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

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0
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2answers
405 views

Mixed tenses in a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: ‘Had’ or ‘has’ to describe a past condition which is still present? Tense change: previous actions on something that's currently true The employee was injured while ...
14
votes
3answers
10k views

Why do we use 'did' with questions using the simple past tense?

Where did you go last night? Where went you last night? Is there a reason we say the first of the previous two sentences as opposed to the last one? I know the second sentence is ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I change the tense of a hyphenated verb?

I'm certain this can't be the only example there is of a hyphenated verb, but it's the only one I can think of right now. How should one appropriately convert "mouse-over" into the past tense? ...
-1
votes
1answer
103 views

Cannot find whether it is past or present [closed]

I came across a question in a book. It says: If any of the following sentences show that something happened in the past, make the italicized verb simple past by adding -d or -ed. If you cannot ...
3
votes
5answers
10k views

“Got promoted” vs. “Was promoted”

Should I use got or was in the sentence below? Many years thereafter, he ... promoted to [...] This might be somewhat related to this question, but I'm not sure. Edit: After reading some of the ...
2
votes
9answers
446 views

How do I ask “when” without implying past or future?

"When did or will the event happen?" — This sounds silly to me. To make matters worse, I would like to use passive voice because the question is in reference to a statement that uses passive voice. ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Confused by the past tense and the present tense

Suppose I'm talking about some design scheme. I say something like "foo was once designed and implemented in a way called bar that ...". Then I want to introduce the original scheme "bar", for ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Why do you write “occurred” but “listened”?

The past tense of to occur is occurred (not occured), but the past tense of to listen is listened (not listenned). Why? What is the general rule that is applied to make the past tense of a verb?
25
votes
4answers
11k views

“Cancelled” or “Canceled”?

Cancelled or Canceled ? Which one is right? You have successfully canceled the registration or You have successfully cancelled the registration
5
votes
2answers
1k views

“The author wrote” vs. “the author writes”

What is the rule for the following examples? In the passage, the author writes. . . . In the passage, the author wrote. . . . I’m trying to explain to my son that both are correct, but I can’t ...
0
votes
1answer
359 views

Where versus were [closed]

New York Times editorial today says: The Bronx district attorney should be applauded for refusing to prosecute bad arrests that officers were unable to prove were warranted. Should it be: ...
3
votes
2answers
206 views

Tenses and completeness of actions

When one uses simple past tense for some action, does it imply that the action is complete? For instance, when you say “I wrote my article yesterday,” does this imply that at this moment you have a ...
6
votes
5answers
14k views

What is the past tense of “sync”?

I've always believed the past tense of sync ("I sync my phone with my computer") to be synced ("I synced my phone with my computer yesterday"). This question would seem to suggest either synced or ...
1
vote
4answers
11k views

“Done” vs. “did” & “seen” vs. “saw”

I am trying to find a logical way to explain how/when to use "done" vs "did" and "seen" vs "saw". The person I'm coaching uses the terms in the following manner and I just don't want to correct him, ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Past tense of 'dive' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: UK English: Is “dived” a valid word? Can anybody explain the difference between dived and dove in the following sentence? He  __  in to the ...
3
votes
3answers
611 views

Correct tense for events which happend long time ago but still have direct connection with present time

Suppose that a man disappeared twenty years ago and I haven't had a notice about him since then. What should I say to my interlocutor if I want to tell him about this story? You know, Harry has ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Did you ever hear(see, do, anything else) vs. Have you ever(seen, done, and so on) heard? [closed]

What's correct? If both, what is the difference between these questions? An example from The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: MacDonald turned over the letter which Holmes had handed ...
3
votes
2answers
44k 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 ...
-5
votes
1answer
14k views

“Since I last saw you” or “since I last have seen you”? [closed]

Which of the following two sentences is correct? It's been long time since I last saw you. It's been long time since I have seen you.
-2
votes
1answer
698 views

Past or present perfect tense for event happened last night [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? Since watching TV is a completed action which happened last night, which one is correct? Last ...
-2
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

“I had thought there was” Vs. “I thought there was”

What's the difference between these sentences: I had thought there was something wrong with the tape recorder. I thought there was something wrong with the tape recorder. Would it be more ...
-1
votes
5answers
250 views

Still More Syntactic Confusion [closed]

I sometimes encounter sentences like this Mussolini ordered the Italy invaded Albania. It seems incorrect to me but I want native speakers to prove. UPDATE. The sentence above is taken from ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to describe the future in the past

I've always used would as the past tense of will: Present: Tomorrow, I will go to the beach. Past: The following day, I would go to the beach. However, in response to my question on ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

He has just been offered or he was offered

What are the differences in meaning between the below two sentences: He was just offered a well-paid job with Radio Four. (Past Simple Passive) He has just been offered a well-paid job with ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

I have a question regarding present perfect and simple past

I have this example: Have you ever lost something valuable? The answer is : No, I haven't, but my brother ___ his camera on a trip once. My question is this. With what should I fill the ...
4
votes
3answers
17k views

When should I choose “had come” over “came” in the following sentence?

Take for example: I met Raschel three years ago. He represented a small company of which he was also the proprietor. He came to show the presentation of his product plan. Many companies, ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

Is this incorrect; am I mixing tenses here? [closed]

Is this correct? I don't miss my deadlines, even when I worked for a high pressure educational software company, which required quick, effective reasoning without compromising the quality of the ...
13
votes
2answers
97k views

'I get it' vs. 'I got it'

When someone tells me something, how should I respond, "I get it" or "I got it"? I have a feeling that "I got it" means "I already knew the thing before you told me," and "I get it" means "Now I know ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

Why is the progressive form used here?

In February 1825 he married Julianne Thiemer, daughter of a property owner and well-established glove-maker in Seesen. Heinrich, a cabinet maker without property, a Beiwohner(boarder), was marrying ...
-2
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
238 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
3k 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
553 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
664 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
17k views

“Had better” — what is the meaning of this grammatically?

I'm interested to know why we use had better for recommendation. Technically we're speaking of an action that hasn't yet occurred. Like he had better leave a tip means he hasn't yet left a tip, but I ...
0
votes
3answers
24k 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?
3
votes
2answers
2k 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
92 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

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 ...
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...
2
votes
0answers
145 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
737 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
440 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
8k 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?
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
17k views

Past tense of “to wing”?

Is there a past tense of the verb "to wing," meaning to make up on the fly? Inspired by a blog post of Wil Wheaton, quoted partially below. "Is it from a recipe, or are you winging it?" ...
-2
votes
1answer
266 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
380 views

Is it okay to use Past Simple with Past Progressive for two consecutive actions?

Is it okay to use Past Simple with Past Progressive for two consecutive actions? For example, "She added some water to the flour and was mixing it until she got a lump of dough" or should it be ...
3
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...