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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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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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Which is correct and why? He looked up at the sky and found that night ____ [fell _ had fallen _ has fallen]

Which one is correct? He looked up at the sky and found that night ___. [1] fell [2] had fallen [3] has fallen
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What tense is this in? ( present continuous, past continuous, simple present, simple past ect ) [on hold]

"There are so many things in the world that I love. Dozing in the sun at the beach after swimming, limbs exhausted, salt drying stiff in my hair. Cutting up vegetables into neat, symmetrical pieces. ...
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3answers
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Present Simple vs Present Continuous

I was doing some exercises and I stumbled upon something that isn't very clear to me. I have to fill in the gaps and explain why I use Simple Present or Present Continuous. I (to be) furious with ...
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1answer
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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.
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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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3answers
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“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
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Talking about feelings of a past event

I am confused about the use of tenses in describing an event in the past. I went to a Funfair and I played several games. (a) My favorite game is Ring toss. I like tossing the rings to the cones. ...
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Choice between past tense and present tense? [duplicate]

Todd is asking Dan about his concept of slow travel. The below is part of Dan's reply. Yeah, I mean especially maybe because I'm a blogger, we're always seeking to define things in unique ways. ...
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3answers
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Simple past or past perfect in a subordinate phrase? [closed]

Should I use the simple past or the past perfect when describing an antecedent to a past event? For example: Laura passed her exam because she studied very hard Laura passed her exam because she had ...
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2answers
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Similarity between future perfect and future perfect continuous

I had an assignment given before some days. I tried to do it and got some answers right, but it was not satisfactory. Can you tell me the similarity between future perfect and future perfect ...
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2answers
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Future tense or future perfect tense, which one should be used in this sentence?

by 2050, time travel .... possible. a) will be b) will have been which answer is correct? is it wrong to use "will be" in that case?
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Can we use 'was' instead of 'had been' keeping meaning? [migrated]

Here is two sentences: By 100 AD, the Roman Empire had been defeated. By 100 AD, the Roman Empire was defeated. Is 2nd one going to keep meaning of the 1st one?
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Mixed tenses (present & past) [closed]

I am really upset now, experts. I said there were two acceptable answers to the following, but my superiors said there was only one. Below is the question. I really wanted to talk to him in person, ...
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1answer
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has changed or had changed or was changed?

If I want to say Let's check if the entry ____, and do this and that if so. which one should I use? has changed had changed was changed has been changed And an explanation would be great!
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4answers
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A conditional sentence with present perfect

Is it correct to say: If you have finished it by then, I'll come and take it. thus using the present perfect in the "if" clause to mean the future instead of the present?
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I take or I’d take or I’ll take?

“oh I use reading tracking apps. cause I like knowing how long ‘I take’ to finish a book.” is this the correct way to say this? or should I either use “I would or I will”. I’m confused whether to use ...
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must have washed downstream VS must have been washed downstream

There are two hikers hiking near a stream. One of them seeing it in says: Look! A miner's old pack and gear! Must have washed downstream! My question is: Is it just a simple passive voice sentence ...
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1answer
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What part of speech is “surrounded” in this sentence?

"The cat was surrounded by mice." What part of speech is "surrounded" in this sentence? To me, it seems like the verb "surround" is being used as a past participle in the passive voice... hence, it's ...
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Why sometimes the “perfect” aspect denotes something that has finished and sometimes it does not?

I am sorry if I phrased the title in a way that is unclear. I will try to elaborate: Perfect tenses often are taught as expressing something that has been finished, e.g.: He has left >> The "...
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Last year I took the bus to work. Since then I've taken the train [migrated]

Just read this in a textbook (not written by natives I believe). Is that correct, unambiguous? I would expect "Since then I have been taking the train".
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1answer
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Which tense would be correct in this context?

Since I moved to my parents' old house, I have been going to work by bus. Is this tense correct? I am currently living in that house, so I believe a perfect tense is the right one, and I assume ...
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1answer
156 views

a tense in a subordinate clause

I watched Ace Ventura - Pet Detective and didn't understand past continuous usage in the scene which can be watched here: ''https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuhPPOXnyKo'' (0:42). ''I wouldn't want ...
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1answer
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Simple vs Continuous in the Past Tense and in the Future Tense

Even though I understand the difference between the simple and the continuous aspect of the English tense system, I sometimes struggle to understand what each of these two aspects expresses in some ...
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2answers
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Past tense: “happen to have” or “happened to have”?

