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Questions tagged [tenses]

A set of forms taken by a verb to indicate the time and/or completeness and continuance of the action in relation to the time of the utterance.

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Sentence correction with adverb never and verb been [migrated]

One of my friends commented on my photo "You deserve to live in pastel color palette! Such a doll, I replied, You have portrayed me in such a way where I have never been imagined myself. Is this ...
Sajit Rahman Rony's user avatar
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'Had' or 'has' when speaking about a pair of one deceased and one living [migrated]

I am trying to talk about the likelihood I will lose my hair as I age, speaking about both my father and my grandfathers. My father's hair has begun to thin, one of my grandfathers still has a full ...
t.lamb's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
102 views

Is the imperative a grammatical tense?

Here I have read the following sentence: Write it, along with the rest of your message, in the imperative tense: Up until now I always thought that imperative is not a grammatical tense but a ...
bitbonk's user avatar
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1 vote
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Tense usage in counterfactual conditionals with non-counterfactual clauses

Imagine the following situation: My superior is to come with an inspection is a few hours. The visit is expected to be quite unpleasant and therefore I write to my absent coworker to urge him to come: ...
Anton Popov's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
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When it comes to names and pronouns, what takes precedence: past, present, or future?

This answer on Chess Stack Exchange said it’s grammatically incorrect to call someone by their current pronoun in a sentence talking about a hypothetical future scenario when their pronoun would be ...
clickbait's user avatar
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2 votes
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Using "might" in past tense [duplicate]

I'm aware that "may" is generally present tense and "might" is generally past tense, but I came across a sentence in my writing that made me think I might have switched to present ...
Joshua's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
138 views

What is the name of the tense referred to in a conditional clause relative to a subjunctive sentence?

Is the word "was" correct? How would you describe the grammatical tense? Sometimes the yogurt would have a bit of an off-taste, and we would wonder if the batch was going bad because of the ...
Jason S's user avatar
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1 answer
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Do you back-shift the tense if <present perfect> + <present perfect>

Could someone clarify if the tense should be back-shifted when the main clause is present perfect. A: James has already watched the film. B: James has already emailed me about it. A+B (without ...
Yardley Y's user avatar
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Present simple or future conditional

While writing a research proposal, I encountered the following issue. Consider the following two variants: Present simple: I would like to measure X. Finding evidence that X is large is helpful to ...
Notone's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
34 views

Is it okay to use the past simple tense to describe continuous action in a chapter's opening sentence?

Consider: CHAPTER 7. Reclining on the couch, Sofonisba WAS STUFFING her face with Horatius’ omelet, chasing it down with tomato juice and occasionally adjusting her unbrushed dyed hair. OR: ...
Ricky's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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The tense and meaning of 'Would have changed' [closed]

In an article, a film director talks about her film. "It says something about a woman, about a way of living a life, about life after the war. It was the first thing I had to pour out of myself&...
Moha's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
675 views

Common/natural ways we might use the continuous and perfect continuous for the verb "to be" ("will be being", "will have been being")?

I was trying to construct example sentences of the verb "to be" in the usual 12 tenses (or tense-aspects). First we have these sentences (no problem here): Simple Present: He is a teacher. ...
user182601's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
85 views

Why is the subjunctive mood considered tenseless? Is "would be able to" not explicitly a future (perfect) construction?

I've read through the responses on this question, but I don't feel like they address the idea that English subjunctive clauses lack inflection (per Wikipedia). I'm looking at this sentence, for ...
Bobadabebe Ih'tsaboih's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
534 views

Using the conjunction "when" with the Present Perfect, Present Perfect Continuous, Past Simple and the Past Continuous Tense

From a grammatical point of view, I'm trying to understand the use of these tenses in the "when" clause. I'll give you an example. All of these example sentences are from native English ...
MickeyQ's user avatar
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1 answer
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Correct use of the verb in terms of pronoun and number

I'm an English student yet, and today I had this sentence and this question. In the sentence: "I am a person that does not like routine but rather tries to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.&...
MariaD's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
121 views

Two Infinitives in a Row, but Dropping “To”?

