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

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2
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1answer
888 views

“Once…” in the past tense

I was standing on the spot where the murderer had been, thinking, "Did he hesitate? Once the trigger was pulled for the first time, there would've been no turning back." Can the following ...
0
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0answers
27 views

Which tense is more appropriate in the clause of this sentence, the simple past or present perfect? [duplicate]

Sentence 1: It is quite disappointed that I was not able to pass the exam even after having worked hard for three months. Sentence 2: It is quite disappointed that I have not been able to ...
5
votes
4answers
325 views

Latin-derived verbs

Are all Latin-derived English verbs regular? For ex. decide, arrive add -ed in their past forms. Are there any specific rules to follow? To spend is irregular: why? Does it depend on when these verbs ...
0
votes
1answer
295 views

Past continuous vs Past Perfect continuous

When I was taking a Biology class in 2005, we were assigned to do an animal experiment. So what is wrong with that sentence? I am using a free grammar checker website and it says the tense is wrong.
1
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0answers
30 views

Why “Would you mind if I asked you something?” is correct? [duplicate]

Instead of "Would you mind if I ask you something?" Why past tense, I don't get it?
0
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2answers
241 views

Past perfect in Crime and Punishment

I've just started reading the English translation of Crime And Punishment, and come across the following sentences where the usage of past perfect tense has confused me: He was so badly dressed that ...
5
votes
4answers
527 views

“I left before they had decided what to do” Why is 'decided' in the past perfect?

I left before they had decided what to do. Is this because this is a past version of "I leave before they have decided what to do"? Because "left" doesn't come before "decided".
1
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1answer
10k views

past/present tense when telling a story in spoken English

I've noticed that, in daily conversations, when people are telling stories in the past, they often shift the tense back and forth between the past and the present - even they're native speakers. For ...
0
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3answers
747 views

Present Simple or Past Simple with “today”?

Which of the following is correct? She doesn't go to school today because she is ill. She didn't go to school today because she is ill. These are the only choices given.
1
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1answer
1k views

Two past perfect verbs in the same sentence even though sequence is indicated

A group of environmentalists helped direct several small sharks that had lost their way after they had swum through polluted waters to migrate South. Swimming comes before losing the way, yet both ...
0
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between “I have worked here” and “I have been working here”? [duplicate]

What is the difference between the following sentences? When can I use either? I have worked here and I have been working here
0
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3answers
2k views

“She has put on some weight.” vs “She put on some weight.”

Say, you ask the father... A: How is Mary? B: She is fine, but she put on some weight. Say, you ask someone who just saw Mary after a long time... C: How is Mary? D: She is fine, but she ...
-2
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2answers
83 views

Is it correct to say [closed]

Is it correct to say "There used to be abandoned cotteges and now it was replaced with nice hotels."?
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4answers
257 views

“Has preserved” or “has been preserved”

Which is correct? Roman temples have not preserved in their original condition Roman temples have not been preserved in their original condition
1
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1answer
2k views

Is it grammatically correct to change tense in a sentence? [duplicate]

When writing a sentence, can I change from past-tense to present-tense in the middle of it? For example, Joey realized that the ball is green. or Joey realized that the ball was green. I ...
0
votes
1answer
866 views

built vs had built [duplicate]

What is the difference between the two sentences below A: He learned about good design from the house where his family lived. An architect called John had built it. B: He learned about ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

“misunderstand” vs “misunderstood”

If speaking or writing to someone and it becomes apparent they did not interpret something correctly, is it correct to inform them "you misunderstood" or "you misunderstand"? I'm not sure because the ...
1
vote
1answer
436 views

Past vs. perfect in present-tense narrative

When telling a story using the present tense, should events at a specific time in the past be recounted in the past perfect or in the past tense? For example: I know to writeJack entered the room and ...
0
votes
4answers
361 views

at which point I can shift from past perfect back to simple past?

Imagine I'm writing a story in past tense. Here come some questions: SENTENCE 1: "Tom simply couldn't imagine how different the world had been when his father was at Tom's age: there hadn't been ...
0
votes
1answer
272 views

Can I use the past progressive here?

Let's say I am at the train station and I missed the train, I still see it driving off. I would naturally say to myself: 'Damn, that was the train I was hoping to get.' Would that be wrong? If not, ...
1
vote
1answer
525 views

If someone is currently doing an activity, is it wrong to say they were doing that activity?

If you are currently doing an activity, then a moment ago you were doing that activity. So if I am doing something, is is grammatically correct to say I was doing it or do I have to use the present ...
1
vote
1answer
477 views

Why does the tense of a story sometimes suddenly change from past to present, and back again? [closed]

For example in A Room With A View, by E. M. Forster, the tenses suddenly change from past to present or vice versa: Chapter XV: The Disaster Within The Sunday after Miss Bartlett's arrival ...
1
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2answers
147 views

what is the past tense of “hangar”

Is this question grammatically correct in regards to the word "hangared" pertaining to aircraft. If your aircraft is hangared in another locality, please let us know immediately.
1
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2answers
121 views

doubt about the past perfect, continuous,

I'm writing the profile section of my resumé/CV. I'm hesitating about the proper verb form: During my work experience I have applied engineering methods to solve problems. I have been ...
1
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1answer
1k views

Résumé conventions: present, past, and continuous tenses [closed]

When writing a résumé or CV, I’ve read that: Use the present tense when referring to accomplishments that are ongoing. Use the past tense (ending in –ed) when referring to accomplishments ...
1
vote
1answer
361 views

Which is the correct usage?

