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Avoiding Shifts in Tense, Person, and Voice PowerPoint Presentation
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Avoiding Shifts in Tense, Person, and Voice

Avoiding Shifts in Tense, Person, and Voice

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Avoiding Shifts in Tense, Person, and Voice

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  1. Avoiding Shifts in Tense, Person, and Voice

  2. 1. Watch your verb tenses. • Don’t shift back and forth in time unless you have a good reason.

  3. Present tense Illogical Shift in Verb Tense Past tense • I started writing my essay last night at 9 p.m. and then finish it five minutes before class today.

  4. Past tense Consistent Verb Tense Past tense I started writing my essay last night at 9 p.m. and then finished it five minutes before class today.

  5. Future tense Logical Shift in Verb Tense Past tense I started writing my essay last night at 9 p.m., but I will not do that any more.

  6. 2. Watch your pronouns. Don’t move back and forth between first-, second-, and third-person pronouns unless you have a good reason.

  7. SINGULAR PLURAL 1st person I (me/my) we (us/our) (= the person who is writing or speaking) 2nd person you (your) you (your) (= the person who is being written or spoken to) 3rd person he (him/his) they she (her) (them/their) (= the person or it (its) thing being one (one’s) written about) PRONOUNS: The System

  8. Illogical Shift in Person Third Person Everyone can become a good writer once you learn how to revise and edit. Second Person

  9. Consistent Point of View • I can become a good writer once I learn how to revise and edit. • Youcan become a good writer once you learn how to revise and edit. • Everyone can become a good writer once he or she learns how to revise and edit. 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person

  10. 3. Watch active/passive voice. • Don’t shift back and forth between active and passive voice unless you have a good reason. • In an active sentence, the subject performs the action. • She took my sister’s old job. • The subject, she, performed the action in this sentence—she did the taking.

  11. Watch active/passive voice. • In a passive sentence, the subject is acted upon. • My sister’s old job was taken by her. • The subject, job, receives the action in this sentence—it was taken.

  12. Passive Illogical Shift in Voice • Jill and I started the report, and it was finished by another team. Active

  13. Consistent Voice Active Jill and I started the report, and another team finished it. Active

  14. Generally, prefer the active voice: • The directions were given by the teacher. • The teacher gave the directions. • Economic declines are often caused by rising interest rates. • Rising interest rates often cause economic declines. Passive Active Passive Active

  15. To review illogical shifts in tense, person, and voice, see Chapter 17.