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

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2
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4answers
492 views

Shifting tenses in a short story [duplicate]

I am writing a short story using past tense, but I am a little bit confused when it comes to writing this part: She had never seen a man as athletic as him before. She knew Japanese men (were / ...
-1
votes
1answer
26 views

Is “flewed down” an attempt at past imperfect? [on hold]

From a non-native speaker of English: "My friends have flewed down for my surgery." Is this is attempt at past imperfect? I am not sure, since the intent is to indicate the very recent past. Does ...
2
votes
3answers
130 views

How to use “The first thing I did was”? [on hold]

I'm unable to figure out if the following sentence is correct: "After I watched the movie, the first thing I did was shutdown the laptop and go outside" Is this grammatically correct? Or should it ...
1
vote
2answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
75 views

Should I use past perfect tense here?

I was thinking about a certain situation. Suppose that one week ago, I played basketball once, and that today I was talking with a friend. I: I played basketball once last week. My friend: ...
0
votes
0answers
64 views

What's the difference between “is done” vs “has been done” and “is to be done” vs “should be done”? [closed]

Please tell me the differences between the sentences below, and which sentence you think is the most idiomatic in English: What is to be done is done; there is no more to be done What is to ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Past tense usage in a formal email [duplicate]

During the period between January and today, I have added many changes to my resume that i want to make an employer noticed of. I doubt between 'have done' and 'had done'. " I would like to inform ...
6
votes
4answers
26k views

“Lept” vs. “leapt” vs. “leaped”

After reading this discussion, I'd like to know what example sentences distinguish the meaning of the words lept, leapt, and leaped from each other?
2
votes
4answers
741 views

Is the use of 'shew' and 'glew' as the past tense of 'show' and 'glow' commonplace in some areas?

A friend informed me recently that in some areas of England (he named Suffolk) it is relatively common to find 'incorrect' past tenses being used. His examples were: 'I shew him', instead of 'I ...
-1
votes
1answer
28 views

Do “it is time for someone to do something” and “it is time someone did something” mean the same thing?

I know that It is time (understood: for the speaker or for a group of people including the speaker) to do something. and It is time I or we did something. do not mean the same thing: the first is ...
-1
votes
0answers
13 views

Bit or Bitten - which is correct usage? [migrated]

"Spiderman was bit by a radioactive spider" versus "Spiderman was bitten by a radioactive spider" - which one is correct usage ? Not sure if "bitten" is formally recognized as English or just a ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

“I ran some tests” or “I've run some tests”? [duplicate]

I'm a Software Engineer and English isn't my native language. Today I was writing an e-mail where I wanted to state that I had run some tests overnight but I started to ask myself which one of the ...
6
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
40 views

Should I use present or past tense in indirect speech?

Suppose a person has told me this: I will go home. I want to report what he told me to someone else, but I don’t know whether the condition is still true — that is, whether he has gone home. ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Using “heretofore” in the past perfect

Is it grammatically correct to use "heretofore" in the past perfect? ...the king's power, which had heretofore been absolute. The meaning of "heretofore" is "before now", but would it still work ...
1
vote
4answers
459 views

“I never went to poker yesterday” - Is this grammatically correct? [duplicate]

A colleague of mine often pulls me up on my awful grammar, earlier today I said "I never went to poker yesterday" and she told me that it was grammatically incorrect. I understand that I ...
3
votes
3answers
376 views

Usage of Present Perfect and Past Simple in answer

I'm reading "English Grammar in Use" by Raymond Murphy and I have a question about Present Perfect and Past Simple. Here's the example from the book: They've gone away. They'll be back on Friday. ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Use of present perfect after past simple as clauses of the same sentence

Here is the thing I've written lately. Now, when I look at it, I'm not sure whether this is the right (natural, basically) way to put things. This post was written about a year ago, but it has ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Grammar used in have been and had been in sentence [duplicate]

When we are going to use have been and had been ? Especially in Past tense and Past participle ?
1
vote
1answer
5k 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:    ...
1
vote
3answers
60 views

Past progressive construction

I’m confused about how to construct a past progressive sentence. If I say these: I was walking in the park. I was singing in the bathroom. Would these sentences be considered to be in past ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

“It would the best thing I have ever seen” vs “…I had ever seen” [closed]

Just heard a song "Majestic" and as I am continuously trying to improve my English, I noticed something a bit unclear to me. A sight for sore eyes To the blind would be awful majestic It would ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

Products will be shipped in the same order they . . . ordered?

