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5 Tense Issues

1. Did Vs Has

You know that “did” is past tense and “has” is present perfect. What is their difference?

Did Started and Completed at a particular time.
Has / have Started but not completed at no particular time.

Use simple past if the action is completed.

  • She was admitted yesterday (when?)
  • He demanded more food in the morning (when?)

Use present perfect if the action is not completed.

  • She has been advised (But she has not followed the advice)

2. Is, Has, Has had + Disease condition:

Study the correct usage:

Is / was / has been She is hypertensive.
Has She has hypertension.
Has had She has had hypertension.

3. H + No Time

H words are have, has and had. They are used when the time of the action is not mentioned.

  • Has goes after singular subjects like he, she, Ms Millie, Mr Jones, etc.
  • If the event has a time, like, Ms Millie met with an accident on Monday, do not use has, have or had.
  • Do not say, “Ms Millie has met with an accident on Monday.”

4. Ving + Happening Now

Use Ving forms (ing forms) of the verbs if the action is / was happening. Suppose you are on a call with your friend when your mother calls you from the kitchen. What would you tell your mother?

  • Mom, give me a minute; I am speaking to my friend.
  • Mom, give me a minute; I speak to my friend.

In this case, you have to say, “Mom, give me a minute; I am speaking to my friend,” because you “are talking” as your mother calls you out from the kitchen.

5. Did + Had

Did and had are used in combination. That means, if there are two past actioned mentioned in a sentence, the one that happened first gets “had”.

  • Dr Saleel arrived the theatre at 2 pm.
  • Mr Dan died at 1.55.

When Dr Saleel arrived at the theatre, Mr Dan had died.


  1. She has been ________ since 2010.
  2. The baby was found mildly ______.
  3. She ______ pancreatitis for the last three years.
  4. When the injection was brought, the patient _________.
  5. Please do not enter the room. The Doctor ______ to the patient.

Written by Biju John

Love for English begins with understanding its unknown rules. Biju John lives on the internet, teaching OET, IELTS and PTE. More than a million students have thanked him from their heart.

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