Questions tagged [simple-past]

Questions about the Simple Past tense.

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1answer
266 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 ...
2
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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 ...
3
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1answer
312 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/...
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2answers
948 views

“Scarcely did/had she put down the phone when it rang again”

Which is correct: Scarcely did she put down the phone when it rang again. Scarcely had she put down the phone when it rang again. My own take is that both are correct, but that "had she" ...
-1
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1answer
922 views

Using “had” + past participle of verb in “simple past” style [duplicate]

I had paid my bill. I paid my bill. I just want to make sure that the first sentence is correct. I understand that the second sentence is called simple past. If I use had as in the first sentence, is ...
-1
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2answers
677 views

Difference between simple past and past perfect in one sentence

And the hatred for Tammany that had been ignited by his idealism was fueled by the wreckage the Tiger had made of his ambitions. Why passive form of simple past is being used in the middle of the ...
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2answers
82 views

Are tenses in this quotation sequenced correctly?

One of the examples listed in Oxford Dictionary for Learners caught my attention. Regularly I can explain the grammar of all examples listed there, but not this time. The quotation is: As a child ...
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1answer
476 views

A question about present perfect tense and simple past tense with if clause [closed]

I've been thinking of an enquiry, turning in my head, and as I couldn't get a satisfactory answer,or rather, people around me did not answer it confidently, I suspect the answers given by them. So I ...
-1
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1answer
658 views

Does simple past always indicate an event that happened at a 'specific time' in the past? [closed]

From what I understand, the verb tense 'simple past' is used for an event that happened at a specific time in the past. The sentence 'Sam played tennis yesterday.' is simple past because it happened ...
1
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1answer
246 views

Past Simple VS Past Continues

They came, four by four, down the vast hall between double rows of columns. The drum beat dully. No voice spoke, no eye watched. Torches carried by black-clad girls burned reddish in the shafts of ...
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2answers
694 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 ...
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0answers
221 views

Past Perfect with the word “within”

My question is about the use of the Past Perfect Simple in the following excerpt: Back in 1995, when Bezos was shipping books from his garage, Pierre Omidyar, a software programmer, started coding a ...
0
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1answer
378 views

Which tense do I use when describing the past in a story that's written in simple present?

As mentioned above, the story is written in simple present. The character, however, has an internal monologue about the past. Do I use simple past or past perfect?
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2answers
3k views

Simple past or Present Perfect with “this week” [duplicate]

Please look at the following, a) I finished my work this week. This means I am either speaking at the end of the week or that I am speaking on any day of the week expecting no more work for the ...
1
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1answer
340 views

Simple Past vs Present Perfect to express experience in the past [closed]

At least in American English it is common to say Did you watch that movie? When I would expect people to say Have you watched that movie? The later sounds correct to me because it's the ...
1
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1answer
40 views

I want that my teammates run faster. Did I write the underlined part of sentence below right [closed]

I want that my teammates run faster. Did I write the underlined part of sentence below right? "I screamed for my teammates to they run quicker"
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2answers
5k views

What are the differences between “When did she move in?” & “When has she moved in?” [duplicate]

I am a bit confused! I am not sure whether the native English speakers choose to use "When did she move in?" or "When has she moved in?". If we use simple past tense, we imply that the specific time ...
1
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1answer
907 views

Are past perfect and simple past interchangeable when describing events that happen for some time in the past?

I'm using an exercise from the Purdue Owl to understand tense usage. The exercise, which uses an excerpt from Alex Haley's Roots, can be found here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/exercises/2/22/51 ...
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1answer
432 views

Past Simple with “this week” [closed]

Is there a mistake in the sentence "He didn't do his homework this week"? I mean is it possible to use Past Simple
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1answer
10k views

“you checked” or “you have checked”

/** * @returns {string} The type of the variable that you checked/have checked. */ function check($var) { } Should I use checked or have checked in the above comment? Why? Note: I don’t know why ...
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4answers
11k views

difference between: I used to smoke. vs I use to smoke [closed]

I am comfused between I used to smoke. and I use to smoke. What is the meaning of both the sentences? Are both the sentences grammatically correct? Actually simple present is also used ...
5
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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 ...
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1answer
193 views

Why past perfect and not simple past was used in this case? [duplicate]

I'm watching "World War 2" show and narrator said: This was fertile ground for a new breed of rabble rousing right wing politicians. Among them Adolf Hitler. Hitler HAD BEEN born in Austria. He HAD ...
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2answers
3k views

Past Simple or Present Perfect with “Never”? [duplicate]

I have this example in my practice book where I need to use the Past Simple or Present Perfect: My grandfather died before I was born. I have never met him. The right answer is "I never met him". ...
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1answer
167 views

Can the choice between Present Perfect vs Past Simple be influenced by external events?

What is meant by 'an external event'? For example, death. Let there be two celebrities, one who is still alive (Leonardo DiCaprio), and one who is dead (Christopher Lee, who played Saruman in the "...
3
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3answers
883 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 ...
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3answers
827 views

Should I repeat the past perfect “had”?

