Questions about the Simple Past tense.

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12
votes
1answer
28k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
80k 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
9k views

“If there were” vs. “if there was” [closed]

I saw that there were already examples on this, but I didn't find any specific enough. My problem is this sentence: If there were anything that he didn't want, it was to hurt me. I previously ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

“Have you heard?” vs “Did you hear?” and “Sally broke/has broken her leg”

Earlier today I had a private lesson with an Italian student—intermediate level, who has been studying the present perfect vs. past simple tense. His teacher had given him an exercise where a list of ...
6
votes
3answers
15k 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"?
6
votes
4answers
81k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

The habitual past “would” versus “simple past” tense

One can use the habitual past 'would' to describe past events. For example one could say, Jim would spend weekends at the farm. He would cut weed and water the plants. One can also use the ...
6
votes
6answers
27k 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 your ...
0
votes
2answers
862 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
65k 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?
7
votes
2answers
109k views

Can “casted” be the past tense of “cast”?

'The Hindu,' an Indian daily, reports: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely casted his vote at Chimanbhai Patel Institute opposite Karnavati club. Does the verb cast has a form as ...
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, ...
2
votes
6answers
2k views

“Didn't want to do X until Y happened” vs. “hadn't wanted to do X until Y happened”

Which answer is correct? Tony _______to have children until his little daughter was born. After she won his heart, he decided he wanted a big family. A. didn't want. B. hadn't wanted. ...
8
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
319 views

Do I so often encounter simple past for past participle (e.g., “I have went,” “what was did to her”) because of where I am or when?

Since moving to small-town northern Minnesota (USA) two dozen years back to teach English, I have noticed a lot of instances in spoken language where the simple past is used in lieu of the past ...
1
vote
1answer
958 views

Use of Past Simple vs Past perfect in sentences with since

Ann admitted that she hadn't seen her parents since she left London. Is the above sentence OK or do I have to write Ann admitted that she hadn't seen her parents since she had left London.
0
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
909 views

Can “earlier this year” be used in the present perfect?

Is "earlier this year" a specific time reference? i.e. Can you say (A) is definitely wrong and (B) is right? (A) Earlier this year, ABC, Inc., has conducted a survey. (B) Earlier this year, ABC, ...
9
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
152 views

“I burned the toast” vs. “I've burned the toast”

I have a question about a sentence I read in the comic strip Garfield. Garfield's owner, Jon, brings him a burnt piece of toast saying, I burned the toast. Well, once there's no time ...
3
votes
2answers
17k views

“Did you do it?” vs “Have you done it?”?

If someone did something that made me mad, which is correct to say: Did you do it? have you done it? If not, what is the proper situation for saying Did you do it?
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Past Perfect Confusion

In a book these two forms are acceptable: Before a complete version of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women appeared in 1880, the book had been published in two separate volumes. AND ...
2
votes
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 me ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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? ...
1
vote
3answers
743 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
691 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
26k views

Which is better: “was dead” / “died” / “has passed away” in my case? [duplicate]

I came across a question in Chinese@SE, which is about a status update of someone's cat. I asked the OP in the comment whether the cat was dead at that time: I assume his cat was dead, can you ...
2
votes
3answers
10k views

“While” followed by simple past/past continuous

I'm currently reading "Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue" by Hugh Howey. Here's a short passage with my problem zone and the subsequent question: ...Well, I'm going to go do more Officser sstuff,"...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Questions in indirect speech and verb tense change

Today I had another English lesson and all students were instructed by teacher to ask each other few predefined questions and then to report them. I got the following questions: "What kind of ...
1
vote
3answers
1k 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... ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Can the choice between Present Perfect vs Past Simple be influenced by external events?

What is meant by 'an external event'? For example, death. Let there be two celebrities, one who is still alive (Leonardo DiCaprio), and one who is dead (Christopher Lee, who played Saruman in the "...
0
votes
2answers
233 views

Simple past vs. present perfect [closed]

I have a few questions about simple situations. What should I say to another person right after falling? a) I fell b) I have fallen What should I say to another person right after throwing a ball? ...
0
votes
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 ...