Inappropriate Shifts in Verb Tense Worksheets
Related ELA Standard: L.5.1.D
Under most circumstances writers will attempt to keep verbs in the same tense (present, part, etc.) There will be a need to shift verb tense as writers try to convey a shift in time. Whenever you have two verbs in the same sentence you should always check the tense structure for consistency. As a writer extends their writing to several sentences and paragraphs, the tenses will adjust with the main discourse. These worksheets will help you spot any inconsistencies in verb tense shifts.
Shifts in Verb Tense Worksheets:
Little Cyclone – Which
sentence makes more sense, based on what you have read?
Verb Tense – Express the
timing on something based on tenses.
A Storm at Sea
– Underline the verbs in the sentences below. Then write the future
tense of each on the line.
Back to School
– Circle the verb(s) in each sentence. If it is an action verb,
write an A above the verb. If it is a state of being verb, write a
B above the verb.
Mantis – Underline the verbs in each sentence below. Write
whether they are present or past tense on the line. Then rewrite the
sentence in future tense.
Music Play! – The paragraph below is from the novel The Secret
Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Read the paragraph, paying careful
attention to the verb tenses that are used. Then answer the questions.
The Ride of
Paul Revere – Read each sentence below. Then match the sentence
with the information that the verb tense give you.
Consistency – Read each set of verbs below. Then use the numbered
columns to put them in chronological order. Follow the example.
Verb Tenses – Complete each sentence by adding to each subject
a verb or a verb clause showing action or state of being.
What Are Inappropriate Shifts in Verb Tense
Verbs are words that determine actions done by the subject in the sentence. Depending on the nature of actions as well as the time it took place, these verbs can be written using three different tenses in the English language. This makes way for the existence of three verb tenses in the English language - present verb tense, past verb tense, and future verb tense.
Whenever there are two or more than two verbs in the same sentence, verb tenses must be used in a consistent manner with the same tense being applicable to all the verbs throughout the statement. However, the inability to produce sentences in language with consistent verb tenses used gives birth to wrong sentences. The inappropriate shifts in verb tenses used in sentences can be of various forms. Some of these forms are given below:
The Present to Past Verb Tense Shift
If a sentence is talking about two actions in the running time, then both of these verbs must be written in their present form. Writing the first verb in present tense while writing the other in past tense can give rise to a wrongly written statement.
For Example: "I detangle my hair and I screamed" is a wrong sentence because there is a wrong shift from first present tense ‘detangle' to the past tense ‘screamed'.
The Past to Present Verb Tense Shift
If a sentence is written for describing an event that has already happened, then the verbs must be used in their past tense form. It would be wrong to say "Yesterday, I went to Sarah's place and I take an Uber". Here the tense is inappropriately shifting from past to present, making it difficult to understand the sentence with ease.