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  1. #1
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    Default Present / Past Tense

    Are these correct? What do these mean?
    1. I have overcome the world.
    2. I have overcame the world. (Why is this incorrect? Is it because the past participle word for it is 'overcome'?)

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Present / Past Tense

    2 is incorrect for that reason.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Present / Past Tense

    What do these mean?

    1. Was your car in the garage because he wanted to see it.
    2. Was your car in the garage because he wants to see it.

    Scenario:
    He comes to her house and knocks on her door. She opens the door.

    Does he say:
    3. He comes here for her.
    4. He came here for her.
    Also, what do #4 and #5 mean?
    Last edited by jack; 23-Nov-2004 at 05:05.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Present / Past Tense

    Both 1. and 2. are correct. For 3. and 4., try "He is here to see her" or "He has come to see her."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Present / Past Tense

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Present / Past Tense

    For this scenario which one do I use? Does it matter if I use present tense or past tense? What's the point of using present tense and past tense here?

    Scenario:
    I'm talking to John and I say, "Imagine this John".
    Present Tense:
    1. You buy a new car and it breaks down on you, and you're stuck in the middle of nowhere. What can you do?

    Past Tense:
    2. You bought a new car and it broke down on you and you were stuck in the middle of nowhere. What could you do?

    Are these correct? If not, why?
    3. You buy a new car and it breaks down on you, and you're stuck in the middle of nowhere. What could you do?
    4. You buy a new car and it breaks down on you, and you're stuck in the middle of nowhere. What would you do? (If 'would' is incorrect here, why? If #3 is correct, why isn't #4 correct as well?)

    5. You bought a new car and it broke down on you and you were stuck in the middle of nowhere. What could you do?
    6. You bought a new car and it broke down on you and you were stuck in the middle of nowhere. What can you do?
    7. You bought a new car and it broke down on you and you were stuck in the middle of nowhere. What would you do?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Present / Past Tense

    Jack: Imagine this, John.

    Let's imagine this might/could/has the potential to happen: You buy a new car and it breaks down on you, and you're stuck in the middle of nowhere. What would you do? What could you do? What can you do?

    Let's imagine this actually happened: You bought a new car and it broke down on you, and you were stuck in the middle of nowhere. What would you do?

    Q: What can you do? refers to ability
    Q: What could you do? i.e., refers to potential options
    Q: What would you do? refers to intention

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Present / Past Tense

    Thanks.

    What would you do?
    1. What would you do? (So this is correct? It doesn't have to be conditional? Why doesn't it have to be conditional?)
    For eg.:
    2. What would you do if this car broke down?
    Last edited by jack; 12-Dec-2004 at 06:30.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Present / Past Tense

    Are these correct? If not, why? What do they mean?
    1. The most I have ever sold is three cars.
    2. The most I have ever sold was three cars.

    3. The most I had ever sold is three cars.
    4. The most I had ever sold was three cars.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Present / Past Tense

    Quote Originally Posted by jack
    Thanks.

    1. What would you do? (So this is correct? It doesn't have to be conditional? Why doesn't it have to be conditional?)
    For eg.:
    2. What would you do if this car broke down?
    Both are conditional. The condition is stated in 2. but omitted in 1.

    Context is important:

    Sam: If the car broke down what would you do?
    Pat: Huh? Sorry. I was reading the paper.
    Sam: The car, breaking down, what would you do?
    Pat: What would you do?

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