Questions tagged [simple-past]

Questions about the Simple Past tense.

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2
votes
2answers
19k views

'have been' vs. 'went' with time words

Sometimes I see the following in ESL learners' writing: I have been to America two years ago. Am I correct in saying that it should be: I have been to America. I went to America two years ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

how to distinguish between different uses of present perfect?

1- Complete the following exercise : I live in New York now ,but I ___________ (live) in Mexico for many years The answer is "lived" as my grammar book mentioned, But why? ,Since we use the ...
1
vote
1answer
977 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Where no man {has gone/went} before

Is there any difference between these two sentences? And how to sense the difference? Where no man has gone before. Where no man went before. The first sentence is the title of episode three of Star ...
2
votes
2answers
677 views

Why not present perfect in “Nobody told me”

There is a song by John Lennon called "Nobody Told Me". It goes like this: Nobody told me there'd be days like these / Strange days indeed As ESL learners we are told that in the presence of a ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Using simple past with and without specific time

I know that simple past is used to talk about: Completed action in the past (with specific time) A series of completed action Duration in the past Habits in the past Past facts or ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

I've just deleted the message OR I just deleted the message

Context: I was about to send you a "grammatical stuff", and that's when it hit me: "She's already studying a lot of things." That's why I've just deleted the message above. Can I use present perfect ...
3
votes
5answers
40k views

“While” followed by simple past/past continuous

I'm currently reading "Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue" by Hugh Howey. Here's a short passage with my problem zone and the subsequent question: ...Well, I'm going to go do more Officser sstuff," ...
10
votes
4answers
117k views

“Lept” vs. “leapt” vs. “leaped”

After reading this discussion, I'd like to know what example sentences distinguish the meaning of the words lept, leapt, and leaped from each other?
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Why do American people use simple past instead of present perfect with “ever”? [duplicate]

I would say British English seems to adhere to English grammar books that I learned in school more than American English. For example, I was taught that we use present perfect with "ever" because the ...
0
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2answers
541 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 ...
28
votes
2answers
57k views

“Overrode” vs “Overridden”

I got into an argument about the sentence "Have you overrode SomeThingamajig?" I thought that "have overrode" is incorrect, and should be "overrode" or "have overridden", or perhaps "did override". ...
0
votes
3answers
598 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Grammar of past events

How is it grammatically correct to say "Did you hear what I just said?"?. Is it also possible to say something as "Did you hear what i say?"?. I mean, that direct following the past simple grammar ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

The present perfect usage

According to the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL) by Geoffrey. K. Pullum and Rodney Huddlestone, there are four different uses of the present perfect tense: the continuative, the ...
-1
votes
1answer
613 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
9k views

present perfect + past simple in the same sentence

Can I use present perfect tense and simple past tense in the same sentence ? For example : Even though I have just/recently cleaned up the house, I spotted some bugs around the kitchen (today/this ...
1
vote
0answers
589 views

Which is correct: “where she went” or “where did she go”?

My friend asked me about my colleague and I replied him that "I don't know where she went". Then he replied that I must say like "I don't know where did she go". Is there any mistake in the former ...
0
votes
1answer
968 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 ...
1
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0answers
219 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
55 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
112 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
70 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”....
0
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2answers
36 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
10k views

“He was the first person” vs. “he is the first person”

What is the correct tense to be used when talking about firsts? He was the first person to reach the South Pole. He is the first person to reach the South Pole. The first one seems right, ...
0
votes
2answers
51 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
1
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3answers
1k views

Is 'used to' describing something changed?

I'm an English learner but I found that here are different ideas on "used to" among others and me. I think 'used to' is used to describe something changed now. I used to be afraid of snakes. (But ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Past continuous or past simple?

In this sentence, should I use past continuous form of the verb or past simple or it in the gap? Last night, I was sleeping in my bed, when I ------- (hear) a terrible noise. I ------ (get up) ...
1
vote
3answers
10k views

“He was telling me that he is going…” vs. “He told me that he is going…”

Is it right to say He was telling me that he will go on a vacation next week. while recounting your experience? Even though "he told me that he is going..." seems more appropriate, I would still ...
-1
votes
1answer
672 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 ...
1
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3answers
2k views

Correct use of tense

Can you please confirm which of the following three is correct? I shared some ideas with Jon, which he agrees is a good solution for the problem we are facing. I shared some ideas with Jon, ...
3
votes
1answer
224 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: ...
0
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3answers
52 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? ...
0
votes
1answer
456 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." ...
0
votes
1answer
91 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?...
1
vote
6answers
526 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 ...
0
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0answers
19 views

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.
15
votes
2answers
266k views

Can “casted” be the past tense of “cast”?

'The Hindu,' an Indian daily, reports: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely casted his vote at Chimanbhai Patel Institute opposite Karnavati club. Does the verb cast have a form as ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Past perfect or past simple in combination with present perfect?

Suppose I received a document from my colleague, studied it and then gave him feedback in a letter. How should I construct the following sentense? I have examined the document you gave me and... ...
0
votes
3answers
21k views

“I wish I didn't do” vs. “I wish I hadn't done”

Now I feel sick. I wish I [didn't eat/hadn't eaten] pork with cheese for dinner. I would use "hadn't eaten" as it was my dinner but "now I feel sick" confuses me.
1
vote
1answer
104 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
524 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
364 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
910 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
831 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 ...