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    #1

    Exclamation confused about tenses

    First of all, I am new here. This post is my first post in this forum and I am not sure if I post it in the right place. Please forgive me if I post it in a wrong place.

    I have a problem on tenses all the time in oral. Sometimes I did not know what tenses should I use.
    For example, If I want to talk about the past event, should I keep using the past tense like "I thought you were going to the party"?

    Also, I know some verbs need to be in present tense if they follow some specific words such as would, to or could. However, if I want to talk about the past event, should I just keep all verbs, that appear after "those specific words", present tense?
    for example: he told me that I could take this with me but I forget. (Should I change forget to forgot?)

    Thank you

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    #2

    Re: confused about tenses

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Caroluk:

    I am 99.99% confident in telling you that the verb "post" in those sentences should be in the past:

    "This is my first post, and I am not sure if I posted it in the right forum. Please forgive me if I posted it in the wrong forum."

    I also believe that the present perfect would work there: "I am not sure if I have posted it in the right forum."

    *****

    May I respectfully make a suggestion? I have found that if we members ask one question in a thread, we will get faster and more responses.



    James
    Last edited by TheParser; 09-Dec-2014 at 13:02. Reason: punctuation

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: confused about tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by caroluk09 View Post
    should I just keep all verbs, that appear after "those specific words", present tense?
    Those specific words except 'to' are called 'modal verbs'. The bare infinitive and the to-infinitive (instead of the present tense) are used after modal verbs and 'to' respectively.

    Not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: confused about tenses

    WOW. I am quite surprised about my mistake. Would you tell me why I need to change to past tense? Is it because of the "time" that I posted? or is it because the statement is not true?
    Thanks.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: confused about tenses

    You can say "I am not sure if I am posting it in the right place" (because you are wondering about this fact at the same time as you are typing) or "I am not sure if I have posted it in the right place" (because we are reading it after you posted it). One thing is certain - "I am not sure if I post it in the right place" is not grammatically correct.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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