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

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
447 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
4k 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 ...
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 ...
24
votes
2answers
10k views

When do you use “learnt” and when “learned”?

Is learnt UK English and learned US? Is it that simple? I’m used to using learnt, but my US spellchecker says it is wrong.
4
votes
2answers
5k 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
175 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
284 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
290 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
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2answers
5k 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
364 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
234 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
283 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
vote
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
130 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
16k 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
845 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
3k 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
64k 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
609 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
279 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
549 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
181 views

past tense of contrive [closed]

So I am looking up the meaning of 'contrive' in google using: define contrive And it says: Verb 1. Create or bring about (an object or a situation) by deliberate use of skill and artifice. 2. ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Is reported speech reasonable in this example? [closed]

What is the right word to the gap (21)? (had/have) That is about 400 years earlier than when the Inca Indians were thought to (21) __ discovered the silver in the ground. I think it's had as ...
0
votes
1answer
802 views

Can we use past perfect progressive in the context where present tense is predominantly used?

As I understand, past perfect is used to express an action that had happened before something else in the past. But in the paragraph I came across, there appeared past perfect progressive in the ...
-3
votes
2answers
371 views

Is that grammatically correct? [closed]

I'm going to blog about each feature and progress I made in my book? Is that grammatically correct?
-2
votes
2answers
101 views

Is it 'express shipped' or 'shipped express'? [closed]

Which one is correct? He should have express shipped it to me. He should have it shipped express to me.
3
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
257 views

Simple past sounds better but past perfect seems more accurate

I think it's grammatically more accurate to say,"The market was closed after a virus had been found." However, it sounds "better" to say,"The market was closed after a virus was found." Grammatically, ...
2
votes
1answer
304 views

Is past perfect necessary when you are talking in chronological order?

I have a question about using past perfect. I know that it's used when you want to refer to an older past event while talking about a more recent past event. But if you begin talking about past events ...
1
vote
1answer
590 views

Are These Words Interchangeable? [duplicate]

"The man was hung at dawn." "The man was hanged at dawn." Are "hung" and "hanged" entirely interchangeable?
-5
votes
1answer
214 views

Grammar: did + past simple, is it correct? [closed]

I’ve noticed a few times where someone says something like “Did you made...” or “Did you worked...” when asking questions. Is this some kind of unofficial talk or is it completely incorrect ...
9
votes
2answers
46k views

Is “earnt” a real word?

Is the past tense for the word "earn" "earned" or "earnt", and does the word "earnt" even exist?
2
votes
1answer
468 views

Confusion in usage of verb in interrogative past tense

I know that whenever we use "did" in any sentence, the following verb has to be in present form. But I have a confusion:- In plain English it should be:- Did you forget switching it off? But if we ...
8
votes
3answers
531 views

What difference does using 'had' make to those two verb tenses, and if so, what is it?

What is the difference between if I had studied and if I studied? Can you provide an example of when one usage would be more appropriate than the other?
-1
votes
1answer
104 views

The future as reported in the past

Is (1) correct, or must it be written as (2)? John told me yesterday that this contract will not be renewed when it ends next month. John told me yesterday that this contract would not be ...
0
votes
3answers
340 views

Infinitive vs. Past Simple for short technical annotations [duplicate]

I use source control management software at work. When I commit some changes, I annotate them with the bare infinitive like this: "add new feature", "fix bug #10012" I note that some of my ...
1
vote
1answer
622 views

Present perfect or past simple? [duplicate]

I know the basic rules about using PP and PS (like specified time in the past etc.) but in some cases, it is not clear to me: I have finished painting. - present perfect, I just announce that. I ...
3
votes
4answers
45k views

“Past due” or “passed due”

I know that "past due" stamped on a bill is accepted, however I believe it should be "passed due". Does this mean that "past due" is vernacularly correct and "passed due" is grammatically correct?
2
votes
1answer
607 views

I was sat thinking why you were stood there before I was took away by the word police [duplicate]

I know my sentence is dreadful but everyone now uses these words in this way, including my eight children aged 19—26. Yes, they are from Manchester but my husband uses he was took and he’s from ...
-1
votes
3answers
341 views

Stating facts that occured in the past

We were shocked when we found/find out the toilet had/has no flush. My natural intuition would lead me to write this way: We were shocked when we found out the toilet had no flush. Then ...
0
votes
2answers
830 views

Future Passive Progressive? [duplicate]

Does some future passive progressive tense exist, such as: He will be being interviewed by police." as a counterpart to the past passive progressive tense, such as: He was being ...
0
votes
1answer
451 views

Reported Speech Tense Choice [closed]

Which of the followings sentences would be the best choice? The victim explained how he became addicted five years ago... His addiction is so bad that he is unable to keep a steady ...
2
votes
3answers
824 views

Answering past simple question with past continuous

For example, — What did you do yesterday? — I was working. I presume this is not grammatically correct; however, I often reply in this way (I'm English). Also vice versa: "What were you doing ...