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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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Tense form after the word did

I read this explanation about did from http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/did-main-verb-base-form-or-past-tense-form . Does that mean all the verb after did in a question will remain as it is? ...
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2answers
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Present tense in the narrative past tense

I've read a number of questions here on SE English as well as from Google searches, however I'm still unclear on something. Consider the following: Alice walked carefully along the uneven lawn, ...
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“It expires…” vs “It would expire by 31 Oct”

Your collected Amazon Pay offer for Swiggy would expire by 31-Oct-2018. Please help me understand why 'would' is used in the place of 'will'. Also, can we not use the simple present here that ...
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144 views

Difference between “had been …-ing” and “was/were …-ing”?

I couldn't understand the difference between these sentences: َ1.We were watching TV when he arrived. 2.We had been watching TV when he arrived. OR 1.I was listening music when you called....
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2answers
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Present perfect with a past temporal expression

I know the present perfect tense may not be used with temporal expressions which define a timeframe which does not include the present. For example: WRONG: I've visited him on Monday. However, when ...
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259 views

Grammar: “I'll try AND help them”

There are tens of questions here on EL&U about the grammaticality of the try and do something construction and its merits compared with the unremarkable try to do something collocation. However, ...
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Are these two form in the past ? Verb-ed = Did + Verb -> ( Past Tense )

I just took the SAT and there was one question I wasn't sure. What's difference between verb-ed and did+verb? For example, I did become = I became ? Past Tense?
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Future prefect and Future perfect continuous tense [closed]

Can anyone please clarify/ explain when to use these two grammar tenses? Especially the future perfect continuous. It is quite confusing. Thanks.
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Present perfect or past perfect in “The critique, provided to me this weekend by a prominent diplomat who has lived in Washington a long time”

Is the usage of the Present Perfect Tense, "has lived", correct in the sentence below? Should it be the Past Perfect tense instead? “The critique, provided to me this weekend by a prominent ...
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38 views

What's the right tense for these sentences?

I have finished writing a somewhat important document and had it proofread through an online service. Although I am no expert, the editor made a few changes I don't understand. Would you please tell ...
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1answer
135 views

Is this use of “made” past tense or subjunctive tense?

I'm a senior Computer Engineering student, and I'm taking a required Ethics course this semester. We just wrote our first paper, and each of us had to grade the paper of another student in the class. ...
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2answers
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Is the use of the tense correct? [closed]

I am not sure about the tenses in the following sentences. Is it the right choice? 1) I am originally from XYZ, studied XYZ in XYZ and will stay in XYZ until the end of March 2020. ( maybe 'have ...
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Use of plural form of auxiliary verb for singular subject

This is an excerpt from an article published on the Nautilus website: ...We in the 21st century would be shocked if an educated adult were unable to identify the continents on a world map, yet we ...
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What tense to use when referencing “unknown past” from the future?

In class, we conducted an experiment where we filled dialysis tubing with sucrose solutions of unknown concentrations, then placed them in distilled water to let osmosis take place. In my analysis of ...
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424 views

I've had vs I've been having (+ I've been vs I've)

What's the difference in meaning between the following 2 sentences: I've had a lot of problems this year I've been having a lot of problems this year. Second example: I've been waiting for an hour ...
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4answers
535 views

What exactly is tense?

As far as I've been able to figure out, tense refers to a grammatical category corresponding to the semantic category 'time reference'. So far, so good. But then there is complete confusion. Some seem ...
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1answer
333 views

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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“the art and animation is” or “the art and animation are” [duplicate]

I'm unsure whether I should use "are" or "is" in the following sentence: "The art and animation in particular are incredible." or "The art and animation in particular is incredible." I'm sort of ...
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2answers
259 views

What is 'won't' used for?

I have sometimes heard people using won't where I feel is not should be used For example Someone is not coming out , so they say "He won't come out" instead of "He is not coming out" So here , ...
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2answers
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Which tense is correct: Was or Were [duplicate]

Which is correct? I wish everything was as easy OR I wish everything were as easy
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2answers
56 views

“X had him thinking” or “X made him think”

I'm proofreading a novel and the author keeps overusing the word 'had' where he could use a more descriptive word and then adding '-ing' to the verb. It's not grammatically incorrect, but it's a ...
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2answers
46 views

Looking for the correct sentence

I'm quite confused right now. I'm not sure if this sentence makes any sense, so please help me out. Is it correct to say: "Before I started looking for suggestions on reddit, I browsed the "...
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1answer
238 views

“I got tense” or “I got tensed”?

Instead of using "I got tense", can I use "I got tensed"? On a similar note, instead of using "The angrier you get, the tenser your body gets", can I use "The angier you get, the more tensed your ...
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1answer
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How do natives understand which meaning of a tense is implied?

