Questions tagged [simple-past]

Questions about the Simple Past tense.

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29
votes
2answers
60k 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". ...
29
votes
2answers
337k views

Is it “quit” or “quitted”?

What is the correct (grammatical) simple past and past participle form of the verb quit? Is it quit or quitted? She quitted her job. (She has quitted her job.) or She quit her job. (She has ...
19
votes
2answers
31k views

Why do we say “It's time we ate” and not “It's time we eat”?

Why do we use the simple past but not the present or future in the following expressions: Don't you think it's time we went a little further Don't you think it's time we ate Don't you ...
16
votes
1answer
93k views

Which is correct: “has died” or “died”?

To me, using Present Perfect form means the event can occur again. So, saying someone has died may not be grammatically correct. Also, I noticed (it might be just coincidence): passed away ...
15
votes
2answers
272k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
154k views

How to use “text” as a verb

–verb (used without object) Digital Technology. 15. to send a text message: Texting while driving is an accident asking to happen. Can I use: I text to her but she didn't text me back. I ...
11
votes
4answers
42k views

“Have you heard?” vs “Did you hear?” and “Sally broke/has broken her leg”

Earlier today I had a private lesson with an Italian student—intermediate level, who has been studying the present perfect vs. past simple tense. His teacher had given him an exercise where a list of ...
10
votes
3answers
51k views

Is it correct to say “I found the map” or “I have found the map”? [closed]

Is it correct to say "I found the map" or "I have found the map"?
10
votes
1answer
10k views

Why is “transferred” written with two R's?

Why is transferred written with two R's? I am a native speaker of Dutch, and in my point of view this isn't logical; there are other words like coloured and endeavoured that only have -ed added after ...
10
votes
4answers
120k 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?
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Is “forwent” used much?

I see "forgo" used quite a bit, and "forgone" is quite common too. I can't say I've ever seen or heard of "forwent" and in fact, I had to look it up to make sure it even was a word at all. Is it ...
9
votes
3answers
28k views

Can “pro rata” be used as a verb? And what should the past tense be?

We are offering prices on some subscriptions which are normally priced for a full year, but allow users to buy only a few months worth. We're calling these pro rata prices and talking about the ...
9
votes
4answers
20k views

Usage question: “I hadn't drank any coffee before I lived in Italy.”

Ok, so as an English teacher, I know that in the present and past perfect tenses, the auxiliary verb have is followed by the past participle form of the verb. Using most verbs, I find that this is ...
8
votes
2answers
245k views

“Fall”, “fell”, “felled”

How is the causative form of fall used in English? In the present tense, often enough, A tree falls in the woods, but a logger falls trees as well. but in the past tense, A tree fell in the ...
8
votes
5answers
11k 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why has “sware” become “swore”, “bare” “bore”, etc?

As far as I know, there are four verbs (swear, bear, tear, and wear) whose simple past forms used to be (archaically) sware, bare, tare, and ware; but are now exclusively swore, bore, tore, and wore. ...
7
votes
6answers
55k views

“Told” vs. “said to” somebody

I told him that you hate him I said to him that you hate him I was choosing between these two options, and I can't help thinking about the subtle differences. For example, "I told him your ...
7
votes
4answers
196k views

“I have received” vs. “I received”

The option of using simple past vs. present perfect in situations like the following has been bothering me for quite some time. I sent you a letter a few days ago; I was wondering if you have ...
7
votes
5answers
25k views

Is it correct to use “got” when expressing the simple past tense in British English?

I'm an American and my daughter is learning British English in school, so when I help her with her homework, I have to know the British rules. She writes: I have got a horse poster. I understand ...
7
votes
5answers
43k views

“hadn't thought” vs. “didn't think”

Which is correct? It was late and I was trying to do your package quickly and hadn't thought that I could put everything together. or It was late and I was trying to do your package quickly and ...
6
votes
2answers
936 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

The habitual past “would” versus “simple past” tense

One can use the habitual past 'would' to describe past events. For example one could say, Jim would spend weekends at the farm. He would cut weed and water the plants. One can also use the simple ...
5
votes
3answers
11k views

The pronunciation of “ate”

I was talking to some friends and I said "I ate (/et/) chocolate yesterday...". Then my friend corrected me: "you ate (/eit/) chocolate...". I repeated my sentence with the /eit/ pronunciation and we ...
5
votes
2answers
328 views

Why is the progressive form used here?

