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10
votes
3answers
2k views

To tell the name of a person I met in the past

I have a basic grammar question about the past tense. If I met a guy yesterday, which tense should I use about his name today? For example, "Yesterday I met a guy, his name is/was John."
1
vote
3answers
100 views

Grammar: Did Jim ask you whether you are a virgin? VS Did Jim ask you whether you were a virgin? [duplicate]

How do I form a question based on the following details: At 1pm on Sunday Jim: Are you a virgin? Jane: Yes nothing happened from 1pm to 9pm At 9pm on Sunday: Did Jim ask you whether you were a ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Continue working vs continue to work [duplicate]

I found this explanation: http://www.english-test.net/forum/ftopic38633.html but what about present? I continue to work or I continue working? Are they the same?
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Why did people sound differently when addressing the public in the early 1900s?

I notice that people used to speak not necessarily more clearly, or distinctly, but their voice had a certain 'choppiness' to it that you don't hear anymore... Unless the person doing the speaking is ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Graduate or graduated ?

When I want to describe my self .. Should I say I'm a graduate or graduated student in .. What is more accurate ? Past or present ? P.s: I have a bachelor degree and I'm not planning currently to ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

Referring to results in past or present tense [closed]

When I am reporting the status of some results, should I use past tense? For example, would it be correct to say, when the test result was announced in the past, "Your test result was failed. I am ...
0
votes
2answers
144 views

Does tense change when the narrator (present) writes about what a person (past) could have said about their time?

Does tense change when the narrator (present) writes about what a person (past) could have said about their time? For example A person who lived during 1790 could truthfully claim that Washington ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

What can I say in this situation (American English) [duplicate]

Imagine the situation that I am watching my little child throwing balls into a basket. He can barely speak and I am teaching him how to speak. What should I say him about results of his actions when ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

What would “I forgot my keys” mean in this situation? [duplicate]

If you were at the door and found out that you had forgotten your keys you might say: "I have forgotten my keys" .. but what would it mean if you said I forgot my keys instead?
0
votes
2answers
109 views

I was here if you could meet me

Is this correct or not. Recently I said this to a person and my brother in law suggested that it was wrong to say so. Instead I should have said I am here if you can meet me
2
votes
3answers
116 views

Ian McEwan's usage of “must” as a simple past

Reading Ian McEwan's "The Children Act", I found this sentence: "If Jack, sprawled across from her, seemed absurd in this conversation, then how much more so MUST she appear to him." Being ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

What tense to use for research results/statistics

My question is similar to this one and this one. However, I think I need further elaboration to understand at what points I am supposed to use present tense, and where to use past tense. Now, my ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

Is there such a thing as a “past subjunctive”?

Is there really such a thing as a “past subjunctive” in English? I actually learned the term “past subjunctive” from my Spanish class. From what I already know, the subjunctive is used with ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Past Simple or Present Perfect: Tried or Have Tried

I’ve tried to help you. The action happened in the past but I don’t say when. I tried to help you yesterday. The action happened in the past but I say when. Which is correct and which is not? I’m ...
-2
votes
1answer
1k views

Using “got” in present tense?

They set unbelievably hard tasks to do, to see which one of us got the best deal. - Top Gear (TV show) I don't understand; what is "got" doing in present tense? Or am I misunderstanding the ...
13
votes
5answers
8k views

Why are news headlines in present tense if they refer to past events?

In news papers we see headings like this "India signs a pact with Russia" "Sachin hits another century" "Obama wins presidential election" These are completed events, aren't they? ...
3
votes
1answer
629 views

Which tense should I use when presenting a table of data?

I have a table and the description of the table as followed: Table 7 presents the likelihood of OPT occurrences from the time annotated sentences; V-RB refers to the sentences which contain ...
-1
votes
1answer
326 views

“Has received” in past tense sentence? [duplicate]

"It occurred to me that no Korean has ever received the Nobel Prize in Literature." In this sentence, is "has received" right, rather than "had received"? Is it because "that" indicates continuation ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Do I use “argued” or “argues”? Past or Present? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What (grammatical) tense to use when doing reference in a paper? Should I use present or past tense when referring to a (scientific) paper? “has been raised” or “was ...
5
votes
2answers
864 views

Should I use the past tense for things that are still the same as before?

I am writing a personal statement for applying to a school, and I have a question about past tense. The following paragraph describes things that happened several years ago: My school is located ...
1
vote
4answers
177 views

Refer to the state of something “at the time”

I want to communicate this: I didn't think the zoo would attract visitors in its state at the time. What can I replace "state at the time" with? Perhaps something like "then-state"? I can't say ...
0
votes
2answers
471 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
7k views

Which is proper usage: “What I've Learned” or “What I learned”? [closed]

I'm having argument with a colleague of mine over which statement is more correct. I figured the English language gurus of StackExchange would be able to set us straight.
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
900 views

Is the past tense correct in “Did you know Fred was a doctor?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: He didn't know where New Jersey was… Tense change: previous actions on something that's currently true My wife and I were disagreeing about this today: ...
0
votes
2answers
747 views

Present or Past tense to describe a past condition which is still present?

Scenario: My friend John has a personality disorder, intensely paranoid for example. Can I say: There were three events last year that told me John had a problem. or can I say: There were ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“They knew what mercy is” vs. “they knew what mercy was”

They knew what mercy is. They knew what mercy was. Mercy is something that always exists so can I say is as in the quoted example?
6
votes
4answers
966 views

Tense change: previous actions on something that's currently true

I'm describing a situation that happened in the past. To explain it, I want to use a description that is both true now and true when the situation happened. Specifically, I want something like: ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

“He didn't know where New Jersey was”

I know the past tense carries the past tense in every dependent clause, but referring specifically to places or to things that are eternal, like the Earth, seems a bit weird and therefore we sometimes ...
4
votes
2answers
11k views

Should I say 'What I wanted to say is' or 'What I wanted to say was'?

Following Martha's advice I am splitting up a question Compound sentences, the punctuation and mooore. Let's put what I said / wrote something in the past. And now I want to elaborate some key points ...
10
votes
6answers
7k views

Is it correct to say “What was your name?”?

Is it correct to say "What was your name?"? The reason I am asking this is, generally the name of the person will not change. One should say "What is your name?" ...
4
votes
3answers
419 views

Should we use past tense in “Lugo admitted he is the father”?

In this sentence, should the is be a was? On April 13, 2009, Lugo admitted he is the father of a child conceived with Viviana Carrillo.