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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On tense: 'realized that the number of something had been increasing'

Why does a sentence like I realized that the number of cars had been increasing sound strange? I googled "realized that the number of * had been increasing", and then I found only three exmples. ...
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2answers
63 views

Sequence of tenses when some temporary action is still true

I got confused with the rule of the sequence of tenses. I found that when the action in the subordinate clause is a habitual action or general truth, we can use the present tense in the clause even if ...
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2answers
97 views

verb tense in reported speech

I told Cindy we would not be able to eat American Chinese food again for a couple of years, once we moved to Shanghai. I told Cindy we would not be able to eat American Chinese food again for ...
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2answers
66 views

The difference between present continuous and present perfect continuous

Let's consider next case : You come to the office in Saturday, for example, and see that somebody finished some actions and now is sitting on your workplace (you didn't expect to meet anyone), but ...
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1answer
84 views

A date “is”,“was”, or “will be” a Monday?

March 1st, 1999 is a Monday March 1st, 1999 was a Monday March 1st, 2099 is a Sunday March 1st, 2099 will be a Sunday Is there a preferred version? Do they have different meaning?
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1answer
53 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
157 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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1answer
29 views

Future indefinite tense

Is it possible to use "will" twice in a sentence? If not then when it is possible? It will rain tomorrow and we will enjoy. Is it correct? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advanced
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1answer
26 views

Tense question: “invest and get” or “invested and got”?

Later in the game, after you invest sufficient skill points into combat skills and get better fighting gear, combat becomes easier. or Later in the game, after you invested sufficient skill ...
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1answer
48 views

Correct Tenses in a Messy Sentence

In need of an opinion on the tenses in a rather convoluted sentence: Tomas then said that Jacobs had sent an update to Director Stevens, in which he stated that if Stevens finds the H5 solution ...
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1answer
63 views

Verb tenses and types

I believe that the verb tenses in: She will cry to think that I would leave her are: future simple, infinitive, past (of "will"). Am I correct please?
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1answer
74 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
113 views

should say that vs should have said that

Example 1 It was odd (that) you should say that Example 2 It was odd (that) you should have said that I don't understand what the putative should implies when it's constructed with the present ...
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1answer
1k views

Why “hadn’t gone” and not “didn’t go”?

I came across this sentence: We thought that Joe didn’t go to the museum with the rest of the class. It says it’s an incorrect construction and it should be: We thought that Joe hadn’t gone ...
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1answer
187 views

What tenses should be used after “in case of”?

What tense should be used after "in case" or "in case of"? For instance, is the following sentence correct? "Just imagine that in case of a dispute with her husband she leaves home."
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1answer
149 views

“I would give you all the help you needed” vs. “would need” vs. “need”

If you were ever in trouble, I would give you all the help you needed. Can you explain the tense choice for the bolded verb? How about "all the help you would need" or "all the help you need"?
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1answer
61 views

reported speech optional backshifting

In reported speech tenses are generally back shifted. But if what was said is still true at the time of reporting then back shifting of tenses is optional. My question is if someone doesn't back ...
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1answer
64 views

What would you do if I told you+subordinate clause

there are a couple of sentences that I have been having trouble with lately. I'll start with an example: I'd be lying if I said I have never considered moving.(referring to the present) That's how ...
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1answer
189 views

What are the differences between “want to pass”, “want pass” and “want passing”?

Would you kindly tell me what is the difference between the followings? I want you to pass your exams so that you can come as soon as possible to be with me. I want you pass your exams so ...
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0answers
28 views

Sequence of Verb Tense when it comes to if condition

Normally, a noun clause has the same tense as the main clause, right. So, I am wondering how about the case in IF condition sentence? If she were here, I would tell her that I liked/like her. ...
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41 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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0answers
16 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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37 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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72 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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43 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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48 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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0answers
147 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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103 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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0answers
60 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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0answers
65 views

Changing quote tense?

I'm trying to write a paper and I've stumbled along a problem. If I change "They are..." to "They were..." in a quotation, do I need to put square brackets as in, "They [were]..."?
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0answers
107 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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0answers
365 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 ...