The present tense is a grammatical tense that locates a situation or event in present time.

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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 ...
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48 views

using present progressive with present simple in subordinate clause

There are two corrects answers in this sentence according to the answer keys, but I don't know why and when (like in a certain situation) which one should be used. Before the train departs, all the ...
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82 views

“The key doesn't work” vs. “The key is not working” [closed]

Here's a situation. You go to your hotel room and the key that you have is not working. When you go back to the reception, should you say: The key is not working, can you fix it. Or The key ...
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1answer
535 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: ...
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1answer
95 views

Is it grammatical to say “I saw her dropping the ticket” as opposed to “I saw her drop the ticket”? [duplicate]

What is the difference between using the past tense and the present participle, since both sentences indicate the speaker witnessed the action of the ticket being dropped?
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4answers
226 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 / are) ...
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206 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!
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1answer
51 views

I quote/ I am quoting

This is the last paragraph of a book review: "To conclude, I quote the concluding paragraph from the..." Is this correct English? Why is it "I quote"? Can "I am quoting" be used insteand?
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2answers
61 views

“Is idle” or “Is idling”

I'm working on an app which displays status messages, like: "XY is now available" "XY is now offline" I'm wondering which of the followings is correct: "XY is now idle" "XY is now idling"
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29 views

“The predecessor of company A is B” vs. “the predecessor of company A was B” [duplicate]

I'm working on some company profiles. I am wondering about the tense of verb in this sentence: The predecessor of company A is B. The predecessor of company A was B. Which is the ...
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2answers
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“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 ...
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61 views

Is this a simple present tense ? If yes then please explain

Statement is as follows: Obama makes a surprise visit to Afghanistan. As per the definition of simple present tense, this statement does not fall into any of the following categories: For ...
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729 views

“Did you like what you saw/see?”

So I heard this in a movie and I'm not sure if it's grammatically correct . . . Should it be: 1.) "Did you like what you saw?" or 2.) "Did you like what you see?" Which one is right, you ...
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1answer
198 views

“Would” vs. “would have”, “could” vs. “could have”, “should” vs. “should have” [closed]

What is a good example to understand these words at once? I am quite confused by these and feel like I am using them incorrectly. Please guide me how and when to use them properly. E.g., "I eat ...
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Why is the past tense used in “I was wondering if you would like to come for dinner?”

Why isn't the present tense used? I am wondering if you would like to come for dinner.
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74 views

Present Perfect Tense - Specific phrase

I am studying present perfect, and I found the following phrase: Susan hasn't mastered Japanese, but she can communicate. What's the difference between this phrase and the next: Susan don't ...
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1answer
45 views

is hidden or has hiidden [closed]

What is appropriate to use he is hidden or he has hidden ? It is bit confusing sometimes ,where to use the perfect form and where to simple
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3answers
282 views

“I teach” vs. “I'm teaching” — which one is proper in this situation?

Following situation occurs/ed. I meet a friend for a coffee. We chat and I ask him what he's doing for work now. His answer: "I'm teaching English." This irks me. Because in that situation he's not ...
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77 views

“Obama is in town this weekend” or “Obama will be in town this weekend” [duplicate]

A friend of mine used the following phrase to tell me about Obama's visit to Malaysia this weekend (he told me this when it was not already the weekend): Obama is in town this weekend. This ...
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1k views

I was wondering or I am wondering? [duplicate]

In a job interview, I want to ask the interviewer about work hours. We are talking in the present. In this case which sentence is correct, and why? I was wondering, what are the work hours? I ...
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178 views

One of the underlined words is wrong. Choose either A, B, C or D [duplicate]

"What (are:A) you talking (about:B)? (I'm:C) not (understand:D) you." At first, I thought C, so the sentence would be "What are you talking about? I don't understand you." And I chose C because I ...
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1answer
100 views

Past-tense verb + that clause: clause has to use past tense?

I am writing a subordinate clause in the "Related Work" section of my academic paper. Which is correct? In [1], Smith et al. pointed out that the solution is feasible. OR In [1], Smith et ...
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56 views

Present Continuous instead of Present Perfect Continuous? [closed]

Is it possible to simplify sentences like: "I've been having soy milk for 10 yrs now" "I've been standing here for an hour"* into: "I'm having soy milk for 10 yrs now" "I'm ...
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1k views

“Why aren't you listening to me?” versus “Why don't you listen to me?”

What should I use, "Why aren't you listening to me?" or "Why don't you listen to me?" Example: I'm chatting with my friend, who seems to just ignore some issues: Bill, why aren't you listening ...
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2answers
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stop vs stopped?

what is the difference between; "what if we stop X" and "what if we stopped X" We are trying to write an inspirational statement, not so much a question, to provoke thought around stopping X. For ...
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168 views

Present continuous or simple present? and is “it's decided” English?

