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Questions tagged [simple-past]

Questions about the Simple Past tense.

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Present Perfect and Past Simple on a specific example

I read several topics about this here and I also familiar with basic rules for detecting either Past Simple or Present Perfect in a sentence required but I still can't figure out what exactly I ...
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1answer
35 views

“it was my dream since childhood” vs “it has been my dream since childhood”

i am not a native English and have a problem for understanding grammar. Is the sentence bellow (A), explain that i am no longer have dream/ same dream after childhood? and is there any possibility ...
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37 views

Mixing past simple and present simple in one sentence

I was writing a technical paper at work, and one coworker noticed the following sentence: Prior to “AllTheReg”, there was no well-defined mechanism which manages the formal specification of control ...
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29 views

“On holiday” vs. “on a holiday”

The textbook "Oxford Practice Grammar" by John Eastwood has this example in Unit 15, Exercise 2: Have you ever played beach volleyball? Yes, we played it on holiday. a) The holiday is still ...
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1answer
37 views

Simple past of present perfect?

I wonder which one is correct: David has made a decision to quit his job in spite of good salary. David made a decision to quit his job in spite of good salary. I think that 1 is correct, ...
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1answer
46 views

Present Perfect and Simple Past in the same sentence

I have a short and simple question for you. I know that in some circumstances I can use the Present Perfect and the Simple Past in the same sentence, but I am wondering if the following example is the ...
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1answer
32 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
57 views

Are there past and future equivalents of the “zero conditional”?

All English grammar coursebooks I have seen state that the Zero Conditional refers to something that is always true (and therefore is always certain) and has the form “Present Simple + Present Simple”....
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2answers
35 views

Use “waiting” after “parked”

Today I've read a sentence saying "He parked, waited for me to catch up and ran off again". I asked if I could say "He parked, waiting for me to catch up" to emphasize the actual action of waiting an ...
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1answer
39 views

Proper grammar with ellipsis?

Bear with me, please. Consider this sentence: "He might've turned his head and seen the incident, but I'm not sure." This sounds awkward, but it makes sense, as seen agrees with might have. But ...
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2answers
33 views

Present perfect with a past temporal expression

I know the present perfect tense may not be used with temporal expressions which define a timeframe which does not include the present. For example: WRONG: I've visited him on Monday. However, when ...
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1answer
61 views

Past simple vs. present simple for the verb “hate” [duplicate]

Which sentence is correct? and Why? She told me last week she hates action movies. She told me last week she hated action movies. As "hate" is a sensual verb and it does not finish in the past (you ...
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2answers
226 views

“He would have done anything you [would ask/would have asked/had asked] him to”

I want to say "He'll do anything you ask him to" but in the past tense, as that was the case 10 years ago, but he's not like that anymore. Which of the following should I use? He would have done ...
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3answers
47 views

Until and past tenses - are both correct or not?

I have a problem with these two sentences: "You promised you would take care of her until she had grown up" "You promised you would take care of her until she grew up" Which of them is the correct? ...
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1answer
617 views

Past simple vs past perfect; British- vs American English

According to this site the use of past simple and present perfect is quite strict in British English, while in American English you can normally use simple past instead of present perfect: In ...
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1answer
248 views

In this phrase, should I use “cheered” or “were cheering”?

I came across this phrase answering exercises about the difference between past continuous, past simple, and past perfect. "The crowd _____ (cheer) when the referee _____ (blow) the final whistle." ...
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“Yes, I did” vs “Yes, I have” - Answering with SP when the question is in PP

I was wondering about this for a while now - If I ask someone - "Have you done your HW?" Is the answer must be in perfect or can one answer "yes, I did". "Yes, I have" sounds better to me, but I ...
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Why was the word “find” used when the word “was” was used? Can I also say “to find”? [duplicate]

The first thing we did was find smart investors four our hedge funds
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1answer
77 views

Difference between Past Simple and Past Continuous for a past action [closed]

Should the gaps in this sentence be filled with verbs in Past Simple or Past Continuous tense? _______________ you ___________________ (make) a lot of friends when you ________________ (live) abroad?...
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1answer
146 views

American dialects: Replacing the past-perfect participle with the simple-past form

I have come across some American media (The Alternate History Hub youtube channel comes to mind) in which the perfect participle and the simple-past form have been merged. For example, we would have: ...
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1answer
460 views

Simple Past Tense for duration of time

This is an example of simple past usage I stumbled upon on YouTube: "Sarah and David talked for two hours" It is not clear to me why present perfect or past continues are not used here instead of ...
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Simple past or present perfect? (in unknown point in time in the past) [duplicate]

Describing the typical Twitter user: I criticize what you wrote/have written and then I block you, without waiting for your reply. Which one is correct? Thank you.
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6answers
454 views

What is the tense in: “…under a green-lined parasol held in a big white hand.”

I am doing an analysis on the verbal form "simple past". For this, I have used a book titled Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad from which I have extracted the following sentence. However, I have ...
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0answers
125 views

“We never discussed what happened” or “We never discussed what had happened?”

I'm writing some fiction in the past tense. At one point, I'm explaining a story in past perfect, and then the paragraph ends with "We never discussed what had happened." But it appears to me that ...
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2answers
349 views

When is it appropriate to use “did + verb” in a who-question?

