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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14 views

Using present indefinite tense instead of present perfect and future indefinite tense

Can I change the form like below while formal speaking and writing? Tomorrow he will die > Tomorrow he dies. Simillarly, The match has started > The match starts. By the way, I heard the ...
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14 views

Tense inconsistency in first person narrative

I'm a newbie writer with a tense inconsistency question. Unfortunately, I was one of those people, grammar wasn't explicitly taught when I was at school. Through a massive reading habit and some self-...
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Confusing between “was delivered” and “is being delivered”

The violin __________ to the concert before the rehearsal later this afternoon. (A) was delivered (B) is being delivered Which is more appropriate? Thanks in advance. :)
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Why do people use present tense when they are quoting someone?

I've heard and used this a lot but was wondering why and is it even correct. When you are in a conversation with your mates and you are telling a story and when you try to quote someone, you say "...
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93 views

“One is done for you” or “One has been done for you”?

While I was writing a textbook I gave an exercise for students. Since the exercise was difficult, I gave an example and gave the instruction One (example) is done for you The editor corrected it ...
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why simple past?Why not present perfect? [migrated]

I have found the following sentence in Michael swan's grammar book. From his earliest childhood, he loved music. So far as I know, present perfect is used to talk about actions that have just ...
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2k views

Is “safes” an acceptable alternative to “makes safe” [closed]

Though I know it's uncommon usage (and intentionally so). Is the follow sentence legitimate? She safes the dangerous area so it cannot be stumbled upon. Obviously, modern usage would be "she ...
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37 views

Present or future tense [closed]

I am French and I live in France. I had a pal. She was a woman who lived in England. We have talked a lot for years. She died recently. I sent some flowers and on the eve of her funeral service I ...
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88 views

Sequence of the tense and its sense: “It just said…” [closed]

I happen to read the following conversation in Raymond Murphy's Grammar book. Ann: It just said on the Radio that it is going to snow Bill: Oh!, did it? I would like to change Ann's sentence ...
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40 views

He told me he often felt like he can reach me faster than his own wife - proper past tense?

What I want is to put this into past tense: He often feels like he can reach me faster than... (e.g. his own wife) 1) "He told me that he often felt like he was able to reach me faster than ...",...
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1answer
27 views

What's the correct tense?

I came across a sentence that said: For example, Philips Hue lights recently added one. Previously they would come on when power is restored. Should it be is restored or was restored? Thank you.
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34 views

take so long vs taking so long [closed]

I've worked in a market. Suddenly they stopped my work for verification purpose. They requested me to provide a student ID card. I've sent a scanned copy of my Student ID card for verification. One ...
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49 views

What do these three sentences imply?

What do the three sentences imply? 1) I thought I would never have been an engineer. 2) I thought I would never be an engineer. 3) I thought I will never be an engineer. Does the first ...
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1answer
48 views

What is the formal way to reply mail with requested attach file [closed]

Is it grammatically correct, and a formal way to reply mail with my attached ID card? If I say “I have attached my student ID card. Please check it”
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1answer
46 views

Which sentence is correct? Which tense is better to use?

How to say grammatically correct that I had a problem, but then it's gone when I tried a recommendation: I had the same problem. Thanks, recommendation above helps me! or I had the same problem....
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Use of Past tenses to tell a story

In my story, it is like this: The detective investigated my father (3 event happened). He investigated him because my father had looked suspicious (2 event) after locking a safe(1 event). He wasn't ...
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1answer
22 views

What are the tenses in this sentence?

I'd like to break this sentence down to its components and their tenses, but I'm struggling. How would you explain it? “I think we thought it would be easier” Thanks!
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2answers
69 views

How can I use formal speech in English?

I'm Patricia, from Brazil, and I'm translating my fantasy novel into English. I find it quite hard to express different levels of formality in this language. One of my characters is a mystical entity, ...
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2answers
70 views

He wished he would have met her

I do know that the much better construction is "he wished he had met her a year before", but is the construction "he wished he would have met her a year before" acceptable?
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1answer
43 views

using would + have to in non-conditional sentences

Which timeline (past vs present vs future) does this sentence indicate? Project managers would have to organize copywriters, editors, and designers as well as feedback from clients or other ...
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1answer
46 views

“was employed at” vs “had been employed at”

I am providing an "employment verification letter" to one of my past employees. He worked at my company from Oct, 2008 till Jan 2017. Which one of the following is correct? 1) He was employed at XYZ ...
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1answer
36 views

The film was disappointing. I expected it to be much better. OR The film wasn't as good as we had expected

I was reading the book Intermediate English Grammar by Raymond Murphy, and I found these two examples in the same unit. The film was disappointing. I expected it to be much better. The film ...
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“He is not so cool like the girl thought he is”, Is this a grammatically correct sentence?

I came across following sentence when watching a youtube video, probably spoken by a native english speaker. He is not so cool like the girl thought he is. Is this a grammatically correct sentence?...
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2answers
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Does “Verb to be” imply something?

This is.... blah blah. They shocked and angered, when the people sought to deprive them. compare to this This is.... blah blah. They are shocked and angered, when the people sought to deprive them....
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56 views

“I saw him run” — Why doesn't this require the past tense of “run”?

In a sentence like, "I saw him run," what is the rule that explains why "run" is in the present tense when "saw" is in the past tense? A similar construction, "She said he swam," requires past tense ...
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1answer
54 views

What is verb tense consistency?

