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Verb Tense

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Verb Tense

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  1. Verb Tense EOL Page 458

  2. The tense of a verb indicates the time of the action or the state of being that is expressed by the verb.

  3. The six tenses are present, past, future, present perfect, past perfect, future perfect.

  4. These tenses are formed from the principal parts of verbs. Each of these six tenses has its own uses.

  5. Past Perfect Past Perfect: existing or happening before a specific time in the past.

  6. Past Past: existing or happening in the past.

  7. Present Perfect Present perfect: existing or happening sometime before now; may be continuing now.

  8. Present Present: existing or happening now.

  9. Future Perfect Future Perfect: existing or happening before a specific time in the future.

  10. Future Future: existing or happening in the future.

  11. Consistency of Tense Do not change needlessly from one tense to another. To write about events that take place at about the same time, use verbs in the same tense. To write about events that occur at different times, use verbs in different tenses.

  12. Consistency of Tense • Inconsistent: The cat jumped onto the counter and steals the sandwich. (The events happen at about the same time, just jumped is in the past tense, and steals is in the present tense.) • Consistent: The cat jumped onto the counter and stole the sandwich. (Both verbs are in the past tense.) • Consistent: The cat jumps onto the counter and steals the sandwich. (Both verbs are in the present tense.)

  13. Six Confusing Verbs • Sit and Set The verb sit means “to be seated” or “to rest.” Sit seldom takes a direct object. The verb set means “to put (something) in a place.” Set usually takes a direct object. Notice that set has the same form for the base form, past, and past participle.

  14. Sit and Set

  15. Examples • I will sit in the easy chair. (no direct object) • I will set the cushion in the easy chair. (I will set what? Cushion is the direct object.) • The worker has sat in the easy chair. (no direct object) • The workers have set their equipment there. (The workers have set what? Equipment is the direct object.)

  16. Rise and Raise The verb rise means “to go up” or “to get up.” Rise does not take a direct object. The verb raise means “to lift (something) up” or “to cause (something) to rise.” Raise usually takes a direct object.

  17. Rise and Raise

  18. Examples • The winner is rising to receive his medal. (no direct object) • The winner is raising her arms in triumph. (The winner is raising what? Arms is the direct object.) • Taxes rose quickly. (no direct object) • Congress raised taxes. (Congress raised what? Taxes is the direct object.)

  19. Lie and Lay The verb lie generally means “to recline,” “to be in a place,” or “to remain lying down.” Lie does not take a direct object. The verb lay generally means “to put (something) down” or “to place (something).” Lay usually takes a direct object.

  20. Lie and Lay

  21. Examples • The beam is lying near the edge. (no direct object) • The workers are laying the beams near the edge. (The workers are laying what? Beams is the direct object.) • The newspaper lay on the kitchen table. (no direct object) • Sara laid the newspaper on the kitchen table. (Sara laid what? Newspaper is the direct object.)

  22. Examples • The beach blanket has lain under the umbrella. (no direct object) • They have laid the beach blanket under the umbrella. (They have laid what? Blanket is the direct object.)