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  1. #1
    sebayanpendam is offline Member
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    Default The simple present/past tense

    Hi,

    Which one is right in terms of tense aspect a) what happens, or b) what happened?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The simple present/past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by sebayanpendam View Post
    Which one is right in terms of tense (aspect) a) w What happens? , or b) w What happened?
    Both are possible correct questions in English. Which is appropriate will depend on the context.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  3. #3
    sebayanpendam is offline Member
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    Default Re: The simple present/past tense

    Let's say,

    A bus suddenly braked, and all the passengers lurched forward from their seats. A middle-aged man shouted, 'What happened(has happened, happens), what happened?' The bus driver, wiping off his forehead, turned around and said, ' A reckless driver just cut me in. That what happened."

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The simple present/past tense

    What happened?
    A reckless driver cut me off (not in). That's what happened.

    The event was fast and finite and now in the past.

    This may be one of those times when my British cousins may use present perfect.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The simple present/past tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    The event was fast and finite and now in the past,
    This BrE speaker would go with a past tense here.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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