A set of forms taken by a verb to indicate the time and/or completeness and continuance of the action in relation to the time of the utterance.

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Leaped or leapt, past and perfect tenses [duplicate]

Here is my passage, more or less: Dick and Jane leapt from the boat into the icy waters of the North Pacific. Had they not leaped, they would not have been eaten by sharks as the rescue helicopter ...
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1answer
468 views

“I hope you enjoyed the holidays and are having a great new year.” Grammar Issues? [closed]

"I hope you enjoyed the holidays and are having a great new year." Is this grammatically correct? Firstly, there is a tense change. Possibly other problems. Obviously this is correct: "I hope you ...
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3answers
68 views

How to use 'is Supposed to' or 'was supposed to' [closed]

Apparently Mary was supposed to be an insomniac.
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28 views

“kindly request that something IS cancelled”, or “WILL BE cancelled?” [duplicate]

Which is the correct usage? We kindly request that the phone line is cancelled. We kindly request that the phone line will be cancelled.
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2answers
104 views

In the present tense, can I use “ought to have” where “have” means “to possess”?

I'm not a native English speaker. All the examples of "ought to have" in my grammar book are in the past tense. But can I use it in the present tense to say that someone probably has something? ...
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3answers
200 views

What tense is this is “will have had to have seen”?

I was making a table of the sentence "You must/have to see it." ("You see it.") in different tenses and moods in German with the English equivalent. I ended up writing these three sentences down (in ...
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1answer
102 views

Double use of future tense after “I hope that”

I was wondering whether it was correct to use "will" twice in the following sentence: I hope that 2016 will be the year I will get to travel. Using the present tense in the second half of the ...
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1answer
47 views

Should I use simple past or present perfect in the following sentence?

In the sentence: "I (have) never memorized vocabulary - I (have) simply read many books" I had looked at grammar websites and the suggested duplicates, but didn't find an answer. Which verb tense ...
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2answers
116 views

A since-clause in present tense marking off a period of time

Question: In English, can you use a present tense since-clause to mark off a period that starts at some time in the past and continues to and includes the present? Background: Unfortunately, my ...
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2answers
31 views

Is the use of “can” in descriptive statements simply a matter of preference? [closed]

If I were describing a motorcycle to a potential buyer, I would have to describe its specs. The usual selling points for adrenaline junkies are top speed and 0-60 MPH acceleration (or 0-100 for track ...
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3answers
66 views

Which one is correct and in which situation? [closed]

If I had seen you, of course I would have talked to you If I saw you, I would talk to you. Also, why do we use past perfect to describe an incident that didn't happen. Sorry, if these sound ...
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3answers
505 views

How to refer to dead and alive persons together?

Usually we refer to a dead person using the past tense. For example: Albert Einstein was wrong about... But when we are talking about both dead and alive persons in the same sentence, should we ...
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74 views

Can a hypothetical question be in past tense? Please see my example

If you passed a subject without learning anything valuable about it, did that subject really help you?
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1answer
57 views

“We are proud of our Police” or “We proud of our Police”? [closed]

Which one is appropriate to say? which one should I use? We are proud of our Police. We proud of our Police.
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3answers
99 views

Structural Ambiguity in Past Perfect Tense Usage

As we all know, the past perfect tense is used to indicate an action that takes place before another one. I ran across this article on The New York Times website today, which begins with these ...
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1answer
32 views

The use of past perfect

''When I read Herodotus, I seem to hear some Eastern peasant narrate and “philosophize.” —Not for nothing had he traveled among the Scythians.'' E. M. Cioran, Drawn and Quartered Can someone ...
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51 views

Perfect Continuous

I know we use Past Perfect Continuous when an event in the past continue up until another event in the past: I had been talking with her for over an hour before Tony arrived. Can we use it when ...
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43 views

If you have a sentence that implies that something happened in the past, do you talk about it in past tense if it is an event in a book?

I don't know whether the title is clear or not, so I'll try to give an adequate example: From these brief references in the Lord of the Rings, you can picture what Middle-earth is like before he ...
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2answers
135 views

What tense is “acknowledge” in “provided he acknowledge”?

The Texas Constitution has a sentence that ends with the phrase "provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being." What tense is the verb "acknowledge" in here?
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1answer
83 views

He is the only/first player who has won GS twice

He is the only player who has won GS twice. He is the first player who has won GS twice. Are both sentences grammatically valid? If the tennis player is still active, can I use the ...
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1answer
74 views

Can I use a noun phrase with “after” or “before” to talk about specific past events or “past perfect” is required?

I know that gerunds can be used with before or after in the present tense when talking about facts: I always turn off the lights before going to bed. But can I use a gerund with "after" or ...
3
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2answers
61 views

“Whenever I discuss X, people don't know what I'm talking about” — why the progressive tense?

Consider the two sentences: Whenever I discuss X, people don't know what I'm talking about. Whenever I discuss X, people don't know what I talk about. I think the first one should be ...
6
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1answer
75 views

When constructing a hypothetical sentence, do I have to keep all the tenses in the past?

If I bought that book, it would be so I had something to give to you on your birthday. Now, as far as i know, in hypothetical sentences, you have to backshift all tenses one step to the past. So: ...
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1answer
85 views

Is a past tense protasis necessarily hypothetical when followed by an apodosis with “would have”?

