Questions about the Simple Past tense.

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3
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3answers
6k views

Why don’t people ever say “I have wanted to ask”?

Why do people never say the following: I have wanted to ask. . . . Maybe it would be better to ask whether it’s correct to say: I have wanted to ask. . . . But really I think I’ve never ...
0
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2answers
771 views

Simple past vs. past perfect

Which is correct to use in the following example, simple past or past perfect? We were completely in the dark after the wind blew the candle out. We were completely in the dark after the wind ...
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3answers
1k views

Correct use of tense

Can you please confirm which of the following three is correct? I shared some ideas with Jon, which he agrees is a good solution for the problem we are facing. I shared some ideas with Jon, ...
1
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3answers
990 views

Past perfect or past simple in combination with present perfect?

Suppose I received a document from my colleague, studied it and then gave him feedback in a letter. How should I construct the following sentense? I have examined the document you gave me and... ...
2
votes
5answers
5k views

“I knew him for…” or “I had known him for…”?

I'm writing a short story, and I'm unsure about the right tense to use. The first two sentences are: I knew Mr. Brown for exactly 15 minutes. He had met me at the entrance and was now ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Does “ran to” have a specific ending point in time?

Consider the following sentence: Sam ran to the university pool. Does the running action have an ending point in the past?
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3answers
6k views

Past Perfect sentences with “before”

I had seen a documentary on the Whydah before we visited it in Providence. Sir Francis Drake had worked for the British Navy before he became a pirate. These two sentences seem quite awkward to ...
5
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2answers
624 views

Tense used with statistics

I would like to place a statistics in front of the sentence, followed by the agency that has reported it. The findings and reports were done many years ago. Which of the two is correct and why? ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

“I was wondering what time it is” or “I was wondering what the time has been”

Can you tell me which option is more natural in this English sentence? I'm sorry to trouble you but I was wondering what (A) time it is (B) the time has been The whole story is that ...
8
votes
2answers
52k views

“Fall”, “fell”, “felled”

How is the causative form of fall used in English? In the present tense, often enough, A tree falls in the woods, but a logger falls trees as well. but in the past tense, A tree fell in the ...
1
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2answers
279 views

“He remembered seeing a pocket compass […] and marveling/marveled”

Albert Einstein talked about what influenced his life as a scientist. He remembered seeing a pocket compass when he was five years old and (marveling/marveled) that the needle always pointed ...
1
vote
3answers
685 views

Is 'used to' describing something changed?

I'm an English learner but I found that here are different ideas on "used to" among others and me. I think 'used to' is used to describe something changed now. I used to be afraid of snakes. (But ...
0
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1answer
3k views

“your heart just shrank” vs. “your heart just shrunk” [closed]

If I say: Your heart just shrank two sizes too small. Is the verb shrank correct as is? Or should it be in participle form? Your heart just shrunk two sizes too small. Which one would be ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

Past Perfect and gerund vs. Past Perfect and Simple Past [closed]

When using the past perfect tense to say something happened before something else, is it correct to use the gerund form (as opposed to the past tense) to express the latter event? For example, is it ...
1
vote
3answers
9k 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.
4
votes
2answers
814 views

Should I reply in the past simple or in the present perfect? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Present perfect for past action with present effect Is this sentence correct? What exactly does it mean? Person 1: Where did you hide my keys? Person 2: I put ...
6
votes
4answers
57k 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?
12
votes
1answer
21k views

“Overrode” vs “Overridden”

I got into an argument about the sentence "Have you overrode SomeThingamajig?" I thought that "have overrode" is incorrect, and should be "overrode" or "have overridden", or perhaps "did override". ...
0
votes
3answers
667 views

Present Perfect or simple past?

A student has written: Still, I have already been aware of most of the information even before watching the video. It doesn't feel right and I would normally use a past simple here. I'm on my ...
1
vote
3answers
656 views

Past perfect in the specific sentence

I am not sure about using the past tenses here: Yesterday I saw my friend who had just finished the university and wanted to go out. Is that correct? I am not sure about the past perfect but ...
5
votes
2answers
241 views

Why is the progressive form used here?

In February 1825 he married Julianne Thiemer, daughter of a property owner and well-established glove-maker in Seesen. Heinrich, a cabinet maker without property, a Beiwohner(boarder), was marrying ...
3
votes
2answers
565 views

Verb agreement for something that was discussed in the past, while the issue still exists in the present

How do you write something that was discussed in the past, while the issue still exists in the present? The discussion resulted in the committee members highlighting crucial areas that need to ...
-2
votes
2answers
11k views

“Became” vs “become”

I'm not sure about the verb tense I should use here: Run this definition so that the previous changes become/became visible. I think the correct one is Present Simple but it sounds better with ...
2
votes
2answers
758 views

Using modal verb 'could' for simple past

If I form a sentence like: I could read the book if I hadn't wasted my time. Would it be considered a past perfect sentence with the part I could read the book being in simple past for context ...
8
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4answers
7k views

Usage question: “I hadn't drank any coffee before I lived in Italy.”

