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Consistency of Tense


Consistency of Tense

Consistency of Tense

Use tense forms correctly to show relationships between verbs in a sentence.

Events That Occur at the Same Time

When describing events that occur at the same time, use verbs in the same tense.
    The pitcher throws the ball, and the batter swings at it.
  • PAST
    The pitcher threw the ball, and the batter swung at it.
    The pitcher will throw the ball, and the batter will swing at it.

Events That Occur at Different Times

When describing events that occur at different times, use verbs in different tenses to show the order of events.

  • Lynn attends the state university now, but she went to a community college last year. [In the present, Lynn goes to the state university, so attends is in the present tense. At a specific time in the past, before she began attending the university, Lynn attended a community college, so went is in the past tense.] 
  • Lynn has decided that she will become a speech therapist. [Lynn made her decision at some indefinite time in the past, so has decided is in the present perfect tense. In the future Lynn will become a speech therapist, so will become is in the future tense.]

The tense used depends on the writer’s desired meaning.

  • Jesse says that he is taking some nursing classes. [Both verbs are in the present tense. Both actions are occurring now.] 
  • Jesse says that he will take some nursing classes. [Says is in the present tense, so this action is happening now. Will take is in the future tense, so this action will happen in the future.]
Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


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