"To his great astonishment and mortification, Sticky saw his parents begin trying less and less to find him, instead devoting their time and energy toward the proper disposal of their newfound riches" ...
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4answers
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What time are we talking about in “She’ll have bought a new mobile/cellphone yesterday”?

I encountered this sentence when I was learning another language. I have never used such a sentence in English nor seen one, but it seems it exists. What idea does this sentence trying to convey? ...
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56 views

Present Perfect Continuous - Visualization of tense [closed]

I have found a picture with visualization of various tenses and I can't understand why "I have been eating" doesn't reach Right now time because as I understand that tense means that action was ...
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1answer
54 views

Will/would be able to

My friend: I am ready to go to any country in the world if there's a treatment. Me: There's a hospital in the US – they WOULD/WILL be able to treat this. What's the difference between WOULD BE and ...
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1answer
22 views

Is my usage of 'had been' correct?

I am writing a story in first person singular past tense...Is the following usage of 'had been' in the sentence correct. Canab was a massively multiplayer online game designed and developed by ...
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1answer
62 views

Double present perfect in a compound sentence [closed]

I have two questions concerning the use of the present perfect tense twice in a compound sentence: a. He has accused John of the crime and provided evidence for it. b. He has accused John of ...
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20 views

Has had vs had a surgery/operation [duplicate]

Can someone please clarify the difference between has had and had? For example: Everyone on this ward [had | has had] [a surgery | an operation]. Almost every patient on this ward [had | has had] a ...
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1answer
56 views

“Still did” versus “still do” [closed]

I understand that "did" is past tense and "do" is present tense, but if you see a video of someone dancing a strange dance online, what is more correct to say: "I didn't realize people still did this....
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Will vs going to with a personal skill [duplicate]

Lately, we had our finals and a question popped up in that went like this: Liverpool players are known to be skilled. They ...... The match easily. The choices were: "will win" or "are going to win" ...
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1answer
43 views

Is it ok to use Present Progressive in this construction?

Recently l came across the following construction: The river which is afflicted with black lobsters is losing its fish soon. I am wondering why the writer used 'is losing' instead of the more ...
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1answer
52 views

Tenses to pair with participial phrases

I am teaching about participial phrases these days, and all examples I am able to find online have the phrases paired with simple tenses. For example: Removing his glasses, Kent Clark quickly put ...
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4answers
147 views

Using “once upon a time” in a present tense sentence?

I work in a company that sells simple children's books. A customer complained that the book changes tense randomly, and they're right. This book was created years ago and needs updating to ensure it ...
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1answer
38 views

Which of the following sentences sounds most formal? [closed]

1 - The president travels to Belo Horizonte tomorrow. 2 The president is going to travel to Belo Horizonte tomorrow. 3 The president is traveling to Belo Horizonte tomorrow. 4 The president will ...
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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 ...
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1answer
45 views

'When you say you 'did XYZ', could you tell me more?' - What tense is this?

As a poor example: Person A: 'I really liked cats when I was a child.' Person B: 'When you say you "liked cats", could you tell me more?' Person A: 'Blah blah.' I'm really wondering about the tense ...
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25 views

“has” versus “have” after the preposition “of”

In the sentences A copy of your documents has been emailed to you@gmail.com. A copy of your documents have been emailed to you@gmail.com. I believe the subject is "copy", and since "has" ...
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1answer
27 views

conditionals: what's the difference between these two sentenses?

There is a sentence in a paragraph from the novel And the Mountains Echoed: "But these were gestures, Abdullah knew, acts of duty, drawn from a well far shallower than the one she reached into for ...
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23 views

present perfect tense and past perfect tense

I read some discussions about the present perfect tense and past perfect tense on the forum. But I still feel confused about the following sentence which I saw in a magazine: "One of the most ...
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2answers
69 views

How to discern between 'set' imperative and 'set' past tense?

I have a telegram convention, where whenever an action must be taken, it uses a verb in its name. I then use the imperative for the request and past tense for the reply, e.g.: orderStart to start an ...
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1answer
53 views

Can I really get scrod?

There's a family of jokes where Person A asks where he can "get scrod" (meaning the fish), and Person B interprets "scrod" as being some obscure conjugation of the verb "to screw". Has "scrod" ever ...
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1answer
41 views

To be+past participal

I always get confused by this sentence structure 'to be+past participal' what does that mean- present perfect or future. Like in this sentence 'results to be declared by the college'. Results are ...
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2answers
70 views

has always been V.S. is always

Mark Zuckerberg said, "Our mission has, really, always been to connect the world." My questions is: Can we say "Our mission is, really, always to connect the world"? What's the difference between "...
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2answers
48 views

tenses: what's the difference between the following sentences

I am reading a novel named Thirteen Reasons Why. And there is a sentence (And that's when I realized how hard I had been crying) in a paragraph as follows: When someone finally did answer, I sucked ...
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2answers
107 views

“I saw the girl, who is standing outside our house”

I was having a conversation with my mom about this one sentence. Which option is grammatically correct? a) I saw the girl who is standing outside our house b) I saw the girl who was standing ...
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1answer
49 views

Present Simple or Past Simple

Which is more common for native speakers to use in the following construction, present or past? She is really a good friend and she never 'fails/failed' to send me a letter each month.