Was just thinking about English vs. Spanish and thought about the following sentence: “We can try to run” In Spanish, I believe this translates as: “Podemos intentar correr” In Spanish, intentar and ...
Sabrina's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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All I was saying "is" ... or All I was saying "was"

Which of these is more appropriate? All I was saying is that you're the more responsible one or All I was saying was that you're the more responsible one Both feel correct to me.
whoisit's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
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If the first half of the sentence is a hypothetical scenario and other half is the postulated outcome, should one use "had been" or "was"?

Apologies for possibly a dumb question. Let's be honest, IF it was the other way around the build would have been blocked and if by any chance it was released, it would have caused some serious ...
Jupiter's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
25 views

has won her ... on Saturday

If the following extract of a news story was published on Saturday, is it okay to use the present tenses and expressions like "on Saturday" rather than simply "today"? American ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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Continuous form of verb or Present participle? [duplicate]

Expanded version: Nobody likes to talk with the man who is sitting on the rock alone. Reduced version: Nobody likes to talk with the man sitting on the rock alone. How is it possible that in the ...
raj rajput's user avatar
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The crowd _____(was/were) dispersed by the police [duplicate]

Here, the people comprising the crowd are dispersing in different directions, right? So, the word 'crowd' is no longer a singular unit. Kindly, someone confirm the answer.
Ananya Priyadarshini's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
30 views

Modifying a sentence object

In one study, for instance, bar codes were placed on bees, tracking their activities. Is this correct? Or do we say... In one study, for instance, bar codes were placed on bees to track their ...
user492032's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
24 views

Verb tense in academic writing [closed]

Consider this sentence. X studied fault structure using method A. Y studied fault structure using method B. However, the geometrical complexity of a fault remained poorly understood. Do I have to ...
Saint Paul's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
99 views

Verb tense in Phineas and Ferb song “History of Rock”

I've been learning English for decades but I still don't get how its verb tenses work. The Phineas and Ferb episode “Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together” has the song “History of Rock”. In its ...
b_jonas's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
94 views

Sequence of tenses in dialogue: why is "No, can't say I had" used in response to "Perhaps you didn't notice?"?

From the movie "No Time to Die": Nomi: The world's moved on since you retired, Commander Bond. Perhaps you didn't notice? Bond: No, can't say I had." Why did Bond use "had" ...
moskit's user avatar
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0 answers
33 views

Why do podcasters and writers do this - use of would? [duplicate]

I was listening to a true crime podcast this morning and it reminded me of several others I have heard in the past. They repetitively refer to an action that was going to happen after the point in the ...
Pami's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
74 views

At this time tomorrow, I am playing cricket [closed]

I know that: At this time tomorrow, I will be playing cricket. is used since the so-called future continuous is used to talk about a continuous activity at a specific time in the future. Even ...
Jvlnarasimharao's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
449 views

What is the grammatical mood of the sentence "Someone stop that person"?

I was discussing with some friends the grammatical tense of the verb stop in the sentence: Someone stop that person. Despite searching online we did not find a consensus/solution, so we have decided ...
Matheus Manzatto's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
66 views

Can we mix past perfect, present progressive, etc. in conditionals? [duplicate]

Is it acceptable / possible to mix past perfect, present progressive, etc. in conditionals? In particular: The 2nd conditional (apologies to those who reject this common but by no means universal ...
user488134's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
47 views

Someone "is" or "was" the first female surgeon if they're still alive and still a surgeon? [duplicate]

I'm proofreading something but --- you might say Obama "was" the first black president since he's no longer President. Or maybe it is "is"? Dead people are generally always "...
user45867's user avatar
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1 answer
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"As Puss has told them earlier, they all say the Marquis." How should I correct this sentence?

I was told that this sentence is so wrong, and after reading some related threads here, I now understand that "earlier" should be used with past tense. So is it okay if I change the sentence ...
Stacy Chen's user avatar
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0 answers
60 views

Do Interrogative Negative forms in the simple present tense imply only two situations?

