Loading....
Coupon Accepted Successfully!

 

Faulty Verb Tense

A verb is usually defined as
a word that expresses action or state of being
 
Oddly, this definition is simultaneously both obscure and too precise: “state of being” is vague, and words other than verbs can carry the weight of action in a sentence. However, any attempt to better define the concept of the verb will lead us into far more detail than we have room to discuss. Let’s just use the above definition to reinforce our intuitive understanding of the meaning and function of a verb in a sentence.

A verb has four principal parts:
  1. Present Tense
    1. Used to express present tense.
He studies hard.
  1. Used to express general truths.
During a recession, people are cautious about taking on more debt.
  1. Used with will or shall to express future time.
He will take the SAT next year.
  1. Past Tense 
    1. Used to express past tense.
He took the SAT last year. 
  1. Past Participle
    1. Used to form the present perfect tense, which indicates that an action was started in the past and its effects are continuing in the present. It is formed using have or has and the past participle of the verb.
He has prepared thoroughly for the SAT.
  1. Used to form the past perfect tense, which indicates that an action was completed before another past action. It is formed using had and the past participle of the verb.
He had prepared thoroughly before taking the SAT.
  1. Used to form the future perfect tense, which indicates that an action will be completed before another future action. It is formed using will have or shall have and the past participle of the verb.
He will have prepared thoroughly before taking the SAT.
  1. Present Participle (-ing form of the verb) 
    1. Used to form the present progressive tense, which indicates that an action is ongoing. It is formed using is, am, or are and the present participle of the verb.
He is preparing thoroughly for the SAT.
  1. Used to form the past progressive tense, which indicates that an action was in progress in the past. It is formed using was or were and the present participle of the verb.
He was preparing for the SAT.
  1. Used to form the future progressive tense, which indicates that an action will be in progress in the future. It is formed using will be or shall be and the present participle of the verb.
He will be preparing thoroughly for the SAT.

Passive Voice

Note: The passive voice removes the subject from the sentence. It is formed with the verb to be and the past participle of the main verb.

The passive voice removes the subject from the sentence. It is formed with the verb to be and the past participle of the main verb.

Passive:

The bill was resubmitted by the Senator.

Active:

The Senator has resubmitted the bill.

Unless you want to de-emphasize the doer of an action, you should favor the active voice. Passive sentences are usually considered loose.
Notice in the above example that the sentence with the active verb is more lively, more powerful.
 
Note: Be alert to passive constructions that point to the wrong doer of an action.

 

Example

The head of the insurgency was reported killed in the first day of action by the press.

The passive structure seems to imply that the press killed the head of the insurgency. In the construction killed in the first day of action by the press drop the intervening phrase in the first day and you get killed by the press. The sentence is better expressed at least partially in the active voice:

The press reported that the head of the insurgency was killed in the first day of action.

Here, the subject press uses the active verb reported, and presumably the army is alluded to by the passive verb was killed.
 





Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name