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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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Is there something wrong with using “said (that)” in this sentence?

Quick context, work as a translator. I had a short blurb I had to translate where I basically rendered it as: "Bob spoke about how Countryland was one of the countries that suffered greatly from ...
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What is the proper past and present tense of using shrink wrap and why?

I'm an esl person and am wondering what the best phrasing of this 'shrink-wrap' word is. past tense: I shrink-wrapped the food. I shrunk-wrapped the food. I shrunk shrink-wrap around the food. I ...
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2answers
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The use of tense in technical writing

I am having trouble writing a technical document where the present and future activities are described theoretically. For instance: Study A plans to enroll 300 patients. Patients shall have either ...
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61 views

Which tense to use when describing a blueprint of sorts?

I thought I might ask here as well. So I'm writing a paper and I want to define the experimental process. I have two challenges. Firstly, when I define the experimental process, I want to write it ...
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2answers
176 views

using past tense for the future - is it correct?

In the show Westworld, Anthony Hopkins uses this structure, as: As soon as Dr.Ford left the room, he would put an end to this nightmare. now the question is, shouldn't the sentence be like: As ...
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3answers
55 views

What tense to use with when along with past perfect

Consider this sentence: He had felt this pain earlier, when he drew the bow. My intuition would be that the sentence is incorrect, and that the correct form is: He had felt this pain earlier, when ...
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2answers
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What tense is “I could have played tennis.”?

My understanding is that the sentence I will have played tennis. is future perfect. But, what happens if I substitute the word "will" with a modal such as "could" or "ought to"? Does that change ...
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1answer
675 views

Tenses to use when writing minutes

I understand that you must use past tense when writing minutes. However, there are some instances when I am not sure if past tense should be used as it would either change the meaning of the sentence ...
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3answers
848 views

Introducing reported speech- has said/ said

Please consider the following sentences: Jane Smith has said her son cries when she comes back home. Jane Smith said her son cries when she comes back home. Dave Bloggs has told me what ...
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50 views

“Since he did” vs “since he had done”

everyone! Could you please help me to choose between these two variants? "He said he had been working in this laboratory (lab) since he graduated." "He said he had been working in this laboratory (...
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1answer
23 views

What tense should I use, present or past?

I was wondering if I am describing my feelings towards an event happened in the past in my diary, should I use past or present tense? " I think this is an exciting activity." OR " I think this was an ...
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902 views

i studied or was studying

Now I am 60years old and I want to say that sometime in the past i was at Oxford university 5 years for example but without a specific time in the past,30 or 40years ago etc. 1) "i have studied at ...
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Gone/Been with “go + sport ending in -ing”

I understand how to use the verbs to be and to go in the present perfect tense, but I was wondering whether the same rules apply in phrases such as go + sport/activity ending in -ing, e.g. go swimming....
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3answers
67 views

Present Perfect tense in combination with 'for/in/since'

I'm currently having a discussion with a friend regarding the usage of a present perfect tense in combination with for/in/since etc. It revolves around this sentence: Traffic has been a big problem ...
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52 views

Is the action “had ever” understandable

What is the correct use "had ever" or "have never" tried it? Are both acceptable? The quote my question comes from is, "Marijuana use seems to be hovering, with about 36 percent of students saying ...
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2answers
69 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct?

The following sentence is grammatically correct: He swung his legs, and sang a song. But I'm unsure if this is correct: He swung his legs, singing a song. It sounds correct to me, but I'm not ...
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1answer
27 views

Past Continuous Tense vs Past Perfect Continuous Tense

In the following sentences, which of the expressions in bold is correcet? Why is the other one not correct? How does the meaning change with each one? My parents got engaged in 1990. They had ...
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198 views

Tenses in sentences with more than two verbs

I´ve spent a fortune on swimming lessons. Next month I will have been training for three years and I don´t think I _______________(can) dive successfully when I go to Mexico this summer. If I thought ...
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4answers
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Present perfect simple, yes but why? [on hold]

Although very often the present perfect simple and progressive forms can be used interchangeably. Why is the simple form necessary here. "They have completely restored their home " is it because of "...
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23 views

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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1answer
67 views

Is “helped paved” construction correct? (It's very prevalent—perhaps it's dated?)

I am proofreading a text with the following sentence: "By the time Henry died, he had helped paved the way for the future of economics." If "helped paved" is incorrect (and should be "helped pave" ...
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2answers
951 views

First-person narrative of a story occurring at the moment

When narrating a story from the first-person perspective in the present tense, would the following be correct? I wake up at 7 am and see no sunlight entering my room. Thinking I'm up too early, I ...
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1answer
30 views

Past or present tense when reporting the views of another?

When reporting the views of another person, what tense should I use? Here are three fragments of a paragraph from a text I am currently writing: "Another objection is that Friedman overestimates the ...
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1answer
6k views

“should say that” vs “should have said that”

Example 1: It was odd (that) you should say that Example 2: It was odd (that) you should have said that I don't understand what the putative should implies when it's constructed with the present ...
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1answer
94 views

What tense in a scientific paper

I am currently writing my first scientific paper and therefore I am wondering which tense I should use in it. I'd tend to use a future tense, but present perfect seems to be suitable as well. e.g. ...
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2answers
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Can present tense be used without an adverb like “usually” or “always” when describing a habit?

