Questions tagged [past-tense]

This tag is for questions related to usage of the past tense in English.

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26 views

“COVID-19 changed / has changed / has been changing the everyday life of people” [duplicate]

This is for the translation of a bachelor thesis and we have different opinions on the use of the word "change". Which is correct? COVID-19 changed / has changed / has been changing the ...
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2answers
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When to use before or beforehand? [closed]

Both beforehand and before are adverb and both mean the same. (See Reference, below). Then what is the difference between them? Can they be used interchangeably? Are these sentence correct (and can I ...
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35 views

Using “used to” with past tense

Why are we not allowed to use the "used to" in the following sentences? I used to work hard last month. I used to live in London three years ago. And could you please recommend a grammar ...
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“Didn't need to” vs “Needn't have done”

Page 315 of the Collins English Usage reads If you are talking about the past and you want to say that it was not necessary for someone to do something on a particular occasion, you say that they ...
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How to say something happened one hour back [migrated]

I wanted to say that someone went out one hour before the current time, can I say it as ‘he went out one hour back’ or does it sound awkward? Thank you
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Can I transition from past perfect tense to past tense while still referring to the past perfect context?

If I am describing a situation in past tense, then moving into past perfect, can I drop the "hads" so as to use simple past tense verb forms again, but still keep reference to the past ...
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35 views

The Passive Voice when referring to time [duplicate]

If we say something like "More than two months have passed", would you say this is speaking in the Passive Voice? When you look at the general rules about when to use the Passive Voice, it ...
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Which is the right response for the question “Did you do your homework?” [migrated]

I am trying to refresh my grammar and I want to remember what was the right past tense for this question Did you do your homework? Yes I did it Yes I have done it Yes I had done it Which is ...
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1answer
23 views

Past tense vs present perfect tense

I have queries about past tense and present perfect tense. I have made a appointment to see the university careers advisors immediately after the seminar,So I will need to leave on time. I have done ...
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Present progressive meets past participle

I am trying to determine the verb-tense for the following sentence: "If the worker is assigned to work for 1 year, they shall be given the standard longevity bonus." On a practical basis, I ...
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1answer
72 views

Use of 'went' as a noun

I have come across its use as a proper noun in an 1895 deed: "...all that one piece of pasture lying at Whatling Went." So I wondered if there is any evidence for the the use of 'went' as ...
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Past Perfect strange usages ;)

1. I've read that "We can use the past perfect followed by before to show that an action was not done or was incomplete when the past simple action happened". Example: They left before I'd ...
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Does the following sentence make any sense grammatically? [migrated]

"I agree with your point of him shouldn't have having been there in the first place"? I get confused and mixed up when using the past tense and should/would/have sometimes. Thanks.
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Past perfect in reported statements of complex sentence

If the sentence is reported statements, whether both parts of the sentence have to be in Past Perfect or only the first one? For example: "I had loved her for more than half of my life," she ...
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2answers
45 views

What's difference between “ I knew i loved you” and “ i knew i love you”?

I can't understand when i can use past and present tenses in one sentence together and when i can use only past one. I knew you loved me I knew you love me they're both referring to present moment ...
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1answer
43 views

What should I choose in this situation? [closed]

Why are your hands so dirty ? Well,I________ in the garden 1-Worked 2- Have worked 3- Have been working
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1answer
174 views

“I was no longer working for X” vs. “I no longer worked for X”

I'm a student learning English and recently helped a friend of mine write an important email in English. The text I gave him contained the following part: I am sorry for not replying to your email, ...
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grammatical doubt over unfinished timeline contexts

Grammatically, we go with present perfect when referring to the actions where the time is still unfinished. I have phoned him today. I have watched a movie this week. But to have a conversation over ...
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When providing more information about an event in the past, are we allowed to use present continuous?

While describing an event in the past, is it possible to use present continuous or present perfect continuous while still being grammatically correct? In order to explain my question a bit better, I ...
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2answers
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“It had started to snow by 10 a.m. yesterday.” vs “It started to snow by 10 a.m. yesterday.” [closed]

I don't understand the timing in the following sentence: It had started to snow by 10 a.m. yesterday. I don't understand when it started to snow. And did it finish or is it still snowing? Is this ...
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The first paragraph of “Leviathan Wakes” is driving me crazy. What do you think about it?

I feel like the author gets his tenses all mixed up as soon as he finishes the prologue. At the very least, the first paragraph is difficult to parse. Check it out: A hundred and fifty years before, ...
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1answer
31 views

Is this past tense or has this changed to present tense?

I'm sorta new to writing and I'm wondering is this past tense or has this changed to present tense? "The hum of the bike quickly filled the air as Eddie finished drinking his water."
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1answer
35 views

Question aboute a quote from a TV show where I've noticed two different tenses in the same sentence

there is a famous quote from Game of Thrones Episode 10 season 3 where a character says "Any man who must say, "I am the king" is no true king. I'll make sure you understand that when I'...
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Is the tense of my sentence correct? [closed]

I have below sentence - I should have turned left at that point to leave the road behind and pick another road to reach Washington I am little concerned on the the word 'pick'. Should it be 'picked'?...
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“I wasn't expecting” vs.“I didn't expect”

Suppose someone drops by and you say "Hey, I didn't expect to see you today" or "Hey, I wasn't expecting to see you today". What is the difference between those two sentences? To ...
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2answers
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“Crossed-referenced”, “Crashed-landed”, and other twice-inflected verbs

For about a month now, I've been cataloging every compound verb I encounter that, for whatever reason, causes some people to inflect both of its components in the past tense (see title for examples). ...
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A question concerning Past Perfect continuous

He had been drinking milk out the cartoon when mom walked into the kitchen I'm reading past perfect continuous in my grammar book and the rule says it is used for an that began before a certain point ...
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Past perfect or present perfect?

