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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Verb Tenses - Context Examples

To help me to understand verb tenses better, I have created the following conversations between Sophia and John. What are the ways for Sophia to ask the questions in the "Perfect" tense and "Perfect ...
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1answer
20 views

Tenses and modals. Must have been vs. had to be

I have a question regarding modals: must have/had to. When an author of a book, that's written in past tense, chooses to use modal "must" he has to use its past tense form: The car crashed. The ...
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2answers
243 views

If you will have vs If you have

If you will have dinner at home, tell me. or If you have dinner at home, tell me. What is the difference between the two sentences? Which one sounds natural?
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2answers
125 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
30 views

Using more than one tense in one sentence

i want to ask how to use more than one tense in one sentence. And if so, which of these are correct? I have to take a picture of the cake before it is gone. I had to take a picture of the cake ...
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24 views

past perfect or past simple passive?

The following is a text from a test. The test was on tenses, namely the past perfect. Some of the students wrote an answer that I first marked wrong but now am no longer certain. Here's the text: ...
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47 views

Should it be “Who drank all the soda?” or “Who's drunk all the soda?”

This was the fill in the blank question in my English book: Who _______ all the soda? Not me. I haven't had any soda at all since last week. So my question is: should it be "drank" or "has drunk"...
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2answers
152 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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27 views

difference between: [closed]

Which is the difference between I have been waiting for the bus for 15 minutes. I have waited for the bus for 15 minutes. I waited for the bus for 15 minutes.
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164 views

A Question about a sort of 'future in the past' usage

I hear this use of "would" many times when recapping a sporting event and was wondering what tense this would be, and if the usage is even proper. The following describes events that happened in a ...
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1answer
140 views

Simple vs Continuous in the Past Tense and in the Future Tense

Even though I understand the difference between the simple and the continuous aspect of the English tense system, I sometimes struggle to understand what each of these two aspects expresses in some ...
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2answers
98 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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2answers
33 views

What is the verb tense for this sentence?

These butterflies find the same forests to spend the winter in that their predecessors had found generations ago. The sentence is correct, but I need to understand the verb tense. Specifically, ...
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1answer
56 views

Could Present Perfect Continuous form a grammatical tautology in some sentences?

I have joined a grammar MOOC starting with an introduction to English tenses. One of the practice questions left me confused. The question is as follows: Do these two sentences have similar ...
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0answers
46 views

I thought it would have happened.- Is it a correct sentence? [migrated]

"I thought it would have happened" If it is a correct sentence, what kind of sentence it is? Is it Future Perfect sentence said in the past? Please explain what does it means clearly as I am ...
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2answers
51 views

Trying to understand the sentence: “doesn't” vs “will not” [closed]

While doing an exercise, I came across the following sentence: If a Carl doesn't come to the party, I'll be really upset. Shouldn't be it like this? If a Carl will not come to the party, I'...
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0answers
29 views

Perfect tense clarification

I was looking for some sort of clarification on the following two sentences: There have been many authors who have written comedies. There have been many authors who had written comedies. ...
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3answers
113 views

present perfect or past simple

Never since Nietzsche has anyone undertaken such a potent rehabilitation of Satan. Never since Nietzsche did anyone undertake such a potent rehabilitation of Satan. What's the correct form?
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14 views

reported speech (advise) [closed]

I wonder if one should use past tense after "advise"? I found these two examples, and it seems to me that they are not following the same rule. Why is that? Reuters UK-Jul 5, 2016 Lawyers have ...
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18 views

“was reconstructed by…” / "has been reconstructed by… (simple past vs. present perfect)

I'm editing a book in which the following formulation appears frequently in the notes: "This article has been reconstructed by [...]. The sources for this reconstruction are [...]. The text has been ...
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1answer
189 views

Tense of verb after conjunction

Jumping straight into my question, consider these two sentences: He had finished the recitation and closed the book. He had finished the recitation and had closed the book. Which of the above two ...
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1answer
67 views

Deadlines as instants or periods with various verbs and tenses

I was wondering whether a deadline is more of an instant or more of a period. It seems to have some of both aspects, but with more of an emphasis on the instant. I thought that this should be ...
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3answers
3k views

“My ear hurts” Or “My ear is hurting”

Which tense is best suited to describe sickness and pain? In the example below, what are the differences between the two usages? Which one sounds more natural? My ear hurts My ear is hurting
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1answer
69 views

Confused by the grammar(tense usage) in New Concept English 3 Lesson 17

Recently I was confused by the tense usage of a text from New Concept English, the text says: Verrazano, an Italian about whom little is known, sailed into New York Harbour in 1524 and named it ...
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1answer
49 views

I have four children - Simple Present Tense or Something else?