What is the correct word in the following sentence? Products will be shipped in the same order they [. . .] ordered. I am guessing for are or have been, but I'm not sure. Can someone explain? ...
0
votes
0answers
98 views

past continuous tense ~ negative interrogative form

Method 1: wasn't/weren't + subject + verb(ing) + object? Method 2: was/were + subject + not + verb(ing) + object ? Which method correct in past continuous tense ~ negative interrogative form? Or ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

“Dream, dreamt” and “learn, learnt” irregular verbs: correct or not? [duplicate]

Often when I am writing emails or any other documents, I would like to use the irregular forms of dream (dreamt) or learn (learnt). But the computer spellcheckers always underline these words as being ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Why is Gilt a word when we have Gilded? Is this town big enough for the both of them? [duplicate]

We would never say "I builded my own house", and we would never say "I ment my fences" - as far as I can tell, words either went the d-to-t route, or they went the add-ed route. Gild, for some reason, ...
1
vote
1answer
552 views

Past simple vs. past perfect

Here is an exercise from Intermediate Language Practice by Michael Vince: (Please note that I have replaced all the blanks in the exercise with the answers given in the answer key.) Put each verb ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

simple past vs past perfect

I'm studying English and I want to ask about a sentence from my book: For myself I kept a solitary piece of china, one of the few remaining plates from the set my grandfather bought my mother for ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Tenses in the sentence [duplicate]

"On occasion he had even been entrusted with the rectification of ‘The Times’ leading articles, which were written entirely in Newspeak." Why can't we say: "he was entrusted"?
1
vote
1answer
44 views

the correct tense of “derive”

I'm a non-native English speaker. Given the sentence: The English word " olive " derives from the Latin word "oliva". Why is the present tense used, not the past tense? If I say, The English word ...
1
vote
3answers
86 views

Can I say “she made a good baby” to say “she was a good baby”?

I know we can say "someone makes a good leader." But can the same thing be used in past-tense "he made a good leader." ?
0
votes
2answers
137 views

“I was used to do” vs. “I was used doing” [closed]

Good day everyone, Looked around and didn't find the desired answer to my question. Would you please be kind to give me a hand with the following: "I was used to do..." or "I was used to swim here" ...
5
votes
3answers
930 views

Use of past and progressive tense

Can someone tell me which, if any, of the following sentences are correct: When she walked in, he was laying on the bed. When she walked in, he was laid on the bed. When she walked in, he ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

He has only laid down for an hour today? [duplicate]

I would like to express that a person has only reclined for an hour so far today. Is it correct to say: He has only laid down for an hour so far today. or is it perhaps: He has only lay ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

What tense to use when reporting something which has never been true or never happened? [duplicate]

The report said that years ago city planners had planned to build a facility that turns salt water into fresh water, but financial woes made that impossible. In this sentence should turned be ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Can you use past and present tense in the same sentence?

Could you please confirm if the following sentence is correct or not? ...he comes over quite often, he and I got on quite well when we see each other so not much issue there. Or should it be: ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

“Cannot believe what he saw” versus “cannot believe what he was seeing” [duplicate]

Which of the following sentences is grammatical: The boss could not believe what he saw yesterday morning when he entered the office. The boss could not believe what he was seeing yesterday morning ...
1
vote
3answers
112 views

I wanted to know

Is this sentence grammatical with were (for talking about the present), or is are is better? I wanted to know if there were any accounts assistant posts available. I wanted to know if there ...
0
votes
1answer
492 views

“How long have you stayed there?” vs “How long did you stay there?” [duplicate]

I have a doubt about the difference between those two questions. Could you guys give me an appropriate examples and explanation? Thanks in advance!
2
votes
1answer
108 views

A dream come true - is it correct

I was confused by a company slogan I saw, and that made me wonder: Is it correct to write "a dream come true"? If I was the one writing it I would use "a dream comes true" but is the initial form ...
0
votes
3answers
110 views

How can I rephrase a question with if clause, to be answered only if the event of the “if” clause happened [closed]

I would like to ask a question which is to be answered only if some past condition is met: If you did something in the past, could you tell me more about it? How should I rephrase it?
1
vote
1answer
159 views

Does using “Their watch is ended” over “Their watch has ended” change the meaning of the sentence?

I've been watching this little HBO show by the name of Game of Thones. Perhaps you have heard of it. In the most recent episode the following line is used (and also happens to be the title of the ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Past Simple or Past Perfect Continuous? [closed]

If an action started in the past and lasted for some time, which tense should be used Past Simple or Past Perfect Continuous? For example, I worked out for two hours yesterday or I had been working ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Should we use “come” or “comes” here [duplicate]

I ran into this sentence in a ESL testing, "It really is like a dream come true." Just wonder why should we use come instead of comes here.
1
vote
2answers
125 views

“I've been waiting” Vs “I waited”

Let's say for example this sentence : Finally, you're here! Where were you ? What took you so long ? _______! 1- I've been waiting here for hours. 2- I waited here for hours. which one is correct to ...
0
votes
3answers
180 views

“Could have avoided” vs “could avoid”

This is a line from a fiction in which a killer says to the good guy For what it's worth I had hoped we could have avoided this day". I mean why not say "For what it's worth I had hoped we ...
3
votes
3answers
31k views

Which past tense of “to light” should I use here?

I know that there are two ways to form the past tense of to light (i.e. lit/lighted). Which one is appropriate for the sentence below? His thoughts lighted our way. or His thoughts lit our ...
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
2answers
8k views

“Is used” vs. “has been used” vs. “was used”

I have three sentences of which I'm not sure which one is grammatical, and why. It refers to the Eiffel Tower. It is used as the symbol of Paris and of France for over a century. It was ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

The clock (has kept/kept) precise time for over forty years? [closed]

The correct answer is "kept" but I don't understand why because shouldn't "over forty years" make it past progressive? This is from an ACT practice test. The passage talks about a guy making the ...