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Tense Shifts

Tenses are how writers indicate when a particular event happened. These
tenses are expressed in the form of verbs.
Forms: Past, present, and future

Past: Johnny played fetch with Cooper at the park.
Present: Johnny is playing fetch with Cooper at the park.
Future: Johnny is going to play fetch witch Cooper at the park.

What is a tense shift?

A tense shift is when a writer changes verb tenses within the same
Maria went to her piano lesson and practices her new songs

This example uses the past form of go and the present form of practice,
which can be confusing for the reader to read
Josh eats his chicken nuggets when he got home from school

This example uses the present form of eat and the past form of get

**Always use the same verb tense when you are writing about the same
In the following sentences, identify the correct form of the verb
being used. If there is no error in verb tense, select no change

Because Sammy had been eating all of the chocolate mint ice cream before she

got home, Roxanne whacked him over the head.

A. Ate

B. Had eaten

C. Was eating

D. No change necessary

Grandpa planted a backyard garden, hoping that it was helping the cost of high

food prices.

A. Will help

B. Would help

C. Helped

D. No change necessary

Everyone is sleeping soundly when Brendan dropped the glass pitcher of

lemonade on the stone tiles of the kitchen floor.

A. Had been sleeping

B. Slept

C. Would sleep

D. No change necessary
Grammar Chant:

Yesterday I was sad

Today I am happy

Tomorrow I will be very happy

Yesterday I had ice cream

Today I have more ice cream

Tomorrow I will have a stomachache

Yesterday I did homework

Today I am doing homework

Tomorrow I will take a quiz

Yesterday I said Hi

Today I say Hello

Tomorrow I will say How are you?


The readings helped me create this grammar book by giving me good

examples of grammar explanations and activities to get my ideas flowing for

my own book. I decided to write about verb tenses because it is a common

mistake that kids can make if they dont understand how/when to use each

verb tense. I laid out this grammar book in a clear and logical way, in hopes

that a student who uses this book as practice would leave with a better

understanding of how to use verb tenses.