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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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Start + Gerund vs Start + Infinitive: is there a subtle tense difference?

Is there a subtle difference between these fragments: Jack walked over to the car, opened the door, and started to look for the aspirin vial in the glove compartment. Jill looked on skeptically. ...
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Were the verb forms / structures named after their most typical / common use?

A verb form like "went" is called a "past tense". However, it is not only used to talk about past events (e.g. We went to Morocco last January), but also about unreal or uncertain present or future ...
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Continuous(Progressive) module in Old English

I'm curious as to the origins of the Continuous(progressive) module. Whenever I meet texts emulating old speech, like in: video game RPGs, books like the Saxon Chronicles, Hollywood movies about the ...
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Meaning of present tense

Two questions here. 1) A (high quality and honest) citizen journalist wrote a report on JAN 30, "Yesterday Police announced they were investigating the death as a suicide. The wife of the victim is ...
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40 views

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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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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43 views

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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A question about usages of 2 tenses

First of all, English is not my native language. My question is about this sentence: "Hakan passes to Cihan and Cihan shoots__and it’s a goal!" Let's say that a presenter is saying this during ...
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30 views

'talking about' vs 'talk about'

I came across the following sentence on the internet: "When we are talking about possession, relationships, illnesses and characteristics of people or things we can use either have or have got." Is ...
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54 views

Can I always replace 2nd conditional with were to + verb

I'm wondering if I can, for most of the times use -> were to + verb to start an if sentece for example: If I were to have money, I would buy a car instead of: If I had money I would buy a car If ...
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43 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct

As soon as he noticed that he had made a mistake, he informed his boss about it. I mean for the past perfect tense, we have here 3 actions (verbs) in the past. are the verbs' tense grammatically ...
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Past perfect or not

I have a question about the past perfect. A mother was charged guilty unless at least one person had witnessed that she had given birth or unless the accused could prove that she had made ...
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Someone says vs Someone said in reported speech

Is " someone says something" ( in the present) acceptable, and if yes , when? Let's say I just got off the phone with someone, and they said they wouldn't make it on time. I've got someone in front ...
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29 views

Placement of Clause

I want to add this clause in the middle of sentence: ‘as far as I'm concerned.’ Is it wrong to place it between the auxiliary verb and the main verb, or is it only a matter of style? Which of the ...
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73 views

Why is past simple used here?

This is a famous quote that I first encountered while watching the movie "The Usual Suspects": "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." And now I am ...
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Can you switch verb tenses when beginning a new sentence?

Tony had just grabbed another bottle of whiskey when it happened. Dropping it, he reached out and grabbed the closest thing to him, narrowly avoiding falling to the ground. Like going from "grabbed" ...
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Tenses logic understanding

Let's look at Present Simple. As far as I understand there is [almost] no difference between I play this game. I do play this game. The first question: can I form negative sentences this way?...
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Present or Past when talking about a book's content

I came across an English exercise yesterday and I wasn't sure about the answer. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you. The sentence is as follows: I borrowed a book from the library last ...
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Why is “will” used here instead of “would”?

With luck, in a couple of decades, it will seem embarrassing that anyone had to hold a conference to debate the relevance of competition. (excerpt from The Economist Apr. 12. 2017) Why is "will" ...
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Verb consistency of tense in extended passage

I read this answer on Quora. I wanted to ask about verb consistency because the writer is jumping from past continuous to present then present continuous. How is doing that valid? I was in an Uber ...
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“Using future continuous where future simple is perfectly fine ”

I am aware of the general meaning of "future continuous ". But sometimes I see to use "future continuous in a different way where "future simple is perfectly fine ". I am giving a couple of examples :...
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514 views

Future continuous “going to”

The future continuous tense is made by combining "will" with "be" + present participle, e.g. He will be speaking. The future simple can use "will" or "going to", i.e. He will speak and He is going to ...
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the use of simple past and the past perfect

the given paragraph is : "The German word was as familiar as it was scary. She heard it often enough before, but it had never been directed at her until now." In the above sentences, I used the past ...
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328 views

Practical English Usage by Swan - tense simplification in subordinate clauses - main verb terminology

in the entry 580.1 "reasons for tense simplification" in Practical English Usage by Michael Swan, he wrote: "If the main verb of a sentence makes it clear what kind of time the speaker is talking ...
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Tenses in subordinate clauses

''I'll wait for you until you've finished cleaning'' In time clauses, we use present perfect because the clauses always happen before the main clauses. In this situation, ''you'' finishes at first or ...
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The correctness of chosen items

I faced with interesting (in my opinion) questions. I have an exersice I must choose the correct tenses for: He was going along the beach one day. He (not / look) where he was going. "What (be) this?...
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Can something that “will have been done” happen before the sentence is spoken?

