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Common mistakes

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Rachel asked me what I am doing.
Rachel asked me what I was doing.

When the verb in the main clause is in the past tense, use a past tense in subordinate clauses.

This rule doesn't apply (1) to verbs within quotations, (2) to facts that are true at all times. We say:
1. She said, 'I am waiting for your answer'
2. He said that London is a great city

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He said that he will come tomorrow.
He said that he would come tomorrow.

Will changes to would in subordinate causes, when the verb in the main clause is in a past tense.

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Last year I walked to school every day.
Last year I was walking to school every day

Use the simple past tense to express a habit in the past, and not the past continuous

Use the past continuous tense to describe events in the past happening at the time another action took place: I was walking to school when I met him.

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Since he came, we're happy.
Since he came, we've been happy

The verb after a since clause of time is generally in the present perfect tense.

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Sir, may I go home to get my book?
Sir, to go home to get my book?

The infinitive simply names an action without reference to person, number or time. Therefore, it can't make sense without the help of a finite verb

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