Questions tagged [present-tense]

The present tense is a grammatical tense that locates a situation or event in present time.

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Simple present, or present continuous?

Which one is correct: Today, she talks to me by phone from the middle of Italy. What is she doing there? She is working on her novel. In the first sentence, is the tense correct, with the ...
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1answer
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Present continuous and present simple

can I use present continuous and present simple in one sentence, like in my writings below? 1."There is no bird singing without a reason so don't tell me you cry for no cause." 2."The moments I don'...
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1answer
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Can the modal auxiliary verbs be considered to be in the present tense (form, not meaning)?

According to Practical English Usage by Michael Swan, modal auxiliary verbs do not normally have past tenses: The modal auxiliary verbs are will, would, shall, should, can, could, ought, may, ...
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Were the verb forms / structures named after their most typical / common use?

A verb form like "went" is called a "past tense". However, it is not only used to talk about past events (e.g. We went to Morocco last January), but also about unreal or uncertain present or future ...
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1answer
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Future simple or present simple with “when”

-When will you arrive in this city again? - In a month. I was always taught that we don't use the future simple after "with", but I came across with this sentence in my textbooks. So i'm confused why ...
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1answer
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In present-tense narrative, does “I spend the NEXT few hours…” make sense?

I'm writing a novel in present-tense. If all the actions are in the present-tense, e.g. as the character is experiencing them, does the phrase, "I spend the next few hours pondering about it" make ...
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I've studied vs I've been studying

What's the difference from these two phrases? How would I know if keep studying or if I did it in the past?
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29 views

Using Past Simple versus Present Simple in a commentary for a documentary

I've been translating a commentary to a history documentary and I'm not sure if my choice of tenses is optimal. In Polish, just like in English, the Present Simple tense is occasionally used for ...
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The Present Simple tense use

I would like to know why this tense is used instead of the present continuous in the following examples: As we speak (instead of - as we are speaking) something is taking place He joins us from (...
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1answer
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During with Present Perfect?

Can anyone make this clear for me? Look at this sentence: -"I have been making this Tshirt during the confinement period" Let's imagine that the confinement period is not over, and that the job with ...
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Which one would fit better in this context between present continuous and present perfect continuous?

It is from official standard English test. The question is like below. Fitness enthusiasts may feel that their workouts are no longer as effective as they were. When an individual ______________ for ...
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Can you help with the difference in these past perfect tenses?

Example 1: 'Edison invented the light bulb. He had been working on it for years'. Example 2: 'Edison invented the light bulb. It had taken him years'. In example 1, the past perfect continuous makes ...
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A specific example about past tense in subordinate clause

I've read several posts about "main clause past tense, can I use simple present tense in the subordinate clause?" and I think I get the basic idea. General truth can use present. He didn't know ...
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359 views

have been hurt vs. have been hurt in the past

A traditional explanation of Present Perfect usage is that it is not used when a certain past reference to the action is present either in the text or it is implied by the context. Usually, the wrong ...
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“has” versus “have” after the preposition “of”

In the sentences A copy of your documents has been emailed to you@gmail.com. A copy of your documents have been emailed to you@gmail.com. I believe the subject is "copy", and since "...
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Anything wrong with bar girl english?

I find teaching a new (young Thai) english conversation learner something like "he no like teacher" vastly easier than "he doesn't like his teacher" because that click of understanding and ...
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Writing a personal narrative and wondering if this application of present tense mixes with most of the sentence, which is in past tense

This sentence doesn't sound all that right, but at the same time I think it is. I grabbed underwear, a tee with red sleeves and khaki shorts and headed for the master bathroom, which houses the ...
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601 views

'talking about' vs 'talk about'

I came across the following sentence on the internet: "When we are talking about possession, relationships, illnesses and characteristics of people or things we can use either have or have got." Is ...
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Which is commoner here: Past Simple or Past Perfect?

For a native speaker of English, which construction is commoner ? 1- The interviewer asked me which university l went to. 2- The interviewer asked me which university l had been to. Thanks.
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Present or Past when talking about a book's content

I came across an English exercise yesterday and I wasn't sure about the answer. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you. The sentence is as follows: I borrowed a book from the library last ...
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377 views

Using present tense modal verbs to refer to a possibility that never happened?

Let's say you're at a crossroad; two paths. You walk the one and then think: If I had walked that other route then I would probably have been in a worse situation now. My problem with the above is ...
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222 views

Present Tense and Past Tense In the Same Sentence

Is there anything wrong with this phase: "I had to get my hair cut last week, since it was getting too long." Thanks for the help!
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3answers
761 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
100 views

“I have been busy” past vs present

When someone asks me during a phone call " where have you been " then I answer as follow : I have been busy 1-Does it necessarily means that I was busy and I am still busy or could it means that I ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
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Present tense Used for Past event

I saw a news headline that reads: he admits accident was caused by drunk driving. My question is why they use present tense (admits) instead of past tense (admitted). The news was written after the ...
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Time in past simple and simple present grammar in these sentences

I have some issues to understand these two sentences, why the first is wrong and why the second the verb didn't change. In the sentence "Kim goes on a date with David the last night but didn’t ...
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Ungrammatical Title?

