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0
votes
1answer
50 views

“Had been planning” or “were planning” What is the difference? [duplicate]

We_________(had been planning /were planning) to felicitate John at our annual cultural fest when the news of his death______(had arrived /arrived). Can someone tell me which one to use and ...
11
votes
7answers
410 views

“I've gotten better-looking as I get older” When did “gotten” re-enter the BrEng vernacular?

This summer I went to Ireland, to be more precise Dublin. Overall good weather and good fun. Anyway, while I was staying in Dublin I'd buy the local newspaper and one tabloid headline caught my eye. ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

present continuous tense, present perfect tense and present perfect continuous [closed]

What are the differences between following three sentences ? A. I am living here for 3 years. B. I have lived here for 3 years. C. I have been living here for 3 years.
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

“glad to receive something” or “glad to have received something”? [closed]

which is correct? "I am glad to receive your letter." or "I am glad to have received your letter." The intent is to talk about a specific letter recently received in the past.
0
votes
1answer
74 views

could be or could have been stolen? [duplicate]

Please consider the following. Supposing the context is such that the frame was never stolen, is it acceptable to use "could have been stolen" instead of "could be stolen"? What would be the ...
-3
votes
1answer
129 views

could have done vs could do [duplicate]

I always suspected that the idiot in the tux could not have done it on his own. In this sentence, if we said could not do instead of could not have done what would be the difference in meanings ...
2
votes
3answers
834 views

Can I use the present perfect tense with a specific time expression?

Is it grammatical to combine the present perfect tense with time? E.g. I've seen that movie two days ago. I've completed the 12-step program last summer. The deadline was two days ago, ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Responsibility, the Gerund, and the Perfect Aspect

In the process of answering this question on ELL, I hit upon something I can't explain. The sentence in question is: Who is responsible for leaving the window open? I think anyone hearing that ...
1
vote
1answer
177 views

“…mustn't have done..”: can it mean reproach for a past action or prohibition of a future action?

Can "You mustn't have done that" have a similar meaning to "You shouldn't have done that" / "You were not supposed to do it (but you did)"? (not logical probability but obligation) Since we have the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Adverbs + Present Perfect

Here's my problem: I've been confused about the placement of adverbs in present/past perfect phrases. For example, which sentence would sound better: "We had been slowly drifting down the river ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “Compound Tense” mean? [closed]

I have problems with learning about "Compound Tenses". Please help me.
0
votes
2answers
8k views

“could have” vs. “could have been”

Can somebody explain when to use could have and could have been and under what circumstances? Please explain with an example. Is it something to do with the active (could have) and the passive ...
3
votes
3answers
629 views

Perfect vs Perfect Continuous

I saw this sentence the other day and it struck me as awkward. I went online and saw many instances of the present perfect being used in such manner. She has worked here since 1995 Shouldn't ...
0
votes
1answer
201 views

Future perfect or simple in this context

In a movie I saw, a young boy told to an old man that he would be gone for a long time when something happens. I'm trying to figure out what the boy actually said and what tense should have been used ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

Should “If I ever had a philosophy” be in the past perfect?

Excerpted from The Hills of Triumph: If I ever had a philosophy with which to govern my social life, even long after learning that social is often at the detriment of personal, it would have been ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

'have been' vs. 'went' with time words

Sometimes I see the following in ESL learners' writing: I have been to America two years ago. Am I correct in saying that it should be: I have been to America. I went to America two ...
1
vote
1answer
212 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Dare + have done

Here is an example from an old book. I know it’s old but it can’t be simply discarded, I hope. "I never dare have spoken — never dare have told you that my love for you was killing me" So, I ...
1
vote
3answers
191 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
291 views

Using Past Perfect after an event

While reading a book, I came across some sentences that used past-perfect "after" an event had taken place. Actually, I've seen many books do this, so this must be the grammatically correct way, but ...
-2
votes
2answers
174 views

Can I use the 3rd conditional that way? [closed]

Is the sentence given below grammatically correct? Had you born two days later and it would have been difficult to celebrate your birthdays. Is it the only option to use the third conditional to ...
4
votes
2answers
783 views

Why present perfect in “When the night has come”?

In the song “Stand by Me”, we see a sentence like “when the night has come.” I was taught that in a when clause, we use the past tense, yet the present perfect has been used in the sentence cited ...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

Present and past perfect dilemma

This sentence is giving me trouble: For several days I (have/had) not had the chance to see her until a few hours ago. I think had is correct because the time reference is a few hours ago, ...
-1
votes
1answer
357 views

“Would remain” vs. “would have remained”

What's the difference in meaning between the following two sentences? He thought that he would remain young. He thought that he would have remained young.
1
vote
5answers
10k views

Difference in meaning: “would have had to be” vs “would have had to have been”

Being a non native speaker, I cannot spot the difference here: He would have had to have been there. He would have had to be there. The only thing that comes to my mind is that in the first case, ...
4
votes
2answers
811 views

could versus be able

Let me start by saying what is written in grammar books on this issue and after that I will put my question. (Take heed that this usage of "could" ONLY refers to the past and ONLY to affirmative ...
1
vote
3answers
292 views

“has”+perfect in reported speech of the future

(1) I will jump out from behind the couch. Then I will tell him: "I have been in the room all along." (2) I will pronounce him dead. Then I will tell him: "You have been pronounced dead." ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning and sentence structure of “Why would we have thought otherwise?”

Here is a snippet from an article on CNN And of course the fiscal cliff turned out to be a dud. Why would we have thought otherwise? It somehow makes perfect sense that Washington created its own ...
1
vote
0answers
121 views

Is a “perfect participle” right? [closed]

Suppose I've received a document from my colleague and then I want to make a report to my chief in which I want to mention it. Would the following construction be correct? According to the ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

He has just been offered or he was offered

What are the differences in meaning between the below two sentences: He was just offered a well-paid job with Radio Four. (Past Simple Passive) He has just been offered a well-paid job with ...
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
4answers
723 views

What to use for hypothetically completed future actions

I was talking to a friend where I had to make a hypothetical statement about an activity that was completed in the future. So I came up with the following statements. If he continued college, he ...
0
votes
3answers
420 views

Tense for second sentence in conditional statements

I run into the following sitatution: If he had bothered Mike, he would have bothered him back so much that he would have forgotten about bothering anyone in his life again. Is 'would have' the ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Past/Present tense in a conditional statement

I'm not an English speaker. Even though I do understand conditional statements that are written by others but when it comes to my turn I still feel confused and don't really know how to organize it. ...
3
votes
3answers
180 views

“Be able to,” “can” in reduced relative pronouns

I am trying to remember whether the sentences below are correct: I don't know this guy being able to complete this task. I don't know this guy can complete this task. I think the first one is ...
12
votes
5answers
6k views

Can the present perfect continuous construct be used in passive voice?

Can the passive voice be used for sentences in the present perfect continuous? I understand the present perfect and its passive voice (have/has built, has been built). However, the passive voice of ...
1
vote
3answers
10k views

What is the tense of “I would have been happy to…”?

I would have been happy to let you use the money, if you would give me a date to leave. Is this a past present tense? I need to explain this statement I made, correctly.
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Speculative conditional: Why does it use the past tense or past perfect tense?

We use simple past to state a hypothetical present situation that we would like to speculate about (If they were here, I would be happy), past perfect for a hypothetical past (had they been here, I ...