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Subjects joined by and take a plural verb but an

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Unformatted text preview: 08 Manhattan Review Sentence Correction Guide – Sentence Correction 2.3.3 40 Tense Many GMAT questions center upon the relationships between tenses. While the tenses in a sentence do not have to be the same, they must relate to each other in a way that makes the sequence of actions clear to the reader. The term sequence of tenses refers to the rules which govern how we alter verb tenses to make clear that all events, past, present or future, are not simultaneous. As soon as I hear the dog bark, I knew you were at the door. The above sentence sets forth a likely condition anticipated by the speaker. The use of the past tense is incorrect. The sentence may be corrected thus: As soon as I hear the dog bark, I will know you are at the door. In the above example, the future tense makes clear that the dog’s barking is anticipated by the speaker. Errors in sequence of tenses often occur with the perfect tenses, all of which are formed by adding an auxiliary or auxiliaries to the past participle, the third principal part. Some common auxiliaries are “had”, “has”, and “have”. They are used with the past participle to form perfect tenses. Unfortunately, the rules governing sequence of tenses are a bit of a jumble. Often you will have to rely on your ear and common sense to guide you with these questions. But below are some guidelines you can use in order to sort out what the correct sentence should look like. • In complex sentences, the tense of the verb in the main clause governs the tenses of the verbs in subsequent or dependent clauses. www.manhattanreview.com c 1999 - 2008 Manhattan Review Sentence Correction Guide – Sentence Correction Tense in Main Clause Present - Purpose of Dependent Clause To show same-time action 41 Tense In Dependent Clause Simple Present To show earlier action To show a period of time extending from some point in the past to the present To show action to come Simple Past Present Perfect Simple Past - To show another completed past action To show an earlier action - To state a general truth Simple Present Present Perfect To show an earlier action Simple Past - To show action happening at the same time For any purpose To show action happening at the same time To show an earlier action To show future action earlier than the action of the independent clause For any purpose Present Perfect Simple Past Past Perfect Future Future Perfect Future Past Perfect Simple Past Simple Present Simple Past Present Perfect Simple Present or Present Perfect Example I am eager to go for a walk because I enjoy exercise. He feels that she made a mistake last year. The congregation believes that it has selected a suitable preacher. My teacher says that he will grade the test next week. She cooked the salmon because she knew it was fresh. He cooked the salmon well because he had attended culinary school. Copernicus believed that the universe is like a giant clock. The lawyer has handled many cases since he passed the bar. She has grown...
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