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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    past tense?

    Hi teachers,

    Writing a letter and I'm not sure if this sentence would be correct use of past tense:


    Back then, during my high school and college years, I always had the need to work.



    Is this correct use of past tense even of there is just one event?

    thanks for your help!

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    #2

    Re: past tense?

    bump ! just trying to get my post viewed ...

    sorry for my poor english

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: past tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by lagares View Post
    Back then, during my high school and college years, I always had the need to work.

    Is this correct use of past tense even of there is just one event?
    The past tense is fine, though I would say 'felt' rather than 'had'.

    What makes you think there could be a problem with using the past for just one event?

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    #4

    Re: past tense?

    Hello 5jj,

    Well I read that you use past tense had, for describing some event that happened before another event in the past.
    Why would you use felt? What I'm trying to express is that at that time I had the financial need to work while studying. Don't you think that felt would change the meaning of the sentence?


    thanks for feedback 5jj !


    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    The past tense is fine, though I would say 'felt' rather than 'had'.

    What makes you think there could be a problem with using the past for just one event?

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: past tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by lagares View Post
    Well I read that you use past tense had, for describing some event that happened before another event in the past.
    I think you may be confusing the past tense of had with the past perfect, which is used for past actions completed before a later past time. The past perfect is formed with had plus the third form (past participle) of the verb: When I got home, my wife had gone to bed.
    Why would you use felt? What I'm trying to express is that at that time I had the financial need to work while studying. Don't you think that felt would change the meaning of the sentence?
    We don't normally have a need. We either feel a need or simply need (verb). There are 393 citations in COCA for 'felt the need to', and only 16 for 'had the need to'.

  6. Newbie
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    #6

    Re: past tense?

    ok... great help !!

    I always learning, thank you so much!

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