Questions about the Simple Past tense.

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15
votes
2answers
38k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is it “time we ate” and not “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 ...
9
votes
5answers
17k 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. ...
8
votes
1answer
5k 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 co-incidence): passed ...
8
votes
1answer
4k 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". ...
7
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
420 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
10k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
19k 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?
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
181 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
309 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? ...
4
votes
2answers
183 views

“Decided to do X the next time she went for a walk” vs. “…the next time she goes for a walk”

I came across this sentence in the book Grammar Essentials for Dummies which confused me. The lion with a thorn in her paw decided to wear sneakers the next time she went for a walk in the jungle. ...
4
votes
2answers
553 views

Past simple or 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
552 views

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

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 the below sentence grammatically correct? ...
3
votes
3answers
31k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
16k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
135 views

Past tense of “to cast” in the programming sense

In programming, to cast (also: to typecast) means to convert an object from one type to another (see Wikipedia). I'd like to know the correct past tense of to cast in this sense. Is it cast or ...
3
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
416 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
3answers
10k 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
107 views

Can “was” be abbreviated as “'s?”

Is it possible to write "'s" instead of "was" in a sentence or is completely wrong? For example: She was at home yersterday. She's at home yesterday.
2
votes
3answers
644 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) ...
2
votes
2answers
301 views

The pronunciation of “ate”

I was talking to some friends and I said "I ate (/et/) chocolate yesterday...". Then my friend corrected me: "you ate (/eit/) chocolate...". I repeated my sentence with the /eit/ pronunciation and we ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

“U.S. stocks were modestly higher at the opening bell Wednesday” vs. “… are higher …”

Here's a news heading from CNN: U.S. stocks were modestly higher at the opening bell Wednesday as political wrangling over the fiscal cliff continues to dominate the market. The author used ...
2
votes
1answer
426 views

“Sought” vs. “searched”

Can sought and searched be used interchangeably? As in "we searched for an article" versus "we sought an article". (Or if I got those two examples wrong, but there are correct examples where sought ...
2
votes
3answers
752 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
896 views

“He was telling me that he is going…” vs. “He told me that he is going…”

Is it right to say He was telling me that he will go on a vacation next week. while recounting your experience? Even though "he told me that he is going..." seems more appropriate, I would still ...
2
votes
3answers
697 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
838 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
453 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

“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 ...
1
vote
3answers
8k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
186 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
730 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
vote
3answers
460 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
3answers
319 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Spelling: “You +1'd this”

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

Fixed vs Have Fixed

Suppose I am writing an email to let people know I fixed a bug (and committed the fix). What should I write ? I have fixed the bug and committed the fix or I fixed the bug and committed ...
1
vote
3answers
281 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
3answers
118 views

Is “Were you in time?” the right question?

For example, Hey, you went a few minutes ago, but haven't given me a call yet. Were you in time for your job? Is this the right question to ask?
1
vote
1answer
839 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
409 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 ...