chomp! chomp! This presentation is brought to you by Grammar Bytes!, ©2017 by Robin L. Simmons. Tense Shift Do I use the present tense to maintain consistency? Or do I need the past tense instead? This presentation covers recognizing appropriate verb tenses for a given time frame or context. A tense shift item on an objective test might look like this ... Sample Item When King was was aa puppy, puppy, he he chewed chewed toys toys A and furniture. Now that he is is an an adult, adult, he he B wantedtoto wanted wants tochew chew chewthe the themail mail mailcarrier carrier carriermost most mostofof ofall. all. all. CC A. B. C. D. Wanted should be Is was present , is, or wanted tense, in a the is correction option wrong tense? was C makes. wants wants No change is necessary. U s e pr esent/ pr esent perfect t e n s e t o i n d i c at e cur rent/regular action. Present tense: verb + s = singular; verb + Ø = plural. Present perfect tense: has or have + past participle Jeffrey goes to the gym six days a week where he has gained not only muscle but also discipline. I have gained attention from women too! U s e past perfect t o i n d i c at e a p a s t a c t i o n t h at o c c u r r e d b e fo r e a n o t h e r p a s t a c t i o n . Past tense: regular = verb + ed; irregular forms vary. Past perfect tense: had + past participle Jeffrey had lifted free weights for over an hour before someone mentioned the rip in his shorts. It’s a good thing I have cute glutes. U s e pr og r essi ve tenses t o i n d i c at e a n o n g o i n g a c t i o n t h at o c c u r s a s a n o t h e r a c t i o n happens. Progressive tenses: form of be + verb + ing Jeffrey was showing off when he tore a muscle in his shoulder. Ouch! W h e n l o g i c p e r m i t s , yo u c a n m i x pas t/ pr es ent t e n s e s w i t h f utur e . Because he went to the gym today, Jeffrey will reward himself with a triple bacon cheeseburger for lunch. After he weighs himself tomorrow, he will regret the poor food choice. Because I ate badly, I will have to do more crunches at the gym. Could/would = past tense of can/will . Jeffrey enough energy for his Jeffreythought thoughthe he would will havehave enough energy for his workout, workout,but butskipping skipping breakfast breakfast meant meantthat thathe he could cannot not complete complete his histraining. training. You would have had the same problem! Quick Test Directions: In the items that follow, choose the option that corrects an error in the underlined portion(s). If no error exists, choose “No change is necessary.” You think you’re tough? Show me your tense strength. Item 1 Aunt Lillian had had frozen frozenfour fourquarts quartsof ofher her A homegrown strawberries, but she lost lost them them after after B the hurricane was was knocking knocked knocking out power out outpower power for eight for foreight eight C C days. A. B. C. D. froze had lost knocked knocked No change is necessary. Item 2 Because Sammy had had been been eating eatingall allofofthe the chocolate mint ice cream before she got home, Roxanne whacked him over the head. A. ate B. was eating C. had had eaten eaten D. No change is necessary. Item 3 Carlos pawed pawed at at his his hair hair and and shook shookhis hishead, head,but but A B he cannot cannotnot could dislodge dislodge dislodge the thethe giant giant giant spider spider spider tangled tangled tangled inin in CC his curls. A. B. C. D. was pawing was shaking could not could not No change is necessary. Item 4 Grandpa planted a backyard garden, hoping that it was helping was helpingwith withthe thehigh highcost costofoffood. food. A. will help B. would would help help C. helped D. No change is necessary. Item 5 When Gretchen was was aa freshman, freshman, she she wanted wantedtoto A B major in biology, but after her first rat dissection, she couldn’t couldn’tchange changeher hermajor majorfast fastenough. enough. C A. B. C. D. had been was wanting cannot No change changeisisnecessary. necessary. Item 6 Everyone is is sleeping sleepingsoundly soundlywhen whenBrendan Brendan dropped the glass pitcher of lemonade on the stone tiles of the kitchen floor. A. had had been been sleeping sleeping B. slept C. would sleep D. No change is necessary. Item 7 Ancient Egyptians spent spent their their entire entire lives lives preparing preparing A for their death and burial. Today, however, people think are thinking thinking that such that that arrangements such sucharrangements arrangements are morbid are aremorbid morbid B B C C and impolite to discuss. A. B. C. D. were spending think think would be No change is necessary. Item 8 When Felicia saw the turtle trying to cross the busy road, she leaped out of her car and had had carried carried the reptile to safety at the other side. A. was carrying B. carried carried C. will carry D. No change is necessary. Item 9 George Washington believed believedthat thathe hewas wasinvincible invincible A in battle. He rode rode aa conspicuous conspicuous white white horse horse that that B made him an easy target, yet no bullet had hadhim, hit hit hithim, him, CC validating his conviction of invulnerability. A. B. C. D. had believed was riding hit hit No change is necessary. Item 10 We would would have havebite bitemarks markson onour ourankles anklesand and scratches on our thighs ever since adopting Nelson, our feisty kitten. A. had B. have have C. will have D. No change is necessary. The End.