Ok, so as an English teacher, I know that in the present and past perfect tenses, the auxiliary verb have is followed by the past participle form of the verb. Using most verbs, I find that this is ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Past simple vs present perfect in this example

Could you explain to me please what is the difference between these. It is meant to express that I will let him know AFTER I picked/have picked a car. I'll let you know which one I picked ...
6
votes
4answers
63k views

“I have received” vs. “I received”

The option of using simple past vs. present perfect in situations like the following has been bothering me for quite some time. I sent you a letter a few days ago; I was wondering if you have ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Is “forwent” used much?

I see "forgo" used quite a bit, and "forgone" is quite common too. I can't say I've ever seen or heard of "forwent" and in fact, I had to look it up to make sure it even was a word at all. Is it ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

“He was the first person” vs. “he is the first person”

What is the correct tense to be used when talking about firsts? He was the first person to reach the South Pole. He is the first person to reach the South Pole. The first one seems right, ...
10
votes
1answer
21k views

Which is correct: “has died” or “died”?

To me, using Present Perfect form means the event can occur again. So, saying someone has died may not be grammatically correct. Also, I noticed (it might be just coincidence): passed away ...
1
vote
3answers
312 views

Present Perfect in reviews

When explaining an experiment from a paper which one of the following seems more suitable and natural. In this paper they study the genetic structure of human body. They have examined over 100 ...
1
vote
4answers
21k views

“Get used” vs “got used”

I'm learning English grammar with the book by Raymond Murphy: English Grammar in Use [3rd Edition]. In the exercises for unit 61, I have to complete the sentences using used to. I can't understand why ...
16
votes
2answers
10k views

Why do we say “It's time we ate” and not “It's time we eat”?

Why do we use the simple past but not the present or future in the following expressions: Don't you think it's time we went a little further Don't you think it's time we ate Don't you ...
1
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1answer
175 views

Spelling: “You +1'd this”

Can you please elaborate in detail as to why there is an apostrophe d after the +1?
17
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2answers
133k views

Is it “quit” or “quitted”?

What is the correct (grammatical) simple past and past participle form of the verb quit? Is it quit or quitted? She quitted her job. (She has quitted her job.) or She quit her job. (She has ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why present perfect in “How many points have you scored this season”? [duplicate]

Normally we use the past simple instead of present perfect when an action happened at a specific time in the past and is not linked with the present. Why is this sentence grammatically correct? ...
7
votes
1answer
578 views

Why has “sware” become “swore”, “bare” “bore”, etc?

As far as I know, there are four verbs (swear, bear, tear, and wear) whose simple past forms used to be (archaically) sware, bare, tare, and ware; but are now exclusively swore, bore, tore, and wore. ...
6
votes
6answers
24k views

“Told” vs. “said to” somebody

I told him that you hate him I said to him that you hate him I was choosing between these two options, and I can't help thinking about the subtle differences. For example, "I told him ...
7
votes
5answers
13k views

Is it correct to use “got” when expressing the simple past tense in British English?

I'm an American and my daughter is learning British English in school, so when I help her with her homework, I have to know the British rules. She writes: I have got a horse poster. I ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is “transferred” written with two R's?

Why is transferred written with two R's? I am a native speaker of Dutch, and in my point of view this isn't logical; there are other words like coloured and endeavoured that only have -ed added after ...
2
votes
3answers
20k views

“I had a dinner” vs. “I was having a dinner”

A friend of mine showed a video on her Facebook wall post. She posted this: I had a dinner with Chinese friends, I was happy at that moment!! Should it be "I was having a dinner" instead of "I ...
12
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7answers
67k views

How to use “text” as a verb

–verb (used without object) Digital Technology. 15. to send a text message: Texting while driving is an accident asking to happen. Can I use: I text to her but she didn't text me back. ...
6
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3answers
11k views

Is it correct to say “I found the map” or “I have found the map”?

Is it correct to say "I found the map" or "I have found the map"?
3
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3answers
10k views

Can “pro rata” be used as a verb? And what should the past tense be?

We are offering prices on some subscriptions which are normally priced for a full year, but allow users to buy only a few months worth. We're calling these pro rata prices and talking about the ...
4
votes
4answers
21k views

“we spent together” or “we have spent together”?

Seeing as 2010 has just recently ended, which is grammatically more correct? Thanks everybody for the great 2010 moments we spent together! vs Thanks everybody for the great 2010 moments ...
2
votes
3answers
989 views

Past continuous or past simple?

In this sentence, should I use past continuous form of the verb or past simple or it in the gap? Last night, I was sleeping in my bed, when I ------- (hear) a terrible noise. I ------ (get up) ...