Questions tagged [sequence-of-tenses]

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

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Sequence of Moods (Subjunctive)

I asked a question a while ago ("If I asked, would she say it were/was time?" Past Vs. Subjunctive) about “sequence of moods” whose top answer read, Fowler says the past simple is used in ...
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17 views

How to use the past perfect construction correctly? [migrated]

Do the following sentences make sense in terms of tenses? (Or how do I make the tenses right?) When the man was hit by a truck, it took two hours before he was successfully resuscitated. When the ...
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2answers
53 views

The sequence of uses tenses in complex or compound Sentence

The head of the audit is so obtuse that he had no inkling that funds were being ingenuously diverted. My first question is, are there any grammatical mistakes in the sentence above, except spelling ...
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35 views

Complication about using present perfect tense with other tenses

Since English is my foreign language, I always run into some unforeseen complication when describing daily activities I have just done in my daily journal. That is, I often use present perfect ...
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46 views

Tense Inconsistency (Past Simple and Present Perfect) or wrong Sequence of Tenses (Present tense follows Past tense)?

In the following sentence, the Present Perfect in the second clause sounds a little off to me, yet I cannot put my finger on WHY that is. During this time (Subord. Clause 1), I was able to gain/ I ...
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28 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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11 views

Present perfect tense and Past tense in a single sentence

I'm wondering whether consistency of tenses should apply in the following sentence: I've attended events like Coachella and I always felt physically awful. Should "I've" be replaced with "I" to be ...
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1answer
25 views

It was I or it is I (or both since it is just a matter of perspectives)

This confusion has been haunting me since I was fifteen. Please consider the following: A. It was I who killed your mom. B. It is I who killed your mom. Question: As far as I know, we can apply two ...
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49 views

Problems on the sequence of tenses

I feel really confused with the sequence of tenses sometimes. I am trying to explain where my problem is. Suppose, I have three different sentences which I want to express in two sentences. 1) I ...
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1answer
40 views

Future perfect/simple future/present perfect

Please consider the following: They will report to me what they will have known/will know/have known. Which one is right if the context is they will report to me after they know it
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Why is “were” used in the highlighted relative clause?

Thank you for taking interest in this question. I have attached below the context of the clause in question to help your understanding. A full version of the question would be: Why were, instead of ...
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1answer
56 views

Cloze Passage - Grammar (Sequence of Tenses)

There is this sentence in my Grammar Cloze passage: Though I started off reasonably well, soon I felt my legs ___________(ache) badly. Should I answer "ache" or "aching"? The correct answer is "...
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“How did your life change if you have as much money as Bill Gates?” Is this sentence correct?

I am a teacher of English in Japan. I happened to see a weird sentence from a notebook of my student. It says, "How did your life change if you have as much money as Bill Gates?" And my fellow ...
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38 views

Which one best fits and grammatically correct sentence? And usage

Here is the tense I got stuck by while chatting with my friend. But you are the one who promised to accomplish this task by 25 February. I am talking about the future action which still ...
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1answer
41 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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1answer
86 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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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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100 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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46 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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2answers
95 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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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
32 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
319 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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44 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
135 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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418 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
36 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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84 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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28 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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89 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
109 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
59 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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77 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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45 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
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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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207 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 offer ...
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1answer
88 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
26 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
52 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
112 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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39 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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“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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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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344 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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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
562 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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1k 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
46 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
109 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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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, ...