Questions tagged [sequence-of-tenses]

for questions about the agreement between the tenses of verbs in related clauses or sentences.

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9 views

they were or they are in this sentence? [migrated]

Since it’s in past tense, should I say instead “they were highly contaminated”? They left all of their gear in the laboratory when they realized that they are highly contaminated.
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37 views

'…have been on vacation…' and '…was on vacation…'

What does 'I've been on vacation for two days' mean? I mean, it means that the action happened in the past and ended in the past but has no specific date. But it also means that I'm still on vacation. ...
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1answer
24 views

Changing tense from present perfect to simple past without time reference

This is a translation of a web article. In the first two sentences, the present perfect tense is used as there is no time frame when in the past the launch took place or the quotes were said. The ...
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1answer
60 views

Double present perfect in a compound sentence [closed]

I have two questions concerning the use of the present perfect tense twice in a compound sentence: a. He has accused John of the crime and provided evidence for it. b. He has accused John of ...
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1answer
27 views

Present perfect and reported speech

I would like to understand the following (because Google returns suspiciously low number of records for this form): A: I saw him there. B (joins the conversation): Hey, have you seen John ...
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1answer
57 views

Is there any suitable answer among these options?

I have just seen this questions in an exercise book for high school students. And l am not sure if the options are really suitable. I haven't seen my cousin in England for five years. I'm sure she......
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1answer
24 views

At one time operating vs At one time it operated

Since "at one time" is a time indicator, shouldn't the gerund "operating" be equivalent, while giving a better flow joining sentences? Or is it more confusing/improper? Preceding text of the same ...
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1answer
39 views

Use of present tense in a subordinate clause within a sentence that uses future tense

Is the use of tenses correct in the following sentence ? "One of the key components will be the XXX that replaces the existing YYY." In particular, the use of the present tense in the subordinate ...
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2answers
85 views

What are the real rules for choosing between the simple past and past perfect when both actions are in the past?

What are the real rules for choosing past perfect versus choosing past simple when you have two different past actions? I ask because the English sequence of tenses rules I was taught would have ...
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1answer
54 views

Which is the correct way of reporting? [closed]

Which one is the correct way to report a past episode? They wanted that Joe must not be around when they go shopping. They wanted that Joe must not be around when they went shopping.
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37 views

Past and present tenses in the same sentence [closed]

Can you explain to me the usage of both present and past tenses in the same sentence? Is this example correct? Several employees mentioned you were a great doctor who helps out nurses whenever ...
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15 views

Adjective + the present/past [duplicate]

Would you please consider the following: Riana (WAS/IS) so quick a thinker that she decided to dodge left when the knife was swung to her. My question: Riana is still alive and her being ...
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1answer
67 views

Knew, realized + the past/present

Please consider the following: I knew the building (IS/WAS) thirty feet tall. They realized I (AM/WAS) his son. My question: both those clauses contain general truths. So, do I need to use ...
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1answer
42 views

Is the flow of tenses in the sentence proper?

"The fine particles of grief which would flow out from the people he sat and listened to and helplessly tried to comfort, seeped inside him and there they had continued to envelop his heart, letting ...
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3answers
38 views

Is it correct to say: the cat and the mouse are puppets played by Bobby.? [duplicate]

I don't know if this is correct because "are" is present tense and "played" is past tense.
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3answers
161 views

What type of if-conditional is: “A shop offered us a reduction if we paid in cash.”?

What type of if-conditional is this sentence? A shop offered us a reduction if we paid in cash. As far as I know, the only right conditional sentences are these four: Zero Conditional: A shop ...
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1answer
36 views

As followed by past simple or past continuous

Recently I had to sit a test and one exercise was particularly tricky: all inflected forms of the verb in brackets were removed and I had to fill in with the correct tense.  Personally, I don't think ...
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1answer
24 views

Sequence of tenses in “When they do X, they do Y” structure

I got corrected when I said: When people heard the term "accounting graduate", they usually say "Do you work at a bank?". I was told to use "hear" instead of "heard". In this situation, why is "...
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1answer
37 views

Mixed tenses in a sentence : had to + simple past

So a story that is told primarily in simple past has the following sentence: He had to shake him out of his trance and pointed at the battle. Should 'pointed' follow the same tense as 'shake' and ...
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1answer
69 views

Time frame Past Perfect and Past Simple in 1 sentence

Is it correct to use the sentence 'He knew the answer to the question because he had studied really hard for this test.' as an example to referring to the time indication of Past Perfect and Past ...
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3answers
37 views

Usage of Past Perfect or Past Simple

Is it correct to say: He knew the answer to the question because he studied really hard or should it be: He knew the answer to the question because he had studied really hard? Or maybe both are ...
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1answer
25 views

“Who said we'll have a new champion?” - is this a correct sentence?

The quoted person thinks that the reigning champion will defend her title, and expresses his opinion as if he is arguing with those who has doubts. Is the sentence is question grammatically correct? ...
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1answer
55 views

For reports written in present tense, which time is usually used for “citations”? Present or past tense?

In German reports, most of the time the present tense is used when followed by any kind of citation. E.g. - There is a need for more biocompostable plastics. The XYZ CEO says that... - The CEO ...
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1answer
190 views

Past or present tense in the clause of an -ing structure?

