Category: Verb Usage

Verb Tenses

One of the most difficult things for fledgling writers and English learners is verb tenses. Most memoirs and fiction stories are written in the past tense for the obvious reason that we tend to tell stories about things that...

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Verb Usage: Subject-verb agreement

Subject-verb agreement can be an issue in any sentence in English. Verbs need to be conjugated to their nouns, and this can become more complicated when grammatical subjects become longer and more complicated. Additionally, some nouns can cause confusion about whether they are singular or plural.

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Verb Usage: Simple past vs. present perfect

Both of these tenses are used to focus on the past, but the meaning is different. The simple past is used to describe things in the past that are completed and happened at a known time, while the present perfect is used to describe: 1) things that happened in the past at an unknown or nonspecific time, and 2) things that began in the past and have continued until the present.

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Verb Usage: Future Verb Options

There are different purposes for writing about the future, and different verb types are used for these different purposes. Be careful to think about the reason behind your writing about the future, and choose the tense which both effectively communicates that reason.

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