Is it correct to say that, in English, when you use the Present Simple tense in the Interrogative Negative form you are either implying the negative or just confirming the affirmative (depending on ...
MD11's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
49 views

Hello, I need help in understanding the grammatical tense of this phrase [closed]

It is easy to see how primitive warfare might sometimes have beneficial environmental effects; it is not clear how they could amount to a cause of primitive warfare. Could you tell me, please, what ...
Dmitry's user avatar
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0 answers
59 views

Is the tense within this sentence consistent? Confusion between 'ed' and 'ing'

I have a few sentences in my resume that have been prompted by an auto-resume reviewer that my tenses may not be correct. Reading the sentence back to myself, it does feel a bit off now that they said ...
codinator's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
69 views

In the sentence “Generic Band releases their new album next month.” does the use of “releaseS” indicate present tense or future tense? [duplicate]

I think it’s present tense because of the active (?) verb ‘releases’, but I’m a little thrown because the action will be in the future. An answer for another question said when the action takes place ...
comma's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
361 views

Incorrect use of 'had' in this past perfect tense

I saw this fill in the blanks question in my exam: Before we ___ our meal, he ___ us back to work. There were four options to this question: finished, had ordered have finished, ordered had ...
Vipul Tyagi's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why was the past tense used here? "I died an X"

In 2023 movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, this conversation took place when a character was dying: Dying character: (holding Scott's cheek) Thanks, Scott. You always were a brother to me. ...
Snack Exchange's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
173 views

Is it correct to start a hypothetical or future tense sentence with "if I am..."? [closed]

My partner frequently starts sentences with "If <present tense statement>" where the present tense statement is referring to a future or hypothetical situation. Examples: "If I ...
Hugo G's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
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Bit as a p.p. form of bite (v)

The Merriam-Webster dictionary lists bit as an alternative past participle form of the verb bite, with bitten. bite (1 of 2) (verb) (ˈbīt); bit (ˈbit); bitten (ˈbi-tᵊn) also bit; biting As far as I ...
tommyaq's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
156 views

"When" + future perfect usage

A Scots friend of mine corrected my usage of future perfect in this construction: Right, see you in five years when your mother tongue will have taken another ten steps back. Maybe the construction ...
Titus Toia's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
95 views

What tense is this rhetorical question? [closed]

I'm having trouble figuring out the tense of this sentence: What heart wouldn’t fill with awe upon hearing the events of her birth?
silver's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
734 views

after movement have ceased (Steinbeck)

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley (1962): "That discussion, however, did not go into the life span of journeys. This seems to be variable and unpredictable. Who has not known a journey to be ...
Exp's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
35 views

Use of Past Perfect if an interlocutor doesn't know about a moment in the past

We use Past Perfect to speak about actions before some moment in the past. What if my speaking partner doesn't know about a moment in the past? I had done everything. (I don't mention it, but in ...
gelerum's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
187 views

"Get" vs "are" usage and tense in informal writing [duplicate]

I am helping a friend edit a manuscript for an informal reference book about music. There are several instances where I am perceiving a mixture of tense but I'm not sure how or whether to correct it. ...
JYelton's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
282 views

"It was time they began/had begun"

Which version is the correct indirect form of this sentence: The boss said, “It’s time we began planning our work”. 1. The boss said that it was time they began planning their work. 2. The boss said ...
Manish's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
2 answers
153 views

Would a nit-picking grammarian object to "Probably best you don't know"? [closed]

From Boston Legal (or your everyday conversation): "He and I will be going on a little vacation." "Where?" "Probably best you don't know." Being short for "It ...
Ricky's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
83 views

Execution By Hanging [closed]

When referring to execution by hanging, it is grammatically correct to say: The offender is to be hanged. Instead of: The offender is to be hung. When referring to historic methods of execution, ...
Matthew Layton's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
57 views

Correct usage of 'had' [closed]

I was recently studying a paragraph in which I came across a sentence, which was below: The British king, Charles I, had inherited a very difficult financial situation from his father. However, I ...
Vipul Tyagi's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
52 views

Present simple or present continuous when the subclause is present simple?

I've prepared the following gap-fill exercise for my students (I'm in the EFL teachers programme): Lilli ……………… (sit) on the saddle while her friend Victoria pushes her from behind. However, I'm not ...
Christian Benke's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
35 views

Why does the simple present tense change to the past progressive (rather than the simple past) in some cases?

Consider: "What are you up to right now?" "I hope to secure an appointment with her." As opposed to: "What were you up to just then?" "I was hoping to secure an ...
Ricky's user avatar
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