We didn't go to the party last night because we have had a fever Or We didn't got to the party last night because we had had a fever I know the past perfect describes an completed before a certain ...
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Past perfect continuous and use of since

I came across the following sentence with an instruction to rewrite it in past perfect continuous using the given time expression in brackets: Govind was working in this factory as a watchman. (since ...
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Difference in meanings for English past tense [duplicate]

Do they all mean the same thing, or are there any technical differences? I worked at McDonald's. I used to work at McDonald's. I had worked at McDonald's.
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1answer
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A question concerning Past Perfect Tense [closed]

I met him in London in 1996. I had seen him last five years before. This is an example given for Present Perfect Tense in my grammar book. Does the sentence mean the last time the speaker had met the ...
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2answers
35 views

Will Today word change the sentence tense? [closed]

According to book I ma using, the author introduced the difference between past and simple as following: My question is: if I didn't change today to yesterday will it makes difference? I was in class ...
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2answers
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Is “thinks I” in Melville's Moby-Dick used in the sense of “thought I”? [duplicate]

The following is just one of the examples of thinks I being used by Melville: When, at last, his mind seemed made up touching the character of his bedfellow, and he became, as it were, reconciled to ...
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Past Subjunctive Sentence

If we started now we would be in time (but we cannot start now) This is an example sentence in my grammar book for past subjunctive used after If. The sentence sounds to me a suggestion rather than ...
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1answer
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Use the ing form in past tense

I found a phrase "I still remember playing while ...", it was a past tense I suppose but why is there not the "to be" for the -ing form? Why is I still remember playing correct ...
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2answers
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Two words related to “anachronism” but having exclusive references to past and future

I'd like to identify two words related to anachronism: one having an exclusive association to past, and the other to future. According to Lexico, anachronism means: A thing belonging or appropriate ...
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Can 'should' be used in past tense?

In the second line of the text, taken from 'Harry Potter', " Yes,but it took a great deal of skilled Legilimency to coax it out of him.' said Dumbledore, 'and why should everybody delve further ...
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1answer
156 views

“had spent” vs. “spent”

Which tense would be appropriate in this case - past perfect simple or past simple? "After he had spent some of the money, he decided to find his dream house." or "After he spent some ...
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24 views

“When did you last have” or “When did you have last”?

Which of the two is spelled correctly? When did you last have your hair cut? When did you have last your hair cut? As you can see, have and last swapped their positions, is there any rule we use to ...
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39 views

Past Past Perfect

If we have one action, we can use Past Simple/Past Continuous I found out If we have two actions, we can use Past Perfect/Past Perfect Continuous for the one which is the most ancient and Past ...
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Using past simple tense after past perfect

When X happened, I had not taken my pills because I hadn't had them with me. When X happened, I had not taken my pills because I didn't have them with me. Is the second sentence ...
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1answer
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Grammar in tenses

I'm writing something and I came across a dilemma, my friend told me the way I wrote it was wrong but I am certain I'm correct but I don't want to leave something that could be a mistake.. can someone ...
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Is the word “wished” here used for narrative or a hypothetical situation?

Jenny wished she hadn't been so careless The answer key says that "wished" here is used for a hypothetical situation, but I fail to see how. Since the word isn't part of a conditional clause, shouldn'...
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Past Perfect with an emphasis on result of an action in the past

As we all know, one of the main ways of using the Present Perfect is describing actions which happened in the past, but are still true or have a very important result (from British Council): We use ...
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Subjunctive Conditionals in the Past Tense

Is a sentence such as the one that follows grammatical and logical: I was worried I would have lost a letter grade if I were to hand in the paper late. I know the subjunctive, being a mood, can be ...
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1answer
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Difference between past and present perfect

What is the difference between in the meaning : I have never wanted to cook I never wanted to cook I have always wanted to do that I always wanted to do that Is it possible that we use the second ...
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I wonder why couldn't it be Past Continous in this exercise

They ............ (get) to the airport as the plane was landing. I'm doing this exercise of completing with Past Simple, Past Continuous or Past Perfect Simple. In the answer section I found got as ...
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Correct past tense for help with another word

I'm not sure if this sentence is grammatically correct: 'He was wrong by helping them took power'. especially I'm asking about 'helping took power'. It should refer to someone who helped another one ...
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1answer
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I don't know which sentence is correct [closed]

I thought she had saved money. I had thought she saved money. Is 2nd sentence wrong? I need your help.
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36 views

Modal Verbs and Sequence of Tenses

Should the clause “I would/should think” be followed by another also in the past, according to the rules of tense sequence? I should think he was here [I think he is here now]. I should think the ...

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