Is a protasis with a verb in the past tense necessarily interpreted as a hypothetical condition when followed by an apodosis with "would have" + past participle? For example, is the sentence If ...
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2answers
63 views

Combining past and present tense

I get a bit confused when you can and can't combine the present and past tense. For example, look at the following sentence: When the plane landed, I looked out the window because I wanted to see ...
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1answer
43 views

Omitting “will” from a sentence

I am writing an essay and I am not sure whether I should place "will" in this sentence or not. The experience I will gain living in Panama will assist me in understanding how Central Americans ...
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1answer
1k views

“hadn't thought” vs. “didn't think”

Which is correct? It was late and I was trying to do your package quickly and hadn't thought that I could put everything together. or It was late and I was trying to do your package quickly ...
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3answers
102 views

What's the difference between “wasn't” and “hadn't”?

Simon was feeling exhausted because____ A) the baby wasn't sleeping all night B) the baby hadn't slept all night My book says choice "B" is correct, but I cannot understand why. Specifically, I ...
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1answer
103 views

Tense problems : present tense or past tense?

Tense problems. Can anyone help me with the following in the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 11: Qudditch, page 135: (1) That's where he was going when we saw him (2) he's ...
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2answers
891 views

To be “hung, drawn and quartered”, or to be “hanged, drawn and quartered”?

I have always used the former, both as an idiom (to be severely punished, often used as a superlative in jest) and in reference to the historical form of capital punishment. I have always used hanged ...
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4answers
907 views

How do I say “now it holds” in past tense?

I'm writing a short story, and came across a weird grammar issue. Here's a simplified snippet: The holding cell was spacious, originally intended to hold a dozen prisoners. But now it held a ...
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1answer
405 views

What the difference between “Did you hear..?” and “Have you heard..?” [duplicate]

Q: ____ you ____ about the accident last week? A: Yes, the boys were driving along Court Street when a motorcycle hit the car.
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1answer
51 views

Introducing reported speech- has said/ said

Please consider the following sentences: Jane Smith has said her son cries when she comes back home. Jane Smith said her son cries when she comes back home. Dave Bloggs has told me what ...
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2answers
97 views

Using “will” and “won't” for habits

According to a grammar book (Advanced Grammar in Use,3rd Edition) we can use "will" in order to describe a particular habit in the present. e.g. Everyday he will wake up at 7 am and eat his breakfast. ...
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5answers
547 views

Is 'had have + past participle' a correct grammatical form?

It has been suggested in some quarters that had have, followed by a past participle, is a regionalism that has no place in standard English grammar. If I had have known you were coming, I would have ...
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5answers
127 views

“hadn't have killed” vs “hadn't killed”

Can someone help? "Dave killed Peter." Dave asked Susan, "why was Peter here?" Susan said, "Maybe he would have told you if you hadn't have killed him." Would there have been any difference if she ...
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1answer
56 views

What kind of tense should I use in this paraphrased sentence?

Our English teacher wants us to paraphrase some sentences from an article (published in 2000, written by Froning) used as evidences in our critical paragraphs, and here is a model answer for me to ...
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53 views

Already before/Even before becoming + was/had been recognized

Already/Even before becoming an engineer, he was/had been recognized as a talented chef. Which of the options sounds better/is more correct? Since he became an engineer in the past, and he had ...
3
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2answers
61 views

Simple present and present continuous in the same phrase

''I hunger for sand! I yearn for a desert, pining for a draught...'' Is this sentence (the second, that is) from above grammatically right? I mean, can I use the two present tenses, simple and ...
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43 views

“I hit Tom, and then he HIT me back” or “I hit Tom, and then he HITS me back”?

Good day to everyone. I just one to ask which one do you think is correct? "I hit Tom, and then he HIT me back" or "I hit Tom, and then he HITS me back"? First of all, I the pronoun "He" is a ...
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2answers
109 views

Present perfect/Past simple - 2 structures which work differently?

I´ve got a problem to understand how work present perfect/past simple in these two strucures. I will be really grateful for any kind of help. 1.structure I played in two finals this season. I have ...
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2answers
55 views

Tenses: why does this sound awkward?

It looks okay. Why does it sound awkward, then: They wanted her to leave. They did not say so openly, but many of them looked so relieved when she headed for the door that it might be implied. ...
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1answer
64 views

“I'm always (being) asked silly questions!” Doesn't the continuous verb form sound a bit awkward compared to the simple one?

In order to emphasise the annoying aspect of a habit – be it someone else's or one's own – a continuous tense instead of a simple one is used: People are always asking me silly questions! ...
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3answers
80 views

“He made me think I'm late” or “He made me think I was late”?

Which is one is correct? He made me think I'm late Or He made me think I was late ?
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1answer
55 views

Correct use of past perfect?

This is all about one question but I had to create some context for that sentence to make it sound as natural as possible. Is that sentence with past perfect correct? Telling a story about my best ...
3
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1answer
109 views

Using references to the present in past tense narrative

I am writing a Young Adult novel with narrative in the past tense however I want to include some words such as now, this, tonight, etc that indicate present but don't know if I can. However, I am ...
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2answers
53 views

Is it we “held a wake” or “we waked for his life”? [closed]

Can wake be used as a verb and a noun. I've seen wake used as a noun such as an event or period. "The wake will be on this date", "we will arrange a wake to show our thankfulness for having this ...
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4answers
44 views

A better alternative to “has and will inspire…”? [closed]

If you could rewrite the sentence "XYZ has and will inspire many people to...." how would you do it? The intent is XYZ has done a lot of inspiring work in past. He is still at his prime and ...
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2answers
213 views

How does “ain't” work?

From what I know, "ain't" works as a negation is any tense or form. However, it doesn't take the form of the (first/second/third) person or the tense and so the verb following it does. What I mean is: ...
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43 views

Can you use past tense, past perfect tense or present tense with if? Consider the examples:

Which of the following is correct? 1.) What should you do if the events in your story have happened in real life just when you finished writing it? 2.) What should you do if the events in your ...