In February 1825 he married Julianne Thiemer, daughter of a property owner and well-established glove-maker in Seesen. Heinrich, a cabinet maker without property, a Beiwohner(boarder), was marrying up....
5
votes
2answers
26k views

Fixed vs Have Fixed

Suppose I am writing an email to let people know I fixed a bug (and committed the fix). What should I write ? I have fixed the bug and committed the fix or I fixed the bug and committed the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Tense used with statistics

I would like to place a statistics in front of the sentence, followed by the agency that has reported it. The findings and reports were done many years ago. Which of the two is correct and why? ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

I didn't phone Peter this morning / I haven't phoned Peter this morning [duplicate]

Example: I'm calling Peter at work at 9:00 this morning. He isn't answering, and the only way for me to call him is at work. At 10:00 in the morning, I finish my work, as usual. I leave my business ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

“I went to the hotel you were staying at” vs. “you stayed at”

Is there a difference in meaning between these two sentences? I went to the hotel you were staying at when you were in New York. I went to the hotel you stayed  at when you were in New York. Perhaps ...
4
votes
3answers
16k views

Why don’t people ever say “I have wanted to ask”?

Why do people never say the following: I have wanted to ask. . . . Maybe it would be better to ask whether it’s correct to say: I have wanted to ask. . . . But really I think I’ve never heard ...
4
votes
4answers
74k views

“we spent together” or “we have spent together”?

Seeing as 2010 has just recently ended, which is grammatically more correct? Thanks everybody for the great 2010 moments we spent together! vs Thanks everybody for the great 2010 moments we've ...
4
votes
2answers
104k views

“Is used” vs. “has been used” vs. “was used”

I have three sentences of which I'm not sure which one is grammatical, and why. It refers to the Eiffel Tower. It is used as the symbol of Paris and of France for over a century. It was ...
4
votes
1answer
12k views

“Sought” vs. “searched”

Can sought and searched be used interchangeably? As in "we searched for an article" versus "we sought an article". (Or if I got those two examples wrong, but there are correct examples where sought ...
4
votes
2answers
652 views

“Decided to do X the next time she went for a walk” vs. “…the next time she goes for a walk”

I came across this sentence in the book Grammar Essentials for Dummies which confused me. The lion with a thorn in her paw decided to wear sneakers the next time she went for a walk in the jungle. ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Can “earlier this year” be used in the present perfect?

Is "earlier this year" a specific time reference? i.e. Can you say (A) is definitely wrong and (B) is right? (A) Earlier this year, ABC, Inc., has conducted a survey. (B) Earlier this year, ABC, ...
4
votes
1answer
52k views

Which is better: “was dead” / “died” / “has passed away” in my case? [duplicate]

I came across a question in Chinese@SE, which is about a status update of someone's cat. I asked the OP in the comment whether the cat was dead at that time: I assume his cat was dead, can you ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Where have you been for your last vacation?

I'm about to work at an English Hagwon in Korea. Hagwon is the Korean term for a private language school so unique to this nation only. I received this textbook and on its first page there are some ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I reply in the past simple or in the present perfect? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Present perfect for past action with present effect Is this sentence correct? What exactly does it mean? Person 1: Where did you hide my keys? Person 2: I put them on ...
3
votes
2answers
59k views

“Did you do it?” vs “Have you done it?”?

If someone did something that made me mad, which is correct to say: Did you do it? have you done it? If not, what is the proper situation for saying Did you do it?
3
votes
5answers
15k views

“I knew him for…” or “I had known him for…”?

I'm writing a short story, and I'm unsure about the right tense to use. The first two sentences are: I knew Mr. Brown for exactly 15 minutes. He had met me at the entrance and was now ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Why present perfect in “How many points have you scored this season”? [duplicate]

Normally we use the past simple instead of present perfect when an action happened at a specific time in the past and is not linked with the present. Why is this sentence grammatically correct? ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Past tense of “to cast” in the programming sense

In programming, to cast (also: to typecast) means to convert an object from one type to another (see Wikipedia). I'd like to know the correct past tense of to cast in this sense. Is it cast or casted?...
3
votes
5answers
42k 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," ...
3
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
77 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”....
3
votes
1answer
336 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/...
3
votes
2answers
683 views

Verb agreement for something that was discussed in the past, while the issue still exists in the present [duplicate]

How do you write something that was discussed in the past, while the issue still exists in the present? The discussion resulted in the committee members highlighting crucial areas that need to ...
3
votes
3answers
963 views

“I burned the toast” vs. “I've burned the toast”

I have a question about a sentence I read in the comic strip Garfield. Garfield's owner, Jon, brings him a burnt piece of toast saying, I burned the toast. Well, once there's no time specified ...
3
votes
2answers
517 views

Do I so often encounter simple past for past participle (e.g., “I have went,” “what was did to her”) because of where I am or when?

Since moving to small-town northern Minnesota (USA) two dozen years back to teach English, I have noticed a lot of instances in spoken language where the simple past is used in lieu of the past ...
3
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
327 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: ...