On a YouTube video titled "How Do You Die From Alzheimer's?", one commenter wrote: "[R]ight grammar is[,] a [sic] how did a person die from alzheimer's? ...[W]rong grammar is[,] a [...
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1answer
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Past tense and present tense in a same sentense. Tense consistent or logically correct?

I am trying to tell a thing that happened in the past. But that thing has a fact that is still true in the present. Could you tell me which one of the following is true? I had a lesson with a tutor ...
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using which in relative cause as an object

For example, is this sentence correct? “If your friend isn’t reliable, he/she can use the things which your friend knows about you against you.”
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1answer
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Past simple and past progressive. Taught vs. was teaching

Can some one explain me. This sentence:"He taught constantly for forty-five years. ". Here's used Past simple. I would like to know, why, and can I use past continuous:" He was teaching ...
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In a novel, should a subordinate clause use present tense while the main clause is past?

Provided this is correct: The general rule is to match the tense of a subordinate clause with the tense of the main clause. E.g. He vacuumed while I washed the dishes. However, a subordinate clause ...
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Since + Present Perfect or From + Simple Present?

I had a debate with another translator the other day. My colleague wrote "From 15 July 2020 ... is allowed..." Since she wrote this in August 2020, she was clearly referring to a specific ...
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Which one I should use? Infinitive or present participle?

Which sentence is grammatically correct? I think it is good for students to have cellphones. I think having cellphones is good for students.
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usage of present perfect and past tense when it comes to people who passed away

If the persons I am referring to are no more, in that case which of these is right? a) He has met them (they are no more) many times, or b) He met them many times. ( Here I get confused whether the ...
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If You Look vs. If You're Looking: When advertising a Product

Is it correct to use "if you look for" instead of "if you're looking for" when promoting a product? "If you look for creamy peanut butter spread, you may message me." I ...
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Question concerning tenses

Lauren has coaxed her brother many times to go cinema with her but he never listens Lauren has coaxed her brother many times to go cinema with her but he never listened Which sentence is correct? ...
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1answer
27 views

Differentiate between Present Simple vs Present Progressive (Continuous)

Is the following sentence in present simple or continuous tense? I am in class. How do you change it to the other tense?
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How do you differentiate the use of “When I asked…” and “When I have asked…”

This might be a very basic question for native speakers of English, but I'd really appreciate if you could help me to understand the difference between "When I asked" and "When I have ...
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What is the correct way to ask about something that happened some time ago?

When I took one test I had to choose between four options: a) Did you hear that he has been assigned to a new project last week? b) Have you heard that he has been assigned to a new project last week? ...
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What’s a matter-of-fact tone?

I was wondering if a matter-of-fact tone was the same as a straightforward tone, and if these terms all mean “simple” or “without emotions”. (I am not a native speaker for that matter). If I speak or ...
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What are the verbs that need a gerund after “to”?

So could someone tell me what the verbs are that must have “ing” (gerund) after “to”? (a small list) I know we have : “look forward to”, “admit to”, “be opposed to”... but are there other verbs?
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The present perfect with distant actions in the past

The present perfect serves in different aspects and conveys different nuances two of which are these: 1) An action with a result in the present. I have bought a new sweater. = I have a sweater now. ...
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The present vs the past (when it comes to a range of possibilities covering dead and living people and if the answer is someone who has died)

Suppose there is a list of people who have been named as the candidates for being the best president ever. On the list are the incumbent and some ex-presidents, some of whom have died. How would we ...
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“The solution would be that he go and talk.”

Just need to confirm if this construction is correct. Would also really appreciate it if it could be broken down too from a grammatical perspective. Many thanks!
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Is try to vs is trying to

I was taking a quiz at Coursera and there was a sentence What kitchen counter may be a better environment to help someone who is try to manage their weight? I was confused – shouldn't this be "is ...
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If Conditional with Present perfect

Someone has been searching for his spectacles for an hour. He is thinking that someone has hidden his spectacles and asks one of his friends whether he is hiding them or not. His friend says, " If I ...
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Present participle, gerund, or modifier

Which one of the following is right? 1) I am a doctor working in a hospital. 2) I am, a doctor, working in a hospital. 3) I am a doctor, working in a hospital. Does "working" modify "doctor" in ...
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Present Perfect vs Past Simple - Distant Actions

If I’m talking about an action that happened in the distant past, I mean, an action that didn’t happen recently, I need to use the Simple Past? We can’t use the Present Perfect like that, can we?
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The present perfect in the main clause and in the subordinate clause

Share your view on this issue. I was exposed to the following concept: 1 He has had a bike in the last two months. (is wrong) Instead, it should be 1a He had a bike in the last two months. (is ...