Which is the correct usage? 1. I don't know how did it go wrong. 2. I don't know how it went wrong. Similarly it happen in the following cases also 1. He doesn't know where she is. 2. He ...
1
vote
1answer
973 views

Past simple vs. past perfect

Here is an exercise from Intermediate Language Practice by Michael Vince: (Please note that I have replaced all the blanks in the exercise with the answers given in the answer key.) Put each verb ...
1
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2answers
327 views

Dropping the 'have' before a past participle [closed]

We have heard what you told us. We've heard what you told us. We heard what you told us. As far as I know, the first two are OK. There have been enough discussions here on the subject. The third ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

I only watched or I have only watched [duplicate]

If someone ask me "Do you like Indian movie?" Which tenses would fit the answer to the question ? "yes I do. But I watched only some of them" "yes I do. But I have wathed only some of them" "yes I ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

“Did you” vs “Do you” for questions about the past

Which of these is more correct for American English in a professional context: Did you have any other prior marriage that lasted at least 10 years, or any other prior marriage that ended due to your ...
0
votes
1answer
293 views

I was able to re-introduce the process that had not been done anymore. Past perfect?

I am not sure whether or not there should be past simple or past perfect: I was able to re-introduce the procedure that had not been being followed anymore. I was able to re-introduce the ...
1
vote
1answer
948 views

If I do VS If I did

Do these sentences mean exactly the same thing? If yes, why does (a) use the present tense and (b) the past? (a) IF I WIN the lottery, I WILL buy a big house. (b) IF I WON the lottery, I WOULD BUY ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

I didn't hear what you've said

Is the sentence I didn't hear what you've (just) said a natural one? Some tell me that it's unnatural, but not ungrammatical. Others tell me that it's all right. I'm puzzled. What do you think? ...
0
votes
2answers
510 views

Can a past participle phrase stand at the end of a sentence?

For a present participle phrase, I've seen: Seeking advice from the pros, she visited the website. She visited the website, seeking advice from the pros. For a past participle phrase, ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Differences in Past Tense: 'used to have' vs. 'had' (non-native speaker)

I don't understand the difference between these sentences. Is there a special usage for each? I used to have three cats and I had three cats
-1
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2answers
136 views

Past - past perfect [closed]

In what way do I represent the task which I did yesterday night? I want to know the usage differences between "Past" and "Past perfect" tenses Can anyone give me idea to clarify this? Last night, ...
1
vote
1answer
217 views

Has or Had / Past and Past Perfect [closed]

I'm polishing and redrafting my novel. But grammar is not my strong suit. I need help with tenses, specifically. As you may already know, stories are usually told in the past tense. But it's not ...
0
votes
2answers
243 views

Past perfect/simple question in an example

Talking about the trip I did a few years ago: I have been there and it was amazing. I had not seen a frozen sea until that time! Did I use past perfect correctly or should I just say "I did not ...
3
votes
3answers
402 views

Is it ok to use the irregular past tense of a verb as it were a regular one?

Let's say I say / write catched instead of caught or buyed instead of bought, etc. I know this is grammatically incorrect, but is it incorrect or perfectly fine to use it in every-day life ? English ...
1
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2answers
2k views

Double Past Tense?

Can you please tell me which one of these sentences is correct, and why? Thanks! Lastly, my experience as a teaching assistant helped me throughout the course as I shared what I did to make my ...
0
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2answers
3k views

“Never” and past tense

Considering these two sentences in the past tense, using "never": The film has never been released The film was never released Are they both correct? If so, is there a difference in the ...
1
vote
2answers
315 views

Can verb tense be changed mid-sentence for something that still exists?

Look at this sentence: I knew that the sky is blue. To me, it doesn't make sense to say the sky was blue since it still is blue. Even so, is it grammatically incorrect to say I knew that the sky ...
7
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2answers
2k views

what does “it's time I told you” mean and why past tense here?

I'm watching Suits TV Series, and there was something that caught my attention. 2 guys meet, have a drink, chat, and then one guy says: I mean it's time I told you. I made a deal with Darby to ...
2
votes
2answers
220 views

for + present perfect or past simple

Have you ever danced? This is kind of a usual question. What if I wanna ask someone about his experience and find out how long it lasted. Can I say Have you ever danced for 5 hours? (and we're just ...
0
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1answer
215 views

Dialogue: “had” or “have”

She: I had an awesome time yesterday. He: Haha. I'm glad you have! Did I use the wrong word? Is it suppose to be had?
1
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3answers
952 views

When telling a story and describing objects in the story, should the objects be referred to in past tense or present tense? [closed]

When describing objects in telling a story, should the objects be referred to in past tense or present tense, if the effects of the story still hold true on them? Since it is a story it should be in ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

“Has pushed” vs. “pushed”

I am reading many academic papers at the moment and am becoming more aware of the use of has, have, had in front of a verb, where it seems redundant. For example the following sentence: The ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

“It would the best thing I have ever seen” vs “…I had ever seen” [closed]

Just heard a song "Majestic" and as I am continuously trying to improve my English, I noticed something a bit unclear to me. A sight for sore eyes To the blind would be awful majestic It would ...
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votes
1answer
6k views

What's the difference between “has had,” and “had had?” [closed]

I was writing an essay for my school project, and I stumbled upon this type of grammatical situation and thought if anyone knew the answer to it? I've searched all over the internet but nothing ...
0
votes
2answers
762 views

Simple Past and Present Perfect [closed]

could you possibly enlighten me about any differences between 2 sentences below: (a) I went to Warsaw this year. (b) I have been to Warsaw this year. Thank you very much in advance!