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If he would ask me, I would stay.
If he asked me, I would stay.

Express an improbable condition by the past tense and use the conditional in the main clause. This use of the past tense doesn't indicate a time but a degree of probability.

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The train already left before I arrived.
The train had already left before I arrived.

Use the past perfect when the time of one past action is more past than that of another. Put the action which was completed first in the past perfect and the second action in the past tense.

Don't use the present tense and the past perfect in the same sentence. It would be incorrect to say: My brother says that he had not gone to the cinema last night.

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Janine talks as if she knew everything.
Janine talks as if she knows everything.

Use the past tense after the phrase as if or as though. He talks as if he knew everything, means He talks as he would talk if he knew everything.

Use the subjective were with the verb to be after as if: He acts as if he were a rich man.

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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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