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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

21
votes
6answers
103k views

Which is correct: “troubleshooted” or “troubleshot”?

Troubleshooted is not a word, but troubleshot is. Is this really the correct word to use? I always feel like saying: I troubleshooted it. vs I troubleshot it For some reason, it just ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
707 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
37k views

Is “would” the past future tense of “will” or just a modal verb?

What's the difference: Would you give me some advice? Will you give me some advices?
-1
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Use of the word “have”

In a menu title/button, does "have" need to be used? Is "1" okay or should "2" be used? 1) People who contacted you in the last 24 hours 2) People who have contacted you in the last 24 hours This ...
8
votes
3answers
50k views

Difference between 'haven't …yet' and 'didn't… yet'

I was wondering what the difference was between a sentence with have and one with do. For example this one: They haven't started yet. They didn't start yet. Is there a difference? ...
11
votes
3answers
22k views

“I didn't finish” versus “I haven't finished”

If I worked on something yesterday but it was not finished, should I use "I didn't finish it yet" or "I haven't finished it yet"?
4
votes
2answers
735 views

Past simple or present perfect? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Present perfect for past action with present effect Is this sentence correct? What exactly does it mean? Person 1: Where did you hide my keys? Person 2: I put ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

When do I use present perfect tense instead of the simple past?

I've finished my work. I finished my work. When do I use one or the other?
1
vote
0answers
2k views

Can we use “is” with second form of verb is sentences? [closed]

Can we use the second form of the verb with is. For example The book is hidden In daily life, I used to listen to some sentences in which the second form of the verb is used with is. Is it ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Ending verbs with 'nt' in the past tense [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do you use “learnt” and when “learned”? It was my understanding that ending verbs with "t" / "nt" in the perfect tense was merely to accommodate irregular verbs ...
10
votes
1answer
16k views

“Overrode” vs “Overridden”

I got into an argument about the sentence "Have you overrode SomeThingamajig?" I thought that "have overrode" is incorrect, and should be "overrode" or "have overridden", or perhaps "did override". ...
1
vote
3answers
2k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
469 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
12k 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
2k 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
126 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
14k 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
467 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
2k 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?
5
votes
2answers
2k 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
366 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
225 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
18k 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
19k 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
43 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
711 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
5k 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
62k 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
21k 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
1k 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
7k 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
273 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 ...
3
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 ...
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
24k 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
174 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
131k 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
216 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
8k 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
269 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
4k 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
649 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
798 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
23k 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
35k 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 ...