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

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-2
votes
2answers
3k views

“Became” vs “become”

I'm not sure about the verb tense I should use here: Run this definition so that the previous changes become/became visible. I think the correct one is Present Simple but it sounds better with ...
0
votes
4answers
6k views

I lived vs I used to live

I cannot see any difference between these two sentences. I assume both express the same but what is the difference? I thought that "used to" is used to describe an action that was happening in the ...
-3
votes
1answer
193 views

“How did you sorted among such large number of t-shirts?” Correct or not? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Question about interrogations in past tense I asked this question to a friend of mine and he said that you can't use "sorted" with "did". Is he correct? If yes, what is ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“Why couldn't” vs. “why couldn't you have”

Reading Harry Potter 2, I came across the following, and I wonder if the use of couldn't have is the equivalent of couldn't in this context? "I have got a question, Oliver," said George, who had ...
1
vote
4answers
478 views

'Would' for past events

For the sentence, He said he would buy a new car. Does adding 'He said' in front make it sound like an event that happened in past? For example, if I write He would buy a new car then that ...
1
vote
1answer
561 views

Unreal vs real time in that example

I have following sentences : She looks as if she is ill. //she really looks ill She looks as if she was ill //she definitely is not, I am being ironic or whatever And when I shift these into ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

“Did it close” vs “Has it closed”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? What's the difference between the following? Did the shop close? Has the shop closed? I suspect ...
-2
votes
3answers
16k views

“I met” vs “I've met” [closed]

What's the difference between the following? I met him in the UK. I've met him in the UK. Does the second sentence mean that the event was happened recently?
0
votes
1answer
510 views

Simple past or past perfect in this example

In the following examples: When I was five years old I had a dog. Is this a past perfect sentence? Here, I know that the 'dog' is not a verb and because we use third form of verb after 'had' so ...
1
vote
2answers
963 views

Past perfect tense in this example

For the following example: I had seen many beautiful shops in UK, when I was walking down the street years ago. I'm not sure if the phrase "years ago" at the end of this sentence is correct. ...
3
votes
3answers
775 views

The use of “will” in assumptions

We can use will for both past and future assumptions. But how do we differentiate if it refers to past assurance or future possibility? For example: You will know all about Rachel, of course. ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“Would you have liked to have been” vs. “would you have liked to be”

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “No Rest for the Weary” in The New York Times (February 15, 2008). Would you have liked to have been president from ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Simple past vs. Past perfect [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? What's the difference between the following two sentences? I had finished reading the book ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

“Inputs are invalid” vs. “Inputs were invalid” [closed]

Applications send a warning message if the received inputs from the user are invalid. Is "are invalid" correct or should it be "were invalid"?
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Use of “had said” in the “The Archers”

In the BBC radio drama The Archers, the following conversation takes place: A:             David, you are not going to say what you saw. You love your family, right? David:   What? A:    ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What tense to use here (sending an email)

What should be the correct tense: Dear XY, As agreed, I am sending / I send this email so you can find...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Differences beetween past perfect continuous and past continuous [closed]

I would like to know the difference between past perfect continuous and past continuous in these examples: We were playing tennis when it started raining. We had been playing tennis when it started ...
0
votes
2answers
518 views

“rain was coming till tomorrow”

I am asking this question on behalf of a friend of mine. Do tell me, can and when or why can we use past form when we predict something in the future. I agree the phrase is not full. Anyway, the ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Using 'would' to talk about past with examples

The following are sentences, I would take the dogs out on a walk. I would have took the dogs out on a walk. I would took the dogs out on a walk. I understood them as follows: Possible action to ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Question about interrogations in past tense

In regard to this answer, my question is similar but that answer is not clear. I want to know why we use base form of verb, e.g. 'go' to form the past tense instead of past form such as 'went'? ...
2
votes
0answers
140 views

“Texted” as past tense of “text” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to use “Text” as verb If I sent someone a text on my mobile phone would I say I texted them? We say I'll text you so now it's out there as a verb but ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “forwent” used much?

I see "forgo" used quite a bit, and "forgone" is quite common too. I can't say I've ever seen or heard of "forwent" and in fact, I had to look it up to make sure it even was a word at all. Is it ...
1
vote
2answers
566 views

Does “not that you would know” make sense in English?

Today I was teasing a colleague of mine who keeps forgetting things. I said "You forgot because it's Friday today... Well, not that you would not forget any other day". I am not sure if it was ...
-2
votes
2answers
4k views

Did vs. was in sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do we use 'did' with questions using the simple past tense? Do the following sentences have the same meaning? Did she say something? Was she said ...
2
votes
2answers
410 views

Which tense to use in this situation?

