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Sequence of Verb Tenses/Verb Consistency

Be sure to also study pp. 422-427 of your textbook Wordsmith

 When we write stories in the past, one of our
challenges is to maintain verb tense consistency.
English teachers refer to this issue as faulty tense
shift. How can you repair these sentences?
1. When we finished our essays, we turned them in
to our instructor.
2. After John went to work for Motorola, he decided
to buy a new car.
 We often forget to use past forms of the auxiliary
modals can and will. How can you repair these
sentences?
1. We thought we could copy and paste
information from the Internet, but we couldn’t.
2. After we won the lottery, we thought we would
go on a trip around the world.
We need to remember when events happen(ed) on a
timeline:
X
X
X
X
event before
a past event
another past event
We had gone

we went

NOW
we usually go

future events
we are going to go
we will be going

We had already decided to sell our car when we had our accident.
We’ll be selling it next week!
Because Josef had won the lottery, he decided to buy a larger house.
Emma was driving to school when her phone rang. She didn’t
answer it because it’s illegal to talk on the cellphone in her state.
We thought we would never pass Writing V, but now we are writing
much better, and we hope to register for English 101 next semester.
Events that are in progress +

helping verb +

verbing

Practices 1-2, pp. 425-426---pairs

ACTIVE VOICE v. PASSIVE VOICE
As you know, we write stronger sentences when we
use the ACTIVE VOICE, which means that the subject
performs the action. When we use the PASSIVE
VOICE, the action is performed on the subject. We use
the passive voice:
 When we want to avoid blame
o The heavy taxes were levied.
o The World Trade Center was destroyed.
If we want to announce the blame, we use a by phrase:
The heavy taxes were levied by the previous
government.
Practice 5, p. 431
Review Exercises, pp. 434-435

 ONE NEGATIVE FORM TO A SENTENCE:
1. We don’t want no peanut butter.
2. Our boss doesn’t want nobody to take a vacation.
3. We don’t got no money.
Practice 2, p. 407
 ACADEMIC WRITING = FORMAL WRITING
 Paul McCartney sang, I wanna hold your hand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssDNrrLFbdc

However, we should not write wanna in our essays.
We need to avoid:
gonna, gotta, wanna
woulda, shoulda, coulda
etc.
 CONDITIONAL SENTENCES
(We might need these sentences in our cause-effect essays)

IF Clause
RESULT Clause
PRESENT TENSE
FUTURE ASPECT
The condition is true or
represents a real
possibility
If young people earn
they will find jobs more
their degrees,
easily.
If I win the lottery,
I will buy a larger house.

If we pass the ESLWAT,
If young people quit
smoking,
(When young people quit
smoking, )
IF Clause
PAST TENSE
The condition
represents an UNREAL
possibility in the
present.
We use the past tense
to signal that the
condition is not true
and probably not
possible.
If young people earned
their degrees,
If I won the lottery,
If we got up earlier every
day,

we will earn a better
grade in this course.
they become much
healthier.
they become much
healthier.
RESULT Clause
CONDITIONAL
ASPECT
Could + the base verb
Would + the base
verb

they would find jobs
more easily.
I would buy a larger
house.
we could exercise before
school.

Remember to use WERE
for all forms of BE:
(It is a holdover from
older English when we
used
the subjunctive mood
more frequently.)

I would drive to Chicago
this weekend.
he would climb Mt.

If I were you,
If Tom were younger,
If we were in Switzerland
right now,

Everest.
we would see beautiful
scenery.

IF Clause
PAST PERFECT TENSE
The condition cannot
happen because the
event is over.
If young people had
earned their degrees,
If I had won the lottery,
(Had I won the lottery,)
If we had washed our car
last weekend,
If John had quit smoking,
If the business had
closed,
If I had lost my job,

RESULT Clause
CONDITIONAL
PERFECT ASPECT
Would have + past
participle
they would have found
jobs more easily.
I would have bought a
larger house.
it wouldn’t have looked
so terrible yesterday.
he wouldn’t have
become so ill.
I would have lost my
job.
I wouldn’t have been
able to pay my rent.

Practices #4 & #5, pp. 409-411

 GERUNDS and INFINITIVES
o Remember that a gerund = VERB + -ing
swimming, running, dancing, working
producing, constructing, processing
o We can use a gerund as a subject, an object,
or the object of a preposition in a sentence

 Swimming is my favorite sport, but my
husband prefers running.
 Skiing is a favorite winter sport, but it
requires exercising every day.
 We’re tired of writing essays, but we know
that writing helps us.
o Many English verbs require a gerund: (p. 411)
 I admit taking that piece of candy.
 We appreciated learning about gerunds.
 Tom delayed telling his mother that he had
gotten a speeding ticket.
 We enjoy _______________.
o Remember that an infinitive = to + base verb
o Many English verbs require an infinitive:
 I can’t afford to buy gas these days!
 We deserve to drive anywhere we want.
 Don’t pretend to write your own essay
when you’ve copied it.
 George refused to see Mary because he
wanted to surprise her with a diamond the
next day.
 What would you like to do tomorrow?
o Some English verbs can be followed by either a
gerund or an infinitive:
 Begin, start, continue
 Like, dislike, love, hate

 We began to understand the lesson.
 We began understanding the lesson.
 What do you love to do/doing?
 What do you hate to do/doing?
 Remember, stop, used to + gerund/infinitive
but the meaning is different. What are the
meanings here:
1.I usually stop to buy groceries on the
way home from work.
2.I stopped buying my groceries at the
supermarket because I like farmers’
markets.
3. I always remember to lock my car.
4. I remember locking it yesterday, but
someone stole my iPod.
5. Jon used to smoke.
6. Jon is used to smoking.
 VERB + preposition (+object) + GERUND
o Let’s practice with phrasal verbs (verb +
preposition)
 Who was accused of murdering John F.
Kennedy?
 Did you apologize for copying your essay?
 What are you excited about doing?
 Did your father forbid you from smoking
when you were younger?
 Do you forgive me for stepping on your
toe?
Practice #6.