Disclaimer: This issue may have been discussed before, but I couldn't find it. Also, I don't know too much about the intricacies of tagging.

I've noticed quite a few questions asking for differentiation between two similar verb tenses. Here are some examples:

As if he sees you  vs.  As if he is seeing you   
Which one I picked  vs.  Which one I've picked   
I choose  vs.  I am choosing   
I have received  vs.  I received   
Will graduate  vs.  Is going to graduate   

One might think these questions would all be similarly tagged, but they're not, partly because some tags are specific to the tenses themselves (e.g., future tense or present perfect tense). Therefore, two very similar questions may not get tagged similarly, simply because one question looks backwards, and the other looks forwards.

I did notice there was a tenses tag that appears in one of those five questions, but there's no wiki description yet on what that represents.

I wondered if verb tense choice might be a useful tag. It seems like, for questions such as those referenced, the fact that the O.P. is inquiring "Which is preferable?" is more significant than which particular tense the O.P. happens to be asking about.

There may be a better solution than the one I've proposed, but the fact that such similar questions do not have matching tags suggests there might be room for some improvement.

1 Answer 1


There's already a tense tag, linked to 184 questions. I suggest this is probably the appropriate tag to use for questions that are basically about which tense to use, or exactly what difference in meaning (if any) might be implied by the choice.

  • 1
    FF: Okay... but, any guess as to why none of those five questions were tagged with that tag? Is it just because tagging is an inexact science? I'm just curious...
    – J.R.
    May 10, 2012 at 19:41
  • 1
    @J.R.: Well, let's face it - the questions don't tag themselves, so I suppose if the likes of you and I don't tidy them up it probably won't get done. Anyway, I've just tagged those five according to my suggestion. If you agree then it's your turn to do the next one! May 10, 2012 at 19:49
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    Okay, you can counted on me ;^) BTW, this conversation inspired me to figure out how to tag questions – not exactly intuitive the first time around!
    – J.R.
    May 10, 2012 at 21:45

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