I've recently noticed an irritating trend in English-language writing: sections that really should be written in the past perfect tense are instead in the simple past tense. I've seen this more in American English than in British English, but that might just be confirmation bias. Is there a reason for this, for example a new style of teaching in schools or universities? And is it really new, or am I just looking for things to get annoyed about? [more inside]
Tenses without English equivalents? [more inside]
GrammarFilter: Present Perfect Passive Progressive. Real or a myth? [more inside]
What tense is the following sentence: "If you were still around, we would have had a Merry Christmas by now." [more inside]
Explain tenses to me? Past/present/future, continuous/simple/perfect, and so on, in English. I can use them with fluency, but I need to be able to explain them (when each is used, how to form them). I've tried Fowler's, Chicago Manual of Style, and a number of other resources, but they seem to subtly contradict one another. Is there a simple, go-to reference for this?
is there a grammar checker out there that will check my documents for consistent tense? I have a teacher who's a real stickler, and even if I go over my paper with a fine toothed comb, I always miss one or two. Does anybody have a program I could use to save myself some points in class?