and 2) is 'present perfect' But in my country, 'Present ...
4
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2answers
623 views

What is the difference between “could've” and “could of”? [duplicate]

I have seen people using could of instead of could have. Are both of them correct? Is there a difference in meaning between them?
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3answers
2k views

To tell the name of a person I met in the past

I have a basic grammar question about the past tense. If I met a guy yesterday, which tense should I use about his name today? For example, "Yesterday I met a guy, his name is/was John."
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2answers
121 views

past simple vs present perfect in this example

A:Why is Lisa so upset about her trip ? B:She (had her luggage searched) three times. The answer in the workbook( "Grammar in Use") shows 'had her luggage searched' is the correct answer. I'm a ...
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1answer
46 views

Are or Were? Which linking verb would satisfy this sentence [closed]

In 2003, around 80% of North America's population (are/were) urban area residents. Is the whole sentence grammatically correct?
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1answer
376 views

Can you say: “I wanted to ask, so I could know..” [closed]

On an email I saw this sentence and was wondering what it means? I wanted to ask you a few questions, so I would know what to start with. Does it mean that after I ask, I will know what to ...
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2answers
98 views

Difference in meaning: past perfect and simple past

She lived in Switzerland for ten years when she was a child. or She had lived in Switzerland for ten years when she was a child. Being a non-native speaker, sometimes i get confused.
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2answers
95 views

Using of tenses!

This year two Spanish novelists (have been awarded) or (were awarded) I have had an argument about this, I have chosen have been awarded but my friend says that Nobel is once a year, that's why past ...
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0answers
66 views

Use of past or present tense in references?

Helping a friend with a poorly translated English paper and wondered about this: the source has the writer make reference to documents prepared the 1990s (agreements prepared but never signed by ...