Saturday, July 20, 2013

Top 20 Grammar Errors: Wrong Tense or Verb Form REVISED!

Wrong Tense or Verb Form

If you are keeping up with this blog series, you have probably noticed a familiar theme. Today’s grammar error, number 13 in our list of the top twenty grammar errors is the wrong tense or verb form.

Please see grammar error number 10.

What We Already Know

So what do we already know?  Verb tense indicates when an action was completed and unnecessary verb tense shifts confuse the reader. And, if you have error 10 mastered, you pretty much have error 13—wrong tense or verb form—covered because they are the SAME!

Error 13 Revised

Seriously, I had planned to have this posted yesterday, but staring at several grammar sites, The Everyday Writer by Lunsford and Connors, and Jeff Anderson’s Mechanically Inclined, error 13 is the same as error 10.

The sixth edition of The St. Martin’s Handbook does not even list out error 13 as a separate error in their top twenty grammar errors.

In fact, St. Martin’s has a slightly different list which includes spelling, mechanical error with a quotation, an unnecessary comma, unnecessary or missing capitalization, poorly integrated quotation, and an unnecessary or missing hyphen. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LIST!

(Somebody should write a blog on those additional errors from St. Martin’s.)

Lunsford, Connors, and Anderson do, however, emphasize irregular verbs in grammar error thirteen. Error thirteen, therefore, in my opinion, should be renamed: irregular verb error! Share this new information with your friends. It’s vital.

Irregular Verbs

 The English language has a whole slew of irregular verbs. 200 irregular verbs are in everyday, normal use. Here’s a list.

As native speakers, for the most part, we conjugate tenses of irregular verbs pretty automatically. For example, we don’t say:

My van broked.

Well, except for maybe my brother. But he is also a teacher, and when he writes, he writes:

My van broke.

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