English

Major Grammar Errors: Verb Tense & Form Errors

The final portion of our major grammar errors series will focus on verb tense and form errors. 

These are some of the most common errors I see in my students’ writings, but a short review of these errors and how to correct them will help you catch them in your writing as well as teach them to your children.

Verb Tense: The best way to avoid verb tense errors is to remain consistent. If you’re writing in present tense, don’t switch to past tense unless it makes sense and vice versa.

Incorrect: Sam washes the clothes, wrings them out, and hung them on the clothesline. 

Correct: Sam washes the clothes, wrings them out, and hangs them on the clothesline. 

Incorrect: When George visits his grandmother last week, he washed his hands before he eats, used polite manners, and makes up his bed each day.

Correct: When George visited his grandmother last week, he washed his hands before he ate, used polite manners, and made up his bed each day.

For more on information verb tense errors, visit The Owl at Purdue. They also have exercises at the bottom of this linked webpage to help you practice what you’ve learned. 

Verb Form: This error is harder because of irregular verbs that we have in our beautiful yet complicated language. When verbs don’t conjugate according to the normal rules, we often make mistakes in our speaking or writing because we either don’t know the correct form or simply try to use the regular rules for irregular verbs. 

Incorrect: I’ve ate all day long. 

Correct: I’ve eaten all day long.

Incorrect: The witches were hung by the townspeople.

Correct: The witches were hanged by the townspeople. 

Incorrect: Tom has went there already. 

Correct: Tom has gone there already.

For more on practice on how to avoid verb form errors, see Chomp Chomp / Grammar Bytes.

Please let me know if you have any questions about verb form and tense or any other grammar issue you or your children may have. I’d love to help you!

~Christie

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