39

Either is possible. In my personal opinion it comes down to context. Was this a fleeting acquaintance or someone you are likely to take up with in the future? Examples I met this guy yesterday, his name was John. He was very rude - I hope I never meet him again! I met this guy yesterday, his name is John. We're going to meet up for coffee. Come along and ...


35

1 means that the action happened just now. You would typically see it in your e-mail program just after you send an e-mail. Your program might give you this message to let you know that the message you just sent has indeed been sent. 2 refers to something that happened at some time in the past. It could have been an hour ago, a day ago, or even a century ...


24

As implied in the comments, the specific meaning of the two are slightly different (albeit both grammatically correct). It helps to break down the contractions. You will not catch the train if you do not leave on time This phrase is neutral in its blame: not catching the train will happen if you, for whatever reason, do not leave on time. You will not ...


19

Think of the past tense as referring to an event that took place at a particular time in the past. In saying The message was sent, the speaker will normally have in mind something like yesterday or last week. The present perfect is called 'present' for a reason. The speaker is talking about the situation now, a situation in which a past event has some ...


17

Were is the plural past tense form of be, used here in a counterfactual conditional idiom construction that is given various names, including "subjunctive", which often apply to other European languages, though not to English. In fact, however, tense is not what you need to know here. Tense only has to do with time -- past (was/were) and present (am/is/are) ...


16

This is called the historic present. It is also called historical present, dramatic present, narrative present, or praesens historicum in Latin. It is a perfectly fine construction, although it should be used in moderation so as not to draw the ire of style books.


15

This question is difficult to answer succinctly because the more desirable wording to use may differ depending on the circumstances surrounding the statement. Case 1: When Maybonne was your girlfriend, she often ate at Red Lobster. Now that she is your ex-girlfriend, she may or may not eat there. If you know that she still does, it makes sense to say "My ex-...


13

While technically your statement is true--he remains, and in fact will always be, the first person to reach the South Pole--nevertheless the use of the present tense is not called for unless he is currently at the South Pole at the culmination of his groundbreaking journey, or unless he remains the only person to have made it to the South Pole; in both cases,...


13

That is a perfectly valid use of the word "now" and does not change the tense. Now (Definition) 1.5 (in a narrative or account of past events) at the time spoken of or referred to


11

If I found a ball in the morning, I might say in the afternoon I found a ball today. The past tense locates an action at a specific time in the past, but today is a sufficiently prolonged period of time to allow the use of the past tense on the same day. I have found a ball today could occur, but only exceptionally, because the perfect construction is not ...


11

The main verb is are -- the Present Tense Third Person Plural form of be. This is another reduced relative clause, with Whiz-Deletion operating, this time on the be of the Passive, rather than the be of the Progressive, like the question this morning. The original sentence was something like There are several reasons which/that are/were proposed for the ...


11

The construction employed in the question is determined by the construction employed in the declarative sentence - the 'answer' you are looking for. Look is an activity verb, and usually takes the progressive construction in reporting a present action; in a question, subject/auxiliary inversion operates with the existing auxiliary BE: That man is ...


11

As a British university graduate, I would have said "I am reading physics" if I had wanted to use that construction. In reality though, it sounds a bit pretentious except in formal contexts, day to day I was studying physics.


10

Both are grammatical. The first uses the past tense (‘was lost’), which indicates that the connection was lost at a specific time in the past. The second uses the present perfect construction (‘has been lost’), which indicates that the loss of the connection has present relevance. So, if the loss of connection occurred, let us say, last week, but it’s now ...


10

From a purely logical standpoint, only "was" is strictly correct, because you can't actually know whether he's changed his name since you met him. Very unlikely, but it's possible! You can say for sure what his (stated) name was at the time you met him, but you cannot know for sure what his name is at the present (without meeting or communicating with him ...


9

Let's look at a little more context: When the night has come and the land is dark And the moon is the only light we see No, I won't be afraid, oh, I won't be afraid Just as long as you stand, stand by me A perfect construction marks a past action as having brought about a state which is relevant at some later point: the utterance’s ‘Reference ...


8

In fairly rare, formal English, "to be wanting" can mean "to be lacking", "to be deficient": Several aspects of his performance were sadly wanting. Apart from that, "want" with its usual meaning is normally a stative verb: in other words, it suggests a "general property" rather than the types of 'punctual' meaning that would usually warrant progressive ...


7

Run this definition so that the previous changes become visible. You'd use become, the sentence is in the present tense. Became is the PAST tense.


7

This use of the present tense is called "historical present" or "narrative present". Used in journalism or other narrative (including conversation) to make a past event more dramatic or vivid.


7

There's a difference here between typical British and American degree courses. In the US it's possible to pick up points towards the degree by studying a number of (potentially unrelated) elective subjects but then focusing 'majoring' on a particular one. British degrees tend to be single-subject or much more rarely two-subject courses and are considered to ...


6

They're all just stylistic choices, with no difference in nuance of meaning. The only context where "regular, repeat event" comes into play is when you say something like "The London train leaves at 8 o'clock" - if you don't specify any particular day, the implication is it does so every day (or at least, every week-day - it may leave at a different time, ...


6

In the absence of a future tense, English has several ways of expressing the future. One is the present tense, as in ‘My daughter goes to school tomorrow for the first time’. In practice, a native speaker would probably something like ‘It’s my daughter’s first day at school tomorrow’, where the present tense also expresses the future. Your second example ...


6

'Wanting', in the sense - 'lacking in necessary quality', functions as an adjective as in 'the company's seriousness in trying to bring down the attrition rate has been found wanting'. Therefore, 'I'm wanting a car' would seem to mean -'I lack a car'. More natural would be – 'I want a car'. 'Want' belongs to a category of verbs called 'stative verbs' and ...


6

Your two quotes don't actually have the same meaning. "I'm not living there!" is close to "I refuse to live there", while "I'm not going to be living there" is a prediction. Technically, the first is "I will not live there", while the second is "I shall not live there", but I doubt whether many people these days appreciate the difference, particularly with ...


6

In my opinion, both are equally correct. But the second one is a more polite way of saying it.


6

If I were is in the past subjunctive. It is used for hypotheses. Then I could, like then I would be able to, is construed to be in the conditional. However, morphologically, could is the past tense of the modal can.


6

To answer the official question, in every sentence (not every clause, but every sentence) the first verb in the main verb phrase must be one of a Present tense form (am, is, are, have, has, does, do, or Verb + -Z₃, the 3SgPr inflection) a Past tense form (was, were, had, did, or Verb + -ED, the Past inflection) a Modal auxiliary verb (can, could, may, might,...


6

If the first part is in the past, then the second part has to be, too. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. I knew you were John’s brother when first I saw you. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer John’s brother. It’s just how these things work.


6

The present perfect continuous is, in most cases, used to describe an action that is ongoing: I have been pumping means: "I have pumped, but I'm not done yet; I'm still pumping." By contrast, the present perfect is used to describe an action that has ended: I have pulled up dandelions all day means: "I've spent all day pulling up dandelions, but now ...


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