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Why Do We Call It Present Perfect?

The present perfect tense is contradictory by nature. It uses present tenses to indicate something is happening at the moment. But, it also uses past participles, which shift events to a time frame that has passed.  We call it the present perfect tense because it uses present verb tenses, specifically “has” or “have,” depending on …

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If That Were True or If That Was True: Indicative or Subjunctive Mood

English is full of grammar rules that make the language so interesting and sometimes frustrating to learn for second language learners. One such rule is that of verb moods and whether we should say, “if that were true” or “if that was true.”  When writing about hypothetical or non-realistic situations, the subjunctive “if that were …

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Start or Begin: Differences and Usage

In nearly every language, there are multiple words with similar meanings, but often those same words carry a different connotative interpretation or level of formality. Choosing the right one isn’t always easy, like when to use “start” or “begin.” “Start” is more appropriate for referring to machines or in business. “Begin” is more formal than …

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Can You Start a Sentence With “Rather”?

You are working on a writing assignment, and you get to a sentence where you feel the word “rather” would work nicely at the start. You hesitate, trying to recall your past lessons about “rather” in English class, but you can’t remember. Can you start a sentence with “rather”? A sentence can be started with …

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What Does “By Tomorrow” Mean?

For English language learners, it is sometimes difficult to grasp all the different meanings when words have more than one definition, and “tomorrow” is such a word. So, naturally, they often wonder what someone means by “tomorrow” and how they can use the word in all its different roles. We often use “by tomorrow” to …

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