I hesitate a lot between four alternatives. Could you help me by telling me which one is the more correct please? I've made my mind up, I leave you. I've made my mind up, I'm leaving you. ...
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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: ...
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107 views

Present Perfect for the past?

I've come across the - more or less - following sentence in a book (American publisher): "They have done it in the past" I've always thought that "PAST" and "PRESENT PERFECT" can't go together. The ...
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2answers
334 views

Should I use present tense in reporting speech?

Should I use present tense in reported speech? I have both sentences and not sure which one is correct: (1) Peter mentioned that the formula A is based on formula B. (2) Peter mentioned that the ...
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3answers
789 views

What brings you here? What has brought you here?

Why do we ask people "What brings you here?" instead of "What has brought you here?" According to Oxford Dictionary, "bring" here means "cause someone to come to a place." The cause of the visit ...
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2answers
4k views

“Whenever you arrive/are arrived/were arrived”

Which one of these sentences is grammatically correct? Would it be alright if the other sentences were being used in daily conversations? Let me know whenever you arrive. Let me know whenever ...
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1answer
77 views

PrP Continuous vs. PrP | Nuance?

I have a question regarding the usage of the Present Perfect and the Present Perfect Continuous. So first, here's the context: I was playing an online game with a couple friends and in this game you ...
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“Boys will be boys!” Is 'will be' a future simple of 'be' or a present simple of modal auxiliary 'will'?

In the proverb: Boys will be boys! is 'will be' one verb or two? the future simple of 'be' (one verb)? or the present simple of modal auxiliary 'will' + the bare present infinitive of 'be' ...
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124 views

Does “had have been” exist?

Does "had have been" exist and what tense is it? I had have seen her
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136 views

Which tense should use? Present Perfect or Past?

Which of the following sentence is correct? "I have talked with him today. He wants to do the work" or "I talked with him today. He wants to do the work." Which tense I need to use at the sentence? ...
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1answer
5k views

past/present tense when telling a story in spoken English

I've noticed that, in daily conversations, when people are telling stories in the past, they often shift the tense back and forth between the past and the present - even they're native speakers. For ...
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how to use “has been” [duplicate]

I had been preparing for a tennis event since March, but it has been postponed until next year. Question: Can "it has been postponed" be replaced with "was postponed" grammatically without changing ...
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3answers
133 views

told vs have told in a sentence [closed]

How do you say the next sentence? 1) I told him to stay on the path while he was hiking, but he wandered off into the forest and was bitten by a snake 2) I told him to stay on the path while he was ...
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2answers
152 views

“Is left untouched” or “was left untouched” [closed]

Which is correct? My book was left untouched for so many years. or My book is left untouched for so many years. Well, until now, that book is really untouched. So does that mean that just ...
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6answers
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“I don't understand you” vs. “I'm not understanding you” [closed]

Which sentence is correct? What are you talking about? I don't understand you. What are you talking about? I'm not understanding you. That was a question we've had in an exam and it was: ...
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6answers
1k views

Past present future all in one word?

Does the English language have a mechanism for expressing past, present and future tense simultaneously? In other words, consider the following three sentences: 1) The force was with me. 2) The ...
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1answer
113 views

Using “must have” in the past [duplicate]

I know the must have/must had thing has been asked before but I have yet to see it in the context of this question. Does "have" make grammatical sense in the following? It sounds like it conflicts ...
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237 views

Until you have confirmed + past or present?

Which one of these sentences is correct? The contract will not be signed until you have checked the manuscript and confirmed that everything is ok. The contract will not be signed until you ...
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272 views

Present tense vs. future tense following a conditional

If you ask without any background, many people are likely to assume you are just too lazy to do the work yourself. If you ask without any background, many people will likely assume you are ...
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1answer
112 views

Are the verb suffixes -eth and -est always present tense?

Are the verb suffixes -eth and -est always present tense? Wondering if these suffixes imply present action.
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1answer
219 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 ...
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“Why are you asking?” versus “Why do you ask?”

Why are you asking Tom? He does not know the answer. Ask me instead! versus No, I have not seen for quite some time. Why do you ask? Is it correct? And if it is, why the difference? Is it ...
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What is the difference between has gone and went in this context? [duplicate]

A: Is Mr. Bob at home? B: Sorry, he isn't at home. He___to Hong Kong for vacation? A. went B. has gone C. is going Which one is correct answer? and why it is not the other ones?