The Art Of Using Correct Verb Tenses In Your Writing

This post from Writer’s Relief Staff originally appeared on The Huffington Post Books Blog on 4/2/14.

Enforcing consistent verb tense in your writing is crucial. Nothing makes an editor’s brain hurt more than trying to read through distracting or confusing verb tenses. If one sentence has so many varying tenses that readers don’t know if you’re coming or going, you can be sure your work is going to end up in the editor’s reject pile.

But choosing the right verb tense isn’t always easy. Let’s start with the basics:

The Simple form (aka stick-figure art)
Past: I drew.
Present: I draw.
Future: I will draw.

Jake drew a picture of Mary.

So simple and easy, you’re probably thinking: Thanks, Captain Obvious. So let’s take it up a notch. What if you want to imply action that ends in a specific time frame? Then, you would use the Perfect form:

 

Click here to read the full post on The Huffington Post Books Blog.

 

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