Questions tagged [sequence-of-tenses]

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

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21 views

What verb tenses should I use with enumeration?

I have the following sentence. All of the actions described I've performed today. I've paid a visit, played chess, drank an espresso and bought a couple of souvenirs. My first tense is present ...
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1answer
30 views

Sequence of tenses involving a parenthetical clause?

In the following sentence, is it necessary to use the past in the parentheses? Is it a sequence of tenses at all? You might create a table in a database using SDC as a model (if it met all of your ...
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36 views

Grammar: Past perfect or Past simple or something else entirely?

Is this sentence grammatically correct? He left before she had finished her sentence. I have already read multiple articles on this and i know that past perfect is used when there are two actions with ...
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35 views

Feedback “was” or “is” positive?

This is in relation to a comment post-interview. I was told that the “feedback from the interviewer is positive”. I think there is nothing grammatically wrong about that, it simply refers to the fact ...
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1answer
55 views

Wanted to make sure you “had” or “have” what you need to make a start [closed]

Would you be able to explain which one is grammatically correct, or whether both can be grammatically correct depending on the context?
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1answer
53 views

Conditional in the past: using present or preterit?

A person is talking using past tense, because he is talking about events that happened in the past. Which one is correct? They might come after me if they found out that Kudo Shinichi was still alive ...
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2answers
95 views

“Thanksgiving was in four days”: something sounds funny!

Can you tell me if this sentence is correct? Here it is, in context (bold emphasis added): ...mother and sister to let them know she was deploying. Thanksgiving was in four days, and Peyton had a ...
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0answers
36 views

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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1answer
29 views

What's the correct tense?

I came across a sentence that said: For example, Philips Hue lights recently added one. Previously they would come on when power is restored. Should it be is restored or was restored? Thank you.
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2answers
94 views

Was or is or both? A line from the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales

"He was as fresh as is the month of May". The above is the 94th line from 'The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue'. Questions: Why are 'was' and 'is' in the same line/sentence? If it is taken as ...
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7answers
736 views

How did “to wish that” come to hate the present tense in the subordinate clauses it governs, and why is it alone in this?

Inspired by this earlier question, I've realized that we have no canonical question addressing the stranglely one-of-a-kind special grammatical rules demanded by the verb wish of its subordinate ...
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1answer
30 views

What are the tenses in this sentence?

I'd like to break this sentence down to its components and their tenses, but I'm struggling. How would you explain it? “I think we thought it would be easier” Thanks!
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2answers
173 views

He wished he would have met her

I do know that the much better construction is "he wished he had met her a year before", but is the construction "he wished he would have met her a year before" acceptable?
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1answer
39 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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2answers
59 views

Past Hypothesis vs Past Condition

I know the title might look confusing, so I would like to explain it in detail here. As far as I know, we can use past perfect construction when referring to a situation that didn't happen in the ...
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1answer
140 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
30 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
68 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
27 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
66 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
98 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
56 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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0answers
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
73 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
44 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
45 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
167 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
46 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
45 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
93 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
29 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
86 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
279 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
1k 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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2answers
258 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
775 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
45 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
79 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
49 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
71 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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2answers
106 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
9k 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
267 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
198 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
73 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
807 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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0answers
6k 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 ...