I know that one can say "I did take the money" in order to stress the action. For instance, "You didn't take the money, did you?" - "I did take the money! I told you already so many times." But when ...
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3answers
382 views

Can someone explain the grammar in “…his breath was stopped.”? [closed]

Why does Steinbeck, when describing an old man's death, say "his breath was stopped" rather than "his breath had stopped"? The context and full sentence below: Grampa seemed to be struggling; all ...
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1answer
376 views

What is the difference between : “ I turned around and saw X” and “ I was turning around and saw X” ( Simple past vs past continous)

I would assume the difference is minor, in the former I finished the action of turning around and then saw X. In the latter I saw X while turning around. However one would certainly stop turning, when ...
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1answer
66 views

Past Perfect or Past Simple in the sentence where there are two events [duplicate]

which option is correct in the following sentence? I ___ for my exam all morning so I was really upset when I didn't do well. a) revised b) had revised I would say that both options ...
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2answers
285 views

In the past tense, do you use “lay” if you come across someone lying down? [closed]

I thought this would be a quick search but I can't find the answer. I understand that lay is the past tense of lie but does this not sound awkward? If one was writing in past tense, would it be ...
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2answers
780 views

Present Perfect vs. Simple Past: Are the solutions supplied by an English website correct?

I am a native English speaker who has just begun to tutor ESL students. I have found some exercise sheets on the internet and I disagree with some of the answers, I would appreciate some other ...
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1answer
89 views

Should the sentence be in the present perfect or simple past with “last week”? [closed]

When I was studying English Grammar, I was asked to spot the error I've submitted my documents last week. Vs. I submitted my documents last week. What is wrong/the difference between both ...
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1answer
506 views

What is the difference between who closed the door and who did close the door? [duplicate]

I was teaching past simple and there is this exercise in which we have to conjugate verbs to the past form. I know that we add an auxiliary to make a question, but do we sometimes omit this auxiliary ...
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1answer
98 views

Leonardo DiCaprio won / has won the oscar for Revenant? [closed]

Leonardo DiCaprio has won many awards and the most prestigious one is the Oscar for the best actor that he won/ has won for Revenant. Could we use Present perfect here, because here we are ...
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0answers
111 views

Difference between “just have thought”, “have thought” and “just thought”?

I was told that use of perfect aspect of present tense is incorrect in the context below as thinking action is discrete event and there isn't any relevance with the current situation. (Context is a ...
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1answer
139 views

Things in English that Are often very confusing for Non-Native Speakers [closed]

Something that has really confused me over the years is when and where to use past simple or present perfect, as a non-native English speaker I have always been troubled by this, so I was just ...
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4answers
124 views

Which is correct? Present perfect or simple past?

Which of these two is correct? Present perfect or simple past? The more I look at it the more I can't decide: I've fallen in love with seafood around the time I found your channel. or: I ...
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1answer
71 views

A small grammatical question, I’m confused! [duplicate]

Which sentence is correct? “Why did you go and told mom about us?” “Why did you go and tell mom about us?” I know that after “did”, the verb has to come as “simple form”, but when the sentence is ...
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2answers
155 views

Can I use simple present tense instead of past tense for recent events?

So, is this sentence can be use I am his teammate last match. (but we are not teammates this match now ) instead of I was his teammate last match If the last match've just ended recently
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1k views

'Are' or 'were' examples (in the past)? [duplicate]

If a group of deceased persons stand out as a good example in the past, and that their example is definitely worth following now, do I say that they 'were' good examples to us; or do I say that they '...
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190 views

Does simple “Simple Past” express “Scheduled or Timetabled Future Event in the past” just as “Simple present” does in the present?

Englishpage.com says: USE 3 Scheduled Events in the Near Future Speakers occasionally use Simple Present to talk about scheduled events in the near future. This is most commonly done when ...
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Pluperfect (past perfect) versus simple past [duplicate]

The study had obtained approval by the local Research Ethics Committee, with issuance of the Protocol of Approval XXXXXXXXX. Or The study obtained approval by the local Research Ethics Committee, ...
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1answer
2k views

Did you brush? vs Have you brushed? [closed]

A: You ate this. Have you brushed your teeth? B: You ate this. Did you brush your teeth? Sentence A is in the Simple Past, while B is in the Present Perfect. Which sentence is more natural?
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1answer
705 views

Present perfect or simple past with “for the last twenty minutes”?

My teacher give me a question You know she (stand)______ looking at that picture for the last twenty minutes. and my job is complete this sentence with any verb tense provided it makes sense. My ...
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0answers
371 views

“If the family wasn't killed, maybe he'd never have left.” Why is past simple “wasn't” used here?

It's another time when I come across this sort of conditional and can't understand why there is a past simple in the "if" clause. Shouldn't there be a past perfect (hadn't been killed)? Here's the ...
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0answers
2k views

Using past perfect and past simple in complex sentences

I have the following two examples from Oxford Living Grammar textbook. The first example is: I thought I had locked the door, but perhaps I forgot? Why are we using past simple here in the second ...
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1answer
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“I have tried Russian cuisine, and I liked it.” Why do we use Past Simple? [closed]

I have tried Russian cuisine & I liked it. Why do we use Past Simple in the "I liked it" part, if 1) there's no indication of when it happened, 2) I liked it at the same time when i tried it, ...
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1answer
89 views

Past simple and present perfect: “They didn't” vs “They haven't”

Please explain what differences are implied by using two different negative forms Two years ago today, the guns were supposed to fall silent. They didn't. Two years ago, Russian fighters ...
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1answer
235 views

Struggling with simple past/present perfect in “Author X (2016) showed/has shown”

In my research article, I have many phrases that go like "Author X (2016) showed/has shown that" "Author X showed/has shown 2016 that" "The authors (X & Y, 2016) stated/have stated in ...
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1answer
108 views

Why use the past simple tense in: “before I died”?

It's The Simpsons Movie, again. Bart says this to Flanders right after he's entered the church Flanders was in. Bart: Listen, I was wondering if before I died I could pretend I had a father who ...
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1answer
248 views

How relevant is the experiential use of the present perfect to the present point of reference?

Oxford Modern English Grammar underscores the relevance of the action/state in the present perfect to the present point of reference (the moment when you speak of it), which I take as that that action/...