There is a tense (can't remember its name) where in the future, something was done. The form is "< time-in-the-future >, the < noun > will have < verb >-ed". My question is this: might < ...
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Which form of the word should I use?

I'm putting together a report for work. The template I've been given has a blurb already written in which I just insert the proper names for their respective state, and each state gets their own ...
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323 views

Breaking Tense: “May be” vs. “May have been”

This may be simple or trivial, but when writing in the past tense, is it wrong to switch to present tense to use the verb "may be"? Sharon may be irrational, but it was not completely her fault. ...
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Does “I have been waiting for you” mean that “I am still waiting”?

Assume that I was waiting for someone for several hours and finally, he/she arrived to the meeting late. I wonder whether I say "I have been waiting for you", it means that I am still "waiting" or not....
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Correct use of Past perfect in this sentence

Is it correct to say as shown? "The thieves were running with the money they had stolen from the bank."
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Why was the indirect speech not used in the following sentence?

The witness said that he heard two bullets being shot before he noticed two men running down the street The sentence contains both, reported speech and sequel of actions. Therefore I believe that ...
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Present Perfect and Reichenbach's model of tense

I recently came across the following construction in some documentation I was reading: This document describes a solution that has been applied during the migration. To me, this seemed utterly ...
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What is the tense of shared in “when shared?”

Consider the sentence "Everything is better when shared with friends." What is the tense of "shared" in this context? It confuses me because the sentence implies that the sharing has not yet happened,...
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What is the name of this verb tense?

Is there a name for the verb tense in this sentence? "He would later become famous."
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Past modal required or can be omitted (example)

I had a few native speakers disagreed over the following sentence: She was treated harshly but she stayed with them. If she wanted, she could simply run away (//all those years). Now while some ...
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Convert a series of Verb types to a tense

Using Stanford NLP I have a series of parses - for example "They will have been going to the park." to (among other things) the Verb Phrase (MD will)(VP (VB have)(VP (VBN been)(VP (VBG going) ...
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“Today, we have announced” vs “We have announced today”

I know that it sounds more natural to say "Today, we're announcing" or what have you, but I'm struggling to explain why it is. Does anybody know a reason for this? Is "We have announced today" ...
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Tenses That Suggests a Present Effect

Which of the replies can be used correctly? Aska: You look tired. Lara: A- I woke up all night. B- I've woken up all night. C- I've been waking up all night. The suggested answer is C. Why are the ...
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A question about tense with regard to the sequential order

Assume that there are two texts written in sequential order, Text B having awareness of Text A. In the context where we discuss Text B in the present tense, in what tense should we refer to Text A? In ...
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“Yes, I did” vs “Yes, I have” - Answering with SP when the question is in PP

I was wondering about this for a while now - If I ask someone - "Have you done your HW?" Is the answer must be in perfect or can one answer "yes, I did". "Yes, I have" sounds better to me, but I ...
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I have problem to make this sentence

We have an architectural association named IDER. Our city is named Sirjan. So, how should I bring them together? Is it true to say," IDER's architectural association of Sirjan."?
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953 views

got to know / have got to know

I want to say something like I got to know this person, but I'd like to say it using Present Perfect. --> I have got to know this person. But wouldn't it be confusing? I mean, it can be understood as ...
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Why is 'the present simple tense' instead of 'present progressive tense'?

During demonetization in India, I saw on the television that 'people are waiting in a queue for money'. But in that real-time event, the news headline appeared on television as 'People wait in a queue'...
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Correct phrasing (tenses) of this sentence

The sentence is " I read in the preface of the book that a teacher's manual was under work at the time of the publishing of the book and should have had been available in near future. " I am ...
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Can verb tense differ between dependent an independent clauses

Is the following sentence incorrect: Glancing at the clock on the microwave, she noticed it was later than she thought. Does adding after make the sentence correct: After glancing at the clock ...
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Are all auxiliary verbs aspectual auxilaries?

I have two questions. 1) Are all auxiliary verbs always aspectual since they seem to indicate a tense-aspect? 2) Been, the past participle of the verb "be", indicates a tense-aspect too, as in He ...
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56 views

Simple present vs simple future which one is correct in the below context

I usually say, The next flight will be at 7AM tomorrow, but I read a similar sentence in a book which goes like this, The next flight is at 7:00 tomorrow morning. I just want to know which one is ...
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The proper way to express verb phrase tense

I'm trying to use correct grammar (in source code comments). Are any incorrect, or is one "more correct" than any of the others? for when an exception occurs after WriteContact, which normally takes ...
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Tense with since/for when the action is already over

I've got a question concerning the correct tense with since/for in the second example - should it be simple past or present perfect simple? 1) Action started in the past and is STILL going on: ...