I am writing a summary for last year and I have just realized that I do not know what tense to use in the following situation: Since 2009 I have been developing a computer program. As I am describing ...
-2
votes
2answers
6k views

Is “I'm headed to gym” correct grammar? [closed]

"What are you doing?" "I told you, I'm headed to gym." I read the above in a novel today. "I'm headed to gym" seems wrong to me because [please insert reason here]. Am I right?
0
votes
3answers
2k views

How to use “offset” when talking to a vendor?

I am having a problem with the word offset. This is what I'm going to type to my vendor: If we do not receive your Statement of Account by 30 Mar '12, all payments will be "offsetted". Is it ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Difference between “would have” and “would” in the following

When we talk about past habitual or behavioral events, what is the difference between the following two sentences? Every once in a while I would go to this friend's house and we would get into a ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

“I had been typing” vs “I was typing” vs “I typed”

I read this on a another forum but couldn't figure out the logic behind the answers. He had been typing for three hours before he realised that he had typed the wrong documents. He had been ...
3
votes
2answers
31k views

When do you use “talked” and “spoke”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between “speaking” and “talking”? I'm often befuddled when I am reading an article and the author uses talked with when ...
-1
votes
1answer
232 views

Indirect speech, past tense use

A member's post on another site has the structure: This a post I put on [site] and [member] suggested I posted here too. (emphasis mine) It appears that being reported speech, post is required to ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Past participle of “fly” [closed]

In a song by Coldplay, Paradise, I found the sentence Away she flied. I'm Italian, and I was not sure that flied could be a form of the verb fly or some other word unknown to me. I looked it up in the ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Tenses after “as if”

"I'll always remember this rule as if I had just learned it" Do you consider this sentence grammatically correct? The main clause refers to the future, so I guess that the Past Simple would ...
1
vote
2answers
631 views

Simple Past or Past Perfect

If I went to a place last night where I needed to show an id, but I forgot to have it on me. So if in the morning I was speaking to a friend(reporting on what happened), which one of the following ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

“Until” and past perfect

Having seen one sentence in "Practical English Usage" by M.Swan (a very popular grammar book), I was really puzzled. I waited until the rain had stopped. The past perfect is generally used to ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Past tense of “backup”

Which is the past tense of backup? backuped backup-ed backed up backed-up The context is the following: Due to the advent of cloud-based storage solutions, the data is backed up in different ...
0
votes
3answers
620 views

Present perfect and simple past

Here's a conversation: Speaker1: I have already seen this film. Speaker2: When have you seen it? [OR] When did you see it? Speaker1: Last month. Are both of the responses from Speaker2 ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

“so that” + present/past tense [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I say 'What I wanted to say is' or 'What I wanted to say was'? Which one is correct: Introduce additional user interface widget so that it was ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Past simple with today

For example, I want to say that I found a ball today. But "today" means action in present, am I right? I've already searched the Internet and it seems the right way is this: I found a ball today ...
21
votes
7answers
11k views

Is “must” ever grammatical as a past tense verb?

I have seen uses of must that appear to be in the simple past tense. Sometimes these seem grammatical, but sometimes not. Examples that help illustrate my confusion: He knew he must go to New York ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

“Grit” vs “gritted”

Dictionary sources tell me that the past tense of grit is gritted rather than grit. Why does that sound weird to me? Am I delusional, or is this one of those words changing in current usage? Pet is a ...
1
vote
1answer
357 views

Unreal situation in the past [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Would have had to have been” vs “would have had to be” for past event conditions What's the difference in meaning between these phrases? ...
2
votes
2answers
473 views

English Subjunctive [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why have the subjunctive and indicative converged in Modern English? Why is it that in the English language, the past subjunctive is the same as the past indicative for ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Past tense of “mind” in “mind your own business” [closed]

With a saying such as keep it to myself you can say the past tense as kept it to myself. How about mind my own business? Should it be minded my own business, mound my own business or something else?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

“If I was”/“If I were”: what's the right usage and why? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? From what I have read so far both are correct and was is used in an ...
2
votes
1answer
722 views

“You have hidden a request sent by …” versus “You hid a request sent by …”

I have come across a couple confusing sentences when hiding (ignoring) requests on Facebook. The first response message was: You hid a FarmVille request sent by John Doe and the second was ...
2
votes
2answers
421 views

How to say “Thanks for being my friend” for past friendship

I need to send a card to refer to past friendship. Is Thanks for being my friend! grammatically correct? I would not like to use the past perfect tense to express this (e.g. had been).
0
votes
3answers
13k views

“When did you born?” [closed]

When did you born? Can you please tell me which of the items below is the literal translation of the question? When did you give birth? When were you given birth to? Also, how do we answer ...
2
votes
2answers
684 views

Using verb tenses correctly

I'm trying to keep this descriptive essay in the past tense. I bolded the words of my concern (and italicized the ones I believe are in the right tense) in the following passage: As a result of ...
0
votes
1answer
330 views

Is that a correct usage of present perfect?

What do you think about this sentence? Do you have bought the lesson book? Is that a correct usage of "Do you have bought"? Or should I say "Did you buy"?