Alice: "The earth is flat, and the sky is green."     Bob: "The earth is round, and the sky is blue." Alice: "Can you provide indisputable proof of these claims?"   &...
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1answer
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past simple or present perfect

This is an excerpt from an official Cambridge exams preparation book: "Mike: Thank you. Lots of people ........(help) us last year and we want to thank everyone." The task is to fill in the correct ...
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appreciate + present continuous

I want to ask someone to send me some information and I think that I have those two options: a) I would appreciate you sending me this information. b) I would appreciate if you sent me this ...
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What tense is the sentence “He would go to finish the job?” [migrated]

Other examples, "He would leave the store." "He would decide to help him."
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2answers
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Tense choice for actions that have been recurring simultaneously

The goal is to convey the idea that a story undergoes a change every time it is retold and that this pattern of modifying the story when retelling it began in the past and continues to this moment. ...
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1answer
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Use of present tense in a subordinate clause within a sentence that uses future tense

Is the use of tenses correct in the following sentence ? "One of the key components will be the XXX that replaces the existing YYY." In particular, the use of the present tense in the subordinate ...
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2answers
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Correct usage of preterit and past perfect

I struggle to understand how to use correctly some tense. Talking about a past situation, which of these is correct? 1a) I had left the lights on, in case he had woken up. or 1b) I had left ...
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Usage of 'have had' [migrated]

The following is a line from the novel 'Atlas shrugged' by Ayn Rand. Why, then—she wondered—should he have had to carry a burden of tragedy which, in silent endurance, he had accepted so completely ...
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2answers
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Mixing tenses and talking about the past of an imaginary discussion

I posted this question on English Learner Stack, too, but I didn't get an official answer(maybe it is because my question is kind of a complex one.) This question is relative to a topic I posted last ...
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2answers
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Can any verb in the simple present tense express a scheduled future event when used in a main clause?

Here's an article titled "NBN rolling out FttDP to 700,000 premises, replacing Optus HFC footprint": The National Broadband Network (NBN) company has announced that it will be replacing the Optus ...
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Present Perfect problem [migrated]

I am study English now and all this present perfect/perfect progressive thing just blows my mind. Here's the situation: "She's been in London for five days". I can't understand from this sentence, ...
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Which tense fits the context best?( would win or won) [migrated]

The Super Grocery Store organized a competition for kids. Whoever could guess the correct number of jellybeans in the big jar,________(to win) a prize.
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Grammar: Past perfect tense [migrated]

If someone just told me about some celebrity I didn't know about all my life. would it be natural to express this in past perfect tense. For instance: Someone tells me about me about Mohammed Ali and ...
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Which tense is correct? “Bob wanted to know if he is/was a father”

Bob wants to know if he is a father or not. A day later, Bob learns that he's a father. Then three years passes. Now which of the following is correct and why? Three years ago, Bob wanted to ...
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1answer
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When do you use “this is because” in the present tense versus “this was because” in the past tense?

I found this from a blog where the writer used this is because: Through the experience of the DSCE, I felt like my life goal had finally been achieved, but when I desperately pleaded with God to ...
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1answer
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Have been heard from

once again I'm trying to translate to my native language a sentence from the movie Ice Castles (1978). First of all, some context in a nutshell: There's a famous trainer (girl voice in the audio clip)...
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How to explain the tenses in these sentences?

So my Japanese student is having trouble understanding why the following tenses are used and I’m not sure how to explain it. My line manager wants the meeting arranged immediately. Why does that ...
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Use of 'for' for an action/state started earlier and still going on

The prepositions for and since are used to indicate the point of start of an activity. While since can be used only in perfect tenses, for can be used in any tenses. As such, is it grammatically and ...
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1answer
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Normally, which one would you like to choose? Past simple or past perfect?

Now my problem was, how was I going to get back to my farm stay house? I ________ a map with me. A. didn’t bring B. hadn’t brought C. hadn’t been bringing
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Correct way to use gerunds?

I'm having a debate on whether it is better to use gerund or past tense in my science report. Please have a look at the sentences below. When blowing into the solution, CO2 was introduced to the ...
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What is the correct present continuous form of “thunder” and “lightning”?

While describing monsoon conditions, what is the correct way to describe the ongoing action of thunder and lightning flashes? It is thundering It is lightning Are the above sentences correct?
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4answers
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Does “I like my new car” express a permanent or temporary state?

We all know that Simple Present is normally used for "more permanent state" & Present Continuous for "more temporary state" (Source) She lives with her parents. We use the present simple ...
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I am confused between the uses of simple past and present perfect here [closed]

a) If she has completed her work by monday, she can come to the office b) If she completed her work by monday, she can come to the office. Would you tell me Which and why the correct choice of tense ...
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Past Perfect usage question

„Boxer Joe Foster had fought over 100 opponents when he retired in 1994.” Why someone used Past Perfect in this senence?
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Why “hadn’t gone” and not “didn’t go”?

I came across this sentence: We thought that Joe didn’t go to the museum with the rest of the class. The Manhattan Sentence Correction Guide says it’s an incorrect construction and it should be: ...
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English studying tense [migrated]

Accouncement:”BIKE RACE 9 a.m.-10 a.m” Someone said:„At 8 a.m. the race hadn’t started” Why someone used Past Perfect in this sentence? Accouncement:”SKI JUMPING COMPETITION 11 a.m.-1 p.m.” Someone ...