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Unformatted text preview: 452 26 Verb Problems Avoiding Mistakes in Verb Tense Understand What Verb Tense Is Verb tense tells when the action of a sentence occurs in the present, in the past, or in the future. Verbs change their form and use the helping verbs have or be to indicate different tenses. To choose the correct form and tense, consider whether the subject is singular or plural and when the action occurs. PRESENT TENSE Teresa and I talk every day. [Plural subject] PRESENT TENSE She also talks to her mother every morning. [Singular subject] PAST TENSE Yesterday, they talked for two hours. [Plural subject] FUTURE TENSE Tomorrow, they will talk again. [Plural subject] IDEA JOURNAL Write about something you did yesterday. Then, write about it again as if you are going to do it tomorrow. For more on subject-verb agree- ment and singular versus plural verb forms, see Chapter 25. Language Note: Remember to add the endings on present-tense and past-tense verbs, even if they cant be heard in speech. PRESENT TENSE Krystal play s varsity basketball. PAST TENSE She play ed in the game yesterday. Regular verbs follow a few standard patterns in the present and past tenses, and their past-tense and past-participle forms end in -ed or -d . In the examples throughout this chapter, the subject is underlined once, and the verb is underlined twice. EDITING ESSAYS Chapter 26 Verb Problems 453 Irregular verbs change spelling in the past-tense and past-participle forms. (For more on irregular verbs, see pp. 46775.) REGULAR VERB: WALK IRREGULAR VERB: EAT Past tense walked [I walk ed .] ate [I ate.] Past participle walked [I have/had eaten [I have/had walk ed .] eaten.] In the Real World, Why Is It Important to Use Correct Verbs? Errors in verb tense can create a negative impression of the writer, as the following example shows. SITUATION: A student that Shawn has been working with shows him the script for an oral presentation he has to give in school the following week. Here is what the student wrote as an introduction: Last week I done gone to the awards day for Diamond Educators and receive my fi rst prize ever. I receive the prize because last semester I work with younger kids to help them do things right, like doing their homework and why it be important to go to school. Before I meet people at Diamond, I never understand why school matter. I believe that only fools cared about school, but now I know education can change my life. Trying to get a good education dont mean selling out: It mean making something of myself. RESPONSE: The student has great ideas here, but there are lots of errors that will make people ignore his good ideas. Hes writing more like he talks informally, and I tell people over and over that they need to know how and when to use formal English. It is important to achieving their own goals and to getting a better life....
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2011 for the course COM 155 taught by Professor Williams during the Spring '10 term at University of Phoenix.
- Spring '10