I have a question that, as the title suggests, relates to tense agreement between an -ing phrase and its subordinate clause. I have seen other similar questions, such as present/past tense in a ...
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2answers
899 views

The usage of had been vs would have been

I have already looked at other examples, but am somehow struggling with my own (e.g., here: Would have been... vs. Had been ) The phrase I am concerned with: As we earlier explained, we had expected ...
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1answer
177 views

How do durative sense verbs in simple perfective work with durative adverbial

I am reading the grammar book - A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language - these days. And now I am focusing on the 2 aspects - perfective and progressive - in Chapter 4: The semantics of the ...
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2answers
74 views

What tense is this sentence? [closed]

The room is filled with a lot of junks. What kind of tense is this?
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2answers
319 views

Use of two tenses in one sentence (“That's when I heard his voice…”)

In the book " Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" the author writes the following sentence. "That's when I heard his voice, kind of squeaky(...)" Is it correct to say "that is" ...
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1answer
41 views

Can I say “all you had to do is”?

I know that I can say, "all you have to do is" but may I say, "all you had to do is" when you actually talk to someone at present tense, but you want to refer to the past event specifically?
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2answers
54 views

Mixed conditionals - Future / Future

It is the first time that I ask a question, thanks in advance to whoever is going to reply. I am studying conditional sentences and I cannot find anywhere a structure for a hypotethical future ...
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0answers
27 views

sequence of tenses in quoting others [duplicate]

Ryan et al. (2005) added that in-depth assessment of the family was important, and this could be best achieved by considering all points of view and by exploring a broad range of family functions, ...
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2answers
43 views

Keeping a sentence in the same tense [duplicate]

What is the general rule behind mixing tenses in sentences such as this: "He said he was hungry" versus "He said he is hungry" My colleague thinks you can't say the latter because "said" and "is" ...
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1answer
64 views

Sentence formation of a past incident

I need help with finding out which of the below sentences is correct: Since she wore glasses, I could not discern whether she was crying. Since she wore glasses, I could not discern whether she cried....
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1answer
72 views

Temporal clause

I can't decide whether these two sentences are both grammatically correct : He will go shopping after he finishes his homework. He will go shopping after he has finished his homework. I ...
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2answers
5k views

“she was gone” vs “she had gone”

I know when Past perfect, and when two past verbs are used in a sentence. according to what I have read, when two actions or events have taken place in rapid succession, we use two verbs in the past ...
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2answers
213 views

Tenses in sentences with more than two verbs

I´ve spent a fortune on swimming lessons. Next month I will have been training for three years and I don´t think I _______________(can) dive successfully when I go to Mexico this summer. If I thought ...
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1answer
139 views

Verb-tense agreement: I thought it had something to do with how you looked that day

I've had trouble with verb-tense agreement since day one of English learning. According to a lot of native speakers who have addressed this subject on several English forums, when the tenses in a ...
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1answer
68 views

“I thought about how this machine works/worked.” (confusion about past vs. present)

I'm not certain about which tense to use in this sentence: "I thought about how this machine _____." (This is coming from a scenario where I had previously used the machine and started to think about ...
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1answer
577 views

Whenever + tense

I was taking an English test, and the sentence was : The barrage would be used whenever an exceptional tide ... forecast. a) was b) is and I don't remember c) and d). I went for b), however ...
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3k views

Someone says vs Someone said in reported speech

Is " someone says something" ( in the present) acceptable, and if yes , when? Let's say I just got off the phone with someone, and they said they wouldn't make it on time. I've got someone in front ...
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1answer
65 views

Sequence of tenses with “told” and “said”

"Who told you that the agreement has already been signed?" I wonder whether we should observe the sequence of tenses rule and make it "Who told you that the agreement had already been signed?"
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2answers
17k views

It has been long time since [closed]

I want to use this sentence, but I am not sure whether or not it is correct. My sentence is: "It has been a long time since we are working on the same topic"
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3answers
282 views

Unsure about sequence of tenses in the following example

Somebody told me about the following sentence: "In 2017, researchers published their specifications for a new e-voting system, which has the potential of being accepted as a nationwide e-voting ...
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56 views

Sequence of tenses while describing scientific finding [duplicate]

Currently, I am writing a statement of purpose for the graduate program, and I want to describe my research experience. In particular, I want to write the following sentence: I determined that the ...
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2answers
224 views

“Now is the time” followed by past tense verb [duplicate]

This morning I heard Jeremy Corbyn's speech at the Labour Conference. Here is a section of that speech. Can anyone tell me what tense he is using and why? "Now is the time that government took a ...
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1answer
66 views

Can you switch tenses like this mid sentence?

Ray was fluent in American sign language, signing as fluently as he speaks. Does this sentence make any grammatical sense? Does it need fixing? Is it appropriate to use in a formal setting? Thank you ...
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2answers
107 views

Sequence of tenses

When reading Waugh's 'Vile Bodies' I came across the following sentence: "It was the first time that the party was given in an airship". It would seem to me that in the second clause there should ...
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1answer
979 views

When do you use “this is because” in the present tense versus “this was because” in the past tense?

I found this from a blog where the writer used this is because: Through the experience of the DSCE, I felt like my life goal had finally been achieved, but when I desperately pleaded with God to ...
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3answers
68 views

Tense in “One of the requirements was that it must …”

I'm having a slight dispute with a friend who proofreads my paper on the correct tense in this sentence: One of the key requirements for the web app was that it must automatically work with any new ...
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4answers
308 views

What’s the right inflection for the bracketed verb in “He asked what time the train [was/will/be] leaving”? [duplicate]

I was conducting a language assessment test when I was asked to fill out a clause: He asked what time the train [ was / will / be] leaving. I would have chosen be to form a subjunctive clause, had ...