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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92 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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1answer
59 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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17 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 ...
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91 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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125 views

How to use tense when saying something happened several days ago?

I'm confused when saying something happened in the past, I know the basic rule for using the past tense, like, I went to the church yesterday. But it's always hard for me to write a complex ...
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139 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
130 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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1answer
250 views

using “if” - when to use present tense, and when to use past tense?

As a native speaker of English, these two sentences sound acceptable to me: A full refund can be claimed if the school fails to provide a textbook. A full refund could be claimed if the ...
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12 views

“has been raised” or “was raised”?

Which one is correct? The credit limit has been raised from currently 2,2 to -in general- 2,6. or The credit limit was raised from currently TEUR to -in general- 2,6.
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32 views

“He might still be” or “He might be still”

This is my first time asking a question here. I wonder which once is correct, "He might still be waiting for you" or "He might be still waiting for you"? Your answer will be appreciated. Thank you.
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40 views

Why is the present perfect used here?

I can't quite understand why is the Present Perfect used in the sentence below. Britain has not always been an island I know that the Present Perfect denotes an action that began before the ...
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31 views

Is it the right way to use present continuous when talking about the future?

Some websites say Sometimes, speakers use the Present Continuous to indicate that something will or will not happen in the near future. Examples: I am meeting some friends after work. I am not ...
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102 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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50 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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50 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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109 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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63 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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52 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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29 views

Correct use of Past perfect in this sentence

Is it correct to say as shown? "The thieves were running with the money they had stolen from the bank."
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59 views

Why was the indirect speech not used in the following sentence?

The witness said that he heard two bullets being shot before he noticed two men running down the street The sentence contains both, reported speech and sequel of actions. Therefore I believe that ...
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11 views

“You are looking good today” vs “You look good today”

Which of the above two sentences is right?
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22 views

Using past tense when talking about future possibility

There is a dialogue between a customer and a sales assitant in a shop that rents bycicles. The customer is basically told that there will be a steep fine if the rented bycicle is returned late, to ...
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53 views

“before I get it” or “before I got it”

I wrote the following sentence and my native proofreader corrected 'before I get it' to 'before I got it': I would like to know why this package was sent back to the sender at the transit center ...
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39 views

When do I have license to use the present tense in a *past* narration?

I am narrating a past series of events; of course, all the verbs are in the past tense. One verb, however, signifies an action that will be complete long after (years after) the moment of narration ...
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24 views

Which tenses can grammatically be combined in a single sentence or paragraph that refers to various time periods?

I am aware that there are many different tenses in the English language, but which tenses can be used in the same sentence without detracting from its coherence? For example, in a situation like this: ...
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19 views

The correct tenses pairs for main and sub clauses

A: The goods that he bought yesterday are a car, a television, and a bunch of candies. B: The goods that he bought yesterday were a car, a television, and a bunch of candies. Which one is ...
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31 views

Logic of tense in fiction

In the following sentence, the narrator is telling a story about herself: A few minutes later, still hearing the fall of their hooves, I called out over my shoulder, “Nothing for you, cows. Nothing ...
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26 views

'The thing is done with' tense

In need some help describing this writing style: A procedure can be written as "The bowl is washed with water, then....." or "The bowl was washed with water, then...." The second version is third ...
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50 views

“can” vs. “could”

"This case report suggests that a lung embolism CAN/COULD occur in a patient with no pulmonary vulnerabilities." Which of these verbs is correct in this sentence?
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32 views

“What do I think?” vs “What am I thinking?”

Here's a fragment from King John and the Abbot: “And first, when thou seest me here in this stead, With my crowne of golde so fair on my head, Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe, Tell ...
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42 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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48 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 ...
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40 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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42 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 ...
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33 views

Usage of Past Perfect in “After something…”

I have been doing a couple of SAT and exam writing problems and I have noticed this following trend. Usually you have a couple of sentences like this: "After she had eaten her food she went ...
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60 views

“Were” rather than “would have been”: when did that change?

Please read the following stanza from Byron's "Don Juan": Amongst her numerous acquaintance, all Selected for discretion and devotion, There was the Donna Julia, whom to call Pretty ...
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59 views

Mark Twain and the tenses

Maybe I'm being too pedantic for my own good, but here's the thing. There is in Mark Twain's short story titled Journalism in Tennessee a passage in which, if you take a good close look, the simple ...
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24 views

Tense used for things that happen before a book

Which of the following tenses would be correct? In The Bacchae, Dionysus intends to avenge the actions of Agave, Autonoe, and Ino, who [had publicly humiliated]/[publicly humiliated]/[publicly ...
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61 views

Can “should” be used in first-person, past-tense narration?

Consider this excerpt from fiction in which the character is considering a course of action: We weren’t making any progress. Every suggestion I made seemed to make him angrier. Maybe I should ...
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41 views

In what cases can present progressive be used to describe irritating situations?

It is said, that when describing repeated situations that irriate you, one can use present progressive, but the answer to the test says that I have to usre present tense as folllows. I hate ...
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118 views

Should I say “increased” is an adjective in the following sentence?

Is "increased" an adjective in the context which has come after the verb "get". Senselessness of leaders is getting increased. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advanced.
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65 views

Is it OK to use imperative after a conditional?

Is it allowable to use imperative after an "if" clause in past tense, e.g If you told your secret to anyone, don't ask him/her to be quiet.
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105 views

“Already”, “yet” or something else?

My students have been working for making questions about newspaper articles, and I am checking their questions now. My question is about the usage of "already". The following sentences are from BBC, ...
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59 views

“…as interesting as you think” vs “…as interesting as you'd think”?

Speaker A: "You lived in Hawaii? Cool! How was it? Tell me, tell me. Speaker B: "Haha, it wasn't as interesting as you/you'd think. What's the correct option in this case? Or should I have ...
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68 views

Which tense is to be applied to this sentence?

What this experience revealed to me was that for an education program to be truly international, it needs to condescend to be local at first, because human habits are highly entangled with and ...
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227 views

What are reasons for using Present Continuous instead of Present Simple?

AFAIK, the word "see" cannot appear in Continuous Tenses. But today I have met it in that tense in some text that is obviously not too informal. "Somewhat like the shields created by force fields ...
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133 views

learning tenses

I was wondering if I am correct about in the following sentences as I am learning about tenses. If I buy 5,000 boxes of tea,what discount will you offer us? is this present simple for if i buy ...
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71 views

Question about about various uses of “to be” and correctness of their usage in my sentence

If I were the man involved, and didn't know my wife was 'pretend', I would be totally crushed when I did find out she was fake. How could I make the above statement correct? If it already is, ...
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133 views

Why present simple not continuous

I have a few sentences here: A) The instructor explains the diagram to students who ask questions during the lecture. Why are "explain" and "ask" used here in present simple, and not in the ...
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653 views

past continuous tense ~ negative interrogative form

Method 1: wasn't/weren't + subject + verb(ing) + object? Method 2: was/were + subject + not + verb(ing) + object ? Which method correct in past continuous tense ~ negative interrogative form? Or ...