I understand we use the present tense when we describe habits. "My dog always sleeps under the bed." "It usually sits on the sofa." Does it make sense if I leave 'always' and 'usually' out? as in ...
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When we have two verbs in the “if clause” of a conditional sentence, should we use 2 past tenses in the “if clause”?

I know this might sound basic but it's been a while I've been facing contradictory answers from different teachers. I wanted to know which one would be the perfect sentence: "If I told you I am a cop,...
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Distinguishing between the present and future in future real conditionals

Grammar articles say that we use constructions like: "If he does this, that will/can happen". And it's said that we cannot usually use "If he will do this, that will happen". But there are some ...
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2answers
18k views

He has just been offered or he was offered

What are the differences in meaning between these two sentences: He was just offered a well-paid job with Radio Four. (Past Simple Passive) He has just been offered a well-paid job with Radio ...
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1answer
58 views

Knew, realized + the past/present

Please consider the following: I knew the building (IS/WAS) thirty feet tall. They realized I (AM/WAS) his son. My question: both those clauses contain general truths. So, do I need to use ...
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Adjective + the present/past [duplicate]

Would you please consider the following: Riana (WAS/IS) so quick a thinker that she decided to dodge left when the knife was swung to her. My question: Riana is still alive and her being ...
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4answers
631 views

What should be the right tense in this sentence?

I read this sentence in a book recently: What I should have done is given him the... (Emphasis mine) I'm not a linguist but I thought it should be: What I should have done is give ...
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1answer
37 views

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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What tense of the verb is used after “I thought” when the event is happening in the future and the speaker is in the present?

The time is 2.00 PM. An event is scheduled to start at 2.45 PM. When Patrick learns that at 2.00 PM, he says: I thought we kicked off at 2.30. Is the simple past tense "kicked" the right tense? I am ...
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1answer
25 views

Modal verbs' tense consistency

I have a question concerning tense consistency of modals which don't have the past form like (will/would). Do we put these modals in the past tense (perfect) if the surrounding verbs are in the past ...
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2answers
46 views

Tense of the verb

The boss with his colleagues have reached the hall. In the above sentence why do we use "have reached" instead of "has reached". I used to think that "boss with his colleagues " can be taken as ...
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Correct usage of “was passed”

Recently I came across a phrase that sounds wrong to me as a native speaker (New Zealand English), but I can't find a rule that explains whether this is correct or not. "The submitted build was ...
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59 views

Are these sentences gramatically correct?

When we do homework, we focus on vocabulary When we do homework, we will focus on vocabulary When we are doing homework, we focus on vocabulary when we are doing homework, we will focus ...
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117 views

Is it correct to say “proud of having met you”, or should it be “proud to have met”?

Is it correct to say "I have proud of having met both of you" I am proud of having met both of you. (past present?) I am proud to have met both of you. (present perfect?) What does the first one ...
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22 views

Thought vs Had Thought

Is it: I did not do as well as I thought or I did not do as well as I had thought. What are the differences?
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Usage of received from

How would you construct the phrase "for those [follow-up items] that we have not received information back/on/from"? I don't know if this is grammatically correct, or if "received information from" ...
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1answer
23 views

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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39 views

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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1answer
34 views

How to choose tense while using “in case” in a sentence?

I am following English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy: unit 114 is about "in case". The author mentioned the use of 2 tenses(present and past) with "in case": Do not use will after "in case". ...
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52 views

I haven't watched it vs I didn't watch it

My friends sent an old video to a chat group. One said: Dude, It's a really old video. (I didn't watch this video until my friend sent it to the group.) What should I use? I haven't watched it ...
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Why do they use “were partly responsible” instead of “are partly responsible”? [migrated]

Recognized for formulating unorthodox social theories, Lev Gumilev and D.S. Mirsky were partly responsible for founding the neo-eurasianist political and cultural movement. Why did they use were ...
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Is this grammatical? “It is I who was being romantic about tradition” [closed]

I read this in a book and it threw me a little bit. Should it not be "It was I who was being romantic about tradition" as it's talking about the past?
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Is “should be” talking about the past or the present or the future? [migrated]

Not sure who’s working but this should be resolved. Does that should be resolved part mean (1) that it has already been resolved in the past, or (2) that he is expecting or needing it to be resolved ...
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1answer
25 views

Preposition usage

Should it be "the snake moved THROUGH the grass" or the snake "moved IN the grass" ?I have seen "moved in the grass" used in some places but I feel like it depends on the density of the grass. Which ...
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24 views

Verb tenses in a sentence

Is this sentence Grammarly correct? The group members discussed their ideas to establish norms. I am not sure if I can use the present tense (establish) after using past tense (discussed).