Some tenses may trigger different time aspects. For example, Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous may refer to one recent action or to a series of actions. How does one differ them? I have ...
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2answers
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Past Perfect questions

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding certain aspects of the past perfect tense. So my premise is, it deals with events that happened in the past at different times. One event is in past ...
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1answer
50 views

Correct use of the present participle?

Can someone kindly explain to me which is correct, and why? I have done some research on this issue and I'm not sure of the name of the construct that I am looking for. "After washing the dishes, the ...
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What do all the ways to express past events mean, and when is one better than the others?

I’d like to clear convey that the documents were all “sent on this day, the twenty-third of August”, which is today as of this writing. When would you use each of these constructions? I sent all the ...
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2answers
394 views

The usage of had been vs would have been

I have already looked at other examples, but am somehow struggling with my own (e.g., here: Would have been... vs. Had been ) The phrase I am concerned with: As we earlier explained, we had expected ...
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2answers
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Past tense of MOT? [duplicate]

I'm usually quite good at this kind of thing but can't decide on this. When describing when a car has had its MOT (Ministry of Transport) test do I write... Recently MOTd Recently MOT'd Recently ...
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1answer
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Using mixed tenses in a sentence [closed]

I came across this sentence : When he started you thought where are they going to put him because he doesn't look very good anywhere! I feel are should change to were. Also doesn't may change to ...
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1answer
153 views

Switching tense in a sentence when describing events

I'm not sure whether the following sentences are grammatically correct: A figure appeared at the window, waving happily. and, "Sure," he answered, pulling out a chair at the nearby table. ...
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1answer
42 views

What is the proper way to express a future action that depends on a past event?

I'm writing an assignment description. Users have to push one of two buttons on a robot. They are referred to as "left" and "right". Once the user pushes one of the buttons, the robot will take an ...
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1answer
86 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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below mentioned sentence is simple sentence or tense sentence?

Below mentioned sentence is "simple sentence" or "present indefinite" sentence sumit is to go to park.
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1answer
134 views

How do durative sense verbs in simple perfective work with durative adverbial

I am reading the grammar book - A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language - these days. And now I am focusing on the 2 aspects - perfective and progressive - in Chapter 4: The semantics of the ...
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1answer
670 views

What does definite and indefinite mean in past tense and present perfect respectively

I am reading the grammar book - A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language - these days. I am confused about the meanings of definite and indefinite in Past Tense and Present Perfect. I know ...
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Mixing Present Simple tense with Present Participle

I've recently heard the following sentences: What is this tell us about the deployment of first self driving cars? What do we learning from this? Both violate standard grammatical rules. But since ...
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2answers
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Is it correct to say “the truth is” when the rest of the sentence is in the past?

Is it correct to say: The truth is, he was a great explorer. Or do I have to say: The truth was, he was a great explorer. Or are both okay?
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Can I use 'would like' or 'want' in place of 'wanted'?

"It’s been so long since we last were in touch but I haven’t forgotten all the wonderful times we spent together last year. It’s my birthday coming up and I wanted to invite you over to stay at my ...
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1answer
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weird airport customs questions I had

I was going through the US border control in an airport a couple days ago and the customs officer asked me a question that was kind unexpected. I don't remember the question exactly but it definitely ...
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2answers
101 views

Appropriate tense for asking when event occurred

I'm working on a little project about a man who died in 1987. I know he wanted to marry a woman, but I don't know the period. I'm writing a letter to a relative of this woman who can help me. I want ...
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2answers
61 views

What tense is this sentence? [closed]

The room is filled with a lot of junks. What kind of tense is this?
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2answers
129 views

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
63 views

Can we replace the past perfect with the simple past? What are the rules?

"She was always an infidel," said the Chaplain's wife. Seeing she had been taken into the church of England at the mature age of five weeks, this statement does not do credit to the Chaplain's ...
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Should I say “the trap that lay ahead” or “the trap that lie(s) ahead”?

Which is correct? My vision widened that day, and I began to see the trap that lay ahead for most people. My vision widened that day, and I began to see the trap that lie ahead for most people. Or ...
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523 views

What is the difference between “I'm in no mood ” and “I was in no mood”? [duplicate]

What is the difference between "I'm in no mood " and "I was in no mood"? I asked my mentor and he told me they're both the same, but I see that these are different in regards to tense.
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2answers
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Is there a term for “pretty much” first person?

Of course, novels in first person go like this: "Then I changed to my winged form. I hopped to the ledge. The kethel attacked me. The voice is literally that of the main character. As if he sat ...
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1answer
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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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Using the past form of verb “got” with “published”

I am currently having confusion to use or not to use the past form of the verb "get" with the verb "publish", as in: My first article got published in BBC. My first article published in BBC. Is it ...
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2answers
195 views

Use of two tenses in one sentence (“That's when I heard his voice…”)

In the book " Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" the author writes the following sentence. "That's when I heard his voice, kind of squeaky(...)" Is it correct to say "that is" ...