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

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2
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1answer
2k 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 sentences ...
0
votes
0answers
29 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
10k views

How can I use the verb “sad” in the past continuous?

How can I use the verb "sad" in the past continuous? E.g.: I was crying. I was missing. What should be the sentences for sad or upset in past continuous? Why do some words like the two above ...
0
votes
1answer
318 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
votes
2answers
414 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
688 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
740 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".
4
votes
2answers
29k views

“Has been” vs. “was”

Should one use has been or was in the following sentence, and why? For many years the USA has been a British colony. For many years the USA was a British colony.
0
votes
3answers
1k 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.
0
votes
1answer
3k 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
4k 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
votes
2answers
90 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."?
0
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4answers
424 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
vote
1answer
3k 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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
88k views

What's the proper past tense of “to freeze”: “freezed” or "frozen? [closed]

Which form should be used for the past tense "freezed" or "frozen" or are both acceptable?
1
vote
1answer
675 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
446 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 ...
37
votes
5answers
34k views

What's the negation of “I used to be”? Surely not “I didn't used to be”?

What is the negative form of "I used to be"? I often hear "I didn't used to be" but that sounds awfully wrong in my ears.
1
vote
1answer
972 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
672 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, I'...
1
vote
2answers
206 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
132 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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
380 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 doesn'...
1
vote
2answers
455 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
3k 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
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
6k 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
votes
2answers
181 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
301 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
295 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
6k 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
374 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
235 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
votes
1answer
299 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
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Will the sentences be correct? [duplicate]

We all know that universal statements are always in present tense. For example, My grandma did not believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Here, though the sentence is in past tense, ...
1
vote
1answer
131 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
17k 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 ...
-5
votes
1answer
8k 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
856 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!
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is “the test is failed” acceptable?

In software interfaces, technical documentation, scientific documentation and legal documents, I see phrases like: The build is failed. The test is failed. If the test is failed,... It ...
5
votes
5answers
67k views

Which is the correct past tense of “spin”: “span” or “spun”?

All the while I was writing my answer to this question, something was bothering me about this excerpt from the quotation: When Adam delved and Eve span, The past tense of delve is properly ...
1
vote
1answer
673 views

Should “How long were you at work?” have a simple or a compound tense?

I would like to know, if the following sentence can ever be correct in any context? How long were you at work? Or it must be: How long had you been at work? For example: How long were ...
2
votes
2answers
280 views

Sequence of Tense [duplicate]

Which one is correct? Centuries ago, people weren't aware that the planets revolved around the sun. Centuries ago, people weren't aware that the planets revolve around the sun. In my ...
-1
votes
2answers
561 views

Present Perfect Vs Present Perfect Continuous and Simple Past/ Past Perfect Vs Past Perfect Continuous [closed]

What is the difference in meanings of the following pairs of sentences? It's very confusing to me. a. I have lived in Paris for 4 years. b. I have been living in Paris for 4 years. a. I ...
-4
votes
1answer
5k views

What is past state? [closed]

When learning about "used to" and "would" that refer to past habit. They said that "would" is not possible when talking about past state. Even in this, they include "own", "drive" as past state So ...
-3
votes
1answer
2k views

When do we use “went bowling,” and when do we use “go bowling”? [closed]

In this dialogue what is the appropriate form? A: Would you like to go bowling with me today? B: I don't think so. To be honest, I really don't feel like going bowling today. I went bowling ...