San Jose City College

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       Edit for Verb Tense Errors
Verbs are like bridges: they span the past, present, and future and take you there.

Tense is a time-related concept. Verb tense corresponds to the time frame within which an action occurs. The only possible time frames are present, past, and future.

Tense errors occur when writers omit a tense marker or use a verb tense that does not correspond to an implied or specified time frame. The error is evident with inappropriate shifts in verb tense, a failure to shift when necessary, and with inconsistency between the verb tense used and an adverbial time marker.

The segments in the table below will strengthen your awareness of verb tenses and their use so that you can more easily edit for verb tense errors. Click the topics you need to review or work you way through the lessons page by page.

The Simple Tenses: Present, Past, and Future
Progressive Aspect: Present, Past, and Future
Perfect Aspect: Present, Past, and Future
Practice: A Letter from a Grandfather Written Long Ago
Maintaining Tense Consistency with Perfect Tenses
Recognizing Consistent and Inconsistent Shifts in Verb Tense
Analyzing Verb Tense Errors in Student Writing Samples