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40

Either is possible. In my personal opinion it comes down to context. Was this a fleeting acquaintance or someone you are likely to take up with in the future? Examples I met this guy yesterday, his name was John. He was very rude - I hope I never meet him again! I met this guy yesterday, his name is John. We're going to meet up for coffee. Come along and ...


17

1 means that the action happened just now. You would typically see it in your e-mail program just after you send an e-mail. Your program might give you this message to let you know that the message you just sent has indeed been sent. 2 refers to something that happened at some time in the past. It could have been an hour ago, a day ago, or even a century ...


16

Using the past tense is a way of offering flexibility in an invitation or request. You don't need to feel compelled to accept because it is being phrased as a passing thought. A whim.


16

First of all, It's usually "I've got it". But that's just nit-picking. Native English speakers usually use either interchangeably to mean the same thing, that is, they understand now. There doesn't seem to be a difference in meaning or usage due to the different verb tense. They also sometimes add "now": "I've got it now" or "I get it now".


15

This is called the historic present. It is also called historical present, dramatic present, narrative present, or praesens historicum in Latin. It is a perfectly fine construction, although it should be used in moderation so as not to draw the ire of style books.


14

Were is the plural past tense form of be, used here in a counterfactual conditional idiom construction that is given various names, including "subjunctive", which often apply to other European languages, though not to English. In fact, however, tense is not what you need to know here. Tense only has to do with time -- past (was/were) and present (am/is/are) ...


13

While technically your statement is true--he remains, and in fact will always be, the first person to reach the South Pole--nevertheless the use of the present tense is not called for unless he is currently at the South Pole at the culmination of his groundbreaking journey, or unless he remains the only person to have made it to the South Pole; in both ...


13

To get technical about it, present is a tense, but continuous and progressive are grammatical aspects, not tenses. Whereas tenses mark when an action happens, aspects give other temporal information, such as duration, completion, or frequency. English makes no distinction between continuous and progressive, and they are both formed using the present ...


12

News is uncountable and is used with singular verbs. The -s is there because etymologically, it used to be a plural form. Etymonline says: late 14c., plural of new (n.) "new thing," from new (adj.), q.v.; after Fr. nouvelles, used in Bible translations to render M.L. nova (neut. pl.) "news," lit. "new things." Sometimes still regarded as plural, ...


11

Think of the past tense as referring to an event that took place at a particular time in the past. In saying The message was sent, the speaker will normally have in mind something like yesterday or last week. The present perfect is called 'present' for a reason. The speaker is talking about the situation now, a situation in which a past event has some ...


10

The main verb is are -- the Present Tense Third Person Plural form of be. This is another reduced relative clause, with Whiz-Deletion operating, this time on the be of the Passive, rather than the be of the Progressive, like the question this morning. The original sentence was something like There are several reasons which/that are/were proposed for the ...


10

[I believe this question already exists somewhere else on this website, but I can't for the life of me find it.] In short, though the present tense is also possible, the most natural choice would probably be the past tense: She touched me where my neck met my collarbone. The main clause happened in the past, while the subordinate clause is a ...


10

If I found a ball in the morning, I might say in the afternoon I found a ball today. The past tense locates an action at a specific time in the past, but today is a sufficiently prolonged period of time to allow the use of the past tense on the same day. I have found a ball today could occur, but only exceptionally, because the perfect construction is not ...


10

Both are grammatical. The first uses the past tense (‘was lost’), which indicates that the connection was lost at a specific time in the past. The second uses the present perfect construction (‘has been lost’), which indicates that the loss of the connection has present relevance. So, if the loss of connection occurred, let us say, last week, but it’s now ...


10

The ever in questions such as Have you ever flown a kite? can be understood as in your life to this present moment. The present perfect (have/has + past participle) is used because in your life is conceived of as unfinished time. It is the reason why the present perfect is used with other expressions that imply unfinished time: Have you seen Mary ...


10

The construction employed in the question is determined by the construction employed in the declarative sentence - the 'answer' you are looking for. Look is an activity verb, and usually takes the progressive construction in reporting a present action; in a question, subject/auxiliary inversion operates with the existing auxiliary BE: That man is ...


9

From a purely logical standpoint, only "was" is strictly correct, because you can't actually know whether he's changed his name since you met him. Very unlikely, but it's possible! You can say for sure what his (stated) name was at the time you met him, but you cannot know for sure what his name is at the present (without meeting or communicating with him ...


9

Let's look at a little more context: When the night has come and the land is dark And the moon is the only light we see No, I won't be afraid, oh, I won't be afraid Just as long as you stand, stand by me A perfect construction marks a past action as having brought about a state which is relevant at some later point: the utterance’s ‘Reference ...


8

The best is a variation of the first: Let me know when you arrive. The second two examples are incorrect, as to be isn't used followed by a past participle in this way. An alternate formulation (which means pretty much the exact same thing) is to use the present perfect: Let me know when you've arrived. The difference in meaning between the ...


8

Sounds perfectly fine to me, though I can see why you are asking. The reason why progressive aspect is not normally used with verbs such as know is that normally they already express a state of continuity on their own and just don't need this. Using them with progressive aspect is normally redundant. But not in this case. Here we are dealing with a ...


7

"I am having a problem" sounds more like the speaker is talking about a current and recent ongoing process, which is probably why it tends to show up on SO. "I have a problem" also has an idiomatic usage meaning the speaker is objecting to something, which isn't a meaning that occurs with "I am having a problem". It's perfectly valid; it is the present ...


7

This is the usage to which I prescribe: I get it now (that you have explained it more clearly) I got it the first time(, there was no need to repeat yourself). Most people aren't as particular, and will use the two interchangeably.


7

It has been used as the symbol... is correct here. Use Present Perfect when the action referred to started in the past, and either continues (or continues to have relevance) at the time of speaking.


6

The present perfect continuous is, in most cases, used to describe an action that is ongoing: I have been pumping means: "I have pumped, but I'm not done yet; I'm still pumping." By contrast, the present perfect is used to describe an action that has ended: I have pulled up dandelions all day means: "I've spent all day pulling up dandelions, but ...


6

If the first part is in the past, then the second part has to be, too. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. I knew you were John’s brother when first I saw you. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer John’s brother. It’s just how these things work.


6

In my opinion, both are equally correct. But the second one is a more polite way of saying it.


6

If I were is in the past subjunctive. It is used for hypotheses. Then I could, like then I would be able to, is construed to be in the conditional. However, morphologically, could is the past tense of the modal can.


6

In the absence of a future tense, English has several ways of expressing the future. One is the present tense, as in ‘My daughter goes to school tomorrow for the first time’. In practice, a native speaker would probably something like ‘It’s my daughter’s first day at school tomorrow’, where the present tense also expresses the future. Your second example ...


6

They're all just stylistic choices, with no difference in nuance of meaning. The only context where "regular, repeat event" comes into play is when you say something like "The London train leaves at 8 o'clock" - if you don't specify any particular day, the implication is it does so every day (or at least, every week-day - it may leave at a different time, ...



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