Jumping straight into my question, consider these two sentences: He had finished the recitation and closed the book. He had finished the recitation and had closed the book. Which of the ...
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3answers
2k views

Simple past of the verb subset

What is the simple past of the verb to subset? The simple past of set is set. But, I see it written as subsetted, as in: Each row in the matrix specifies the location of one value, where each ...
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1answer
26k views

“ Did you were at home ? ” or “Were you at home ?” [closed]

I don't know when I should use "Did you were..." and when I should use "Were you...". For example, Why do we say: "Were you at home last night?" but not "Did you were at home last night?"
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1answer
131 views

Present perfect or past simple another situation

A couple days ago I stumbled upon a sentence that I couldn't get my head around. In the sentence: I have read all of the author's books; Gregor gave me the first book of the series. I know it ...
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2answers
197 views

Present perfect or past simple why

A couple days ago I stumbled upon a sentence that I couldn't get my head around. In the sentence: I have read all of his books, Gregor gave me the first book. I know it sounds wrong if you say: ...
7
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5answers
40k 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Should I describe a book I've read in the past or present tense?

For example, should I say, "Recently, I finished a novel that was called The Pyrates. The plot of it was that a hero called Avery was sent by the King of England blah, blah, blah." OR "Recently I ...
1
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2answers
434 views

How often do people use “would” when they are talking about past events?

I've recently learned from a grammar book that in English we can use "would" to describe repeated actions in the past. Actually, I try reading a lot books in English, listening to songs, aticles from ...
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1answer
121 views

Past Simple vs Past Perfect 79

The company would demand a payment since she (missed)/(had missed) the last. 'had missed' is correct here because it happened during some time in the past before scecific event(deadline of period ...
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3answers
257 views

Should I use Past Simple or Past Perfect in this sentence? [duplicate]

He (broke)/(had broken) his leg in March and had been in hospital for about five weeks. I think it should be (had broken) because it happened before he went to hospital. Is it correct?
2
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2answers
11k views

“I thought we talked…” vs. “I thought we had talked…” [duplicate]

I'm not a native English speaker and I find English quite difficult and confusing and one of the reasons is because of its tenses—which I find challenging and rewarding once everything becomes clear—...
0
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0answers
43 views

Simple Present, Simple Past or Past perfect progressive? [duplicate]

Suppose if there's a web site which was out of service yesterday. And it's still down today. Which sentence below should I tell the web master? The web site is down/(out of service) since yesterday. ...
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1answer
4k views

“papers that (have been / were) published”: which is better? [closed]

Which of the following sentences is correct? 1) During my career I have worked on papers that have been published. 2) During my career I have worked on papers that were published.
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4answers
699 views

Why is the Present Perfect used in: “I've returned every spring for the last four years”?

I have read this text about a man who has spent a terrible holiday (in the island of Thassos) due to the disorganisation of the travel company. In fact the text consists in the complaint letter that ...
1
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3answers
31k views

Was removed vs has been removed [duplicate]

I am not a native speaker and would like to know the difference between these two: 1. Profile was removed 2. Profile has been removed Yes I know it is Past Simple vs Present Perfetc. For me, the ...
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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.
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2answers
8k views

What is the difference between “broke” and “was broken”?

What is the difference between "broke" and "be broken" in the following? The pot broke as I kicked it. The pot was broken as I kicked it.
2
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2answers
2k views

Present perfect or past simple - “the best movie I (saw/'ve seen) this year”

I know the rule is to use past simple when you specify the time when the described action happened, but I strangely dislike this sentence and I'm not sure if the rule applies: "It's the best movie I ...
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4answers
346 views

The usage of “if” in sentences that deal with what is possible to happen in the future [closed]

I recently came up with a problem to form sentences with a particular structure. I thought that I already knew how to form such sentences subconsciously, but by listening to native speakers ...
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2answers
2k views

Simple Past and Present Perfect together

An original line from Stratfor's Decade Forecast: 2015-2025, published in February: The world has been restructuring itself since 2008, when Russia invaded Georgia and the subprime financial crisis ...
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1answer
51 views

Past perfect and simple perfect difference

This is an excerpt from a newspaper. In September 2014 the Delhi high court had restrained the institute from using words like...... Why are we using "had" here.. Can we use past indefinite?
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2answers
633 views

Why is the present perfect used for a past action? [duplicate]

I know I've been asking a lot of questions lately about tenses. But please bear with me here. NASA scientists have decided to delay the space shuttle's launch in order to determine whether recently ...
2
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1answer
423 views

Past Perfect Confusion

In a book these two forms are acceptable: Before a complete version of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women appeared in 1880, the book had been published in two separate volumes. AND Before a ...
2
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1answer
784 views

Past Perfect vs. Present Perfect

I am a new member on this site. So please guide me somewhere else if I post anything incorrect. I have been working on these two sentence corrections that ask about Present Perfect, Past Perfect and ...