tenseshift

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This presentation is
brought to you by
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©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.
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