I'm studying english and have been reading about Tenses. It is my understanding that Perfect tense sentences use HAVE, HAD or WILL HAVE as auxiliary verbs. Some examples of different tenses have ...
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2answers
18k 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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2answers
69 views

Past tense and the phrase “who knows what”

The phrase "who knows what" and other variations of it refer to unknown things, for a lack of a better descriptor. When writing a story in the past tense, would this phrase change? His pocket ...
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2answers
785 views

When describing a detail of an ex, is it correct to use past or present tense?

To start, would it be correct to say "My ex-girlfriend used to eat at Red Lobster." or "My ex-girlfriend eats at Red Lobster." Another example: "My ex-girlfriend used to be into ...
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2answers
6k views

Using “will” after “if”

I've been told that native-speakers don't ever use "will" after "if", and that saying it this way is a not-native style. So from the film (Harry Potter, pt5) I noticed a line that confused me. Look ...
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1answer
45 views

“I'd the house to myself” Is this incorrect? [duplicate]

"I'd the house to myself." Since "I'd" can be a contraction of I had, would it work in this case for "I had the house to myself?"
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1answer
122 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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3answers
264 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
62 views

Using “had” vs “have” in conjunction with “previous”

This is a rather pedantic question and the only reason I ask is because something sounds wrong to me. Say someone is giving instructions to a person to write down a name they used to go by but no ...
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1answer
129 views

Present Simple vs Present Continuous

I was doing some exercises and I stumbled upon something that isn't very clear to me. I have to fill in the gaps and explain why I use Simple Present or Present Continuous. I (to be) furious with ...
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1answer
37 views

Which is correct here? Came vs Come

This seems like a simple question but I'm stuck. I'm writing about Millennials and want to reference their background. Which is correct (and why)? Below is the sentence and (because it may be ...
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1answer
45 views

Present perfect simple or present perfect continuous with “often”

"Have you visited him often?" "For the last six months I've driven up to B. quite often." "For the last six months I've been driving up to B. quite often." The rule I have is that the present ...
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1answer
75 views

Is this sentence correct, or am I switching tenses incorrectly?

As my health improved, I began to get involved in the local community—participating in committees, organizing projects, and networking with others to effect positive change. Is it okay to switch ...
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18 views

“In addition to ensure”?

If a corporation's stock is publicly traded, the financial statements must be audited by a CPA firm in addition to adhere to rules by SEC. The idea is that adhere to is going back to join financial ...
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2answers
38 views

third conditional with past simple? [closed]

In the third conditional it is correct to say "I would have attended if I had known he was giving a lecture." (past progressive) Why can't I say "I would have attended if I had know he gave a ...
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1answer
68 views

not only.. but also

Why is this sentence incorrect: "Not only this transformation changes the preference of respondents, but it also converts the scale" and I was asked to write: "Not only does this transformation ...
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47 views

Past Continuous and Past perfect Continuous during a specific time frame

I'm wondering about the correct choice between Past Continuous and Past Perfect Continuous in the following context. "The above factors could provide a timeline of where the political scene was ...
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5answers
678 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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3answers
79 views

Validity of the phrase “I had wrote to her” [closed]

I recently got corrected on another community on this platform. I wrote: "An email I had wrote to her", and it was courteously changed to "I had written to her" which still makes sense, however, I ...
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1answer
59 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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1answer
53 views

“five years since I have been playing tennis” [closed]

Can anyone tell me whether this sentence is grammatically correct or not? It's been 5 years since I have been playing tennis now. Whats wrong in this sentence?
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1answer
73 views

Nested Flashback - Past perfect tense w/in present tense or Past tense w/in past tense or Past perfect tense w/in past tense

So, someone from ELL suggested that I ask my question on this forum. I do not want to know if nested flashbacks are okay. I am simply asking about tense. Thanks for the help! Question is below: ...
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31 views

“Occurs to me” or “Occurred to me”? [migrated]

The question is in the title. Which one is correct? And if they're both correct, how do they differ? Especially when you're teaching a concept and say: The first thing that "occurs to me" is... ...
4
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2answers
10k views

Tense of “lie”/“lay” in a clause

I've been using "lay" but many people have looked at my sentence dubiously. However, while in secondary school, I abandoned my higher scientific aspirations because I became more focused on a ...
4
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1answer
61 views

Tense usage in relation to date of birth of deceased individuals [duplicate]

Let's say Bob passed away. Would we say, "Bob's birthdate was xxx" or "Bob's birthdate is xxx"? Birthdates don't change, which makes me inclined to use 'is', but sounds a little weird if the person is ...