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26
Verb Problems
Avoiding Mistakes in Verb Tense

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Understand What Verb Tense Is
?¦ IDEA JOURNAL Write about something you did yesterday. Then, write about it again as if you are going to do it tomorrow.

Verb tense tells when the action of a sentence occurs ??” in the present, in the past, or in the future. Verbs change their form and use the helping verbs have or be to indicate different tenses. To choose the correct form and tense, consider whether the subject is singular or plural and when the action occurs.
PRESENT TENSE

Teresa and I talk every day. [Plural subject] She also talks to her mother every morning. [Singular
subject]

?¦ In the examples throughout this chapter, the subject is underlined once, and the verb is underlined twice.

PRESENT TENSE

PAST TENSE FUTURE TENSE

Yesterday, they talked for two hours. [Plural subject] Tomorrow, they will talk again. [Plural subject]

Language Note: Remember to add the endings on present-tense and past-tense verbs, even if they can??™t be heard in speech.
PRESENT TENSE PAST TENSE
?¦ For more on subject-verb agreement and singular versus plural verb forms, see Chapter 25.

Krystal plays varsity basketball. She played in the game yesterday.

Regular verbs follow a few standard patterns in the present and past tenses, and their past-tense and past-participle forms end in -ed or -d.

452

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Irregular verbs change spelling in the past-tense and past-participle forms. (For more on irregular verbs, see pp. 467??“75.)
REGULAR VERB: WALK IRREGULAR VERB: EAT

Past tense Past participle

walked [I walked.] walked [I have/had walked.]

ate [I ate.] eaten [I have/had eaten.]

In the Real World, Why Is It Important to Use Correct Verbs
Errors in verb tense can create a negative impression of the writer, as the following example shows. SITUATION: A student that Shawn has been working with shows him the script for an oral presentation he has to give in school the following week. Here is what the student wrote as an introduction:
Last week I done gone to the awards day for Diamond Educators and receive my ?rst prize ever. I receive the prize because last semester I work with younger kids to help them do things right, like doing their homework and why it be important to go to school. Before I meet people at Diamond, I never understand why school matter. I believe that only fools cared about school, but now I know education can change my life. Trying to get a good education don??™t mean selling out: It mean making something of myself.
RESPONSE: The student has great ideas here, but there are lots of errors that will make people ignore his good ideas. He??™s writing more like he talks informally, and I tell people over and over that they need to know how and when to use ???formal??? English. It is important to achieving their own goals and to getting a better life.

Shawn Brown
Founder, Diamond Educators (See Shawn??™s Pro?le of Success on p. 303.)

Use Correct Verbs
Verbs have several tenses to express past, present, and future time. This section will explain what those tenses are and how to use them correctly when you write.

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Regular Verbs
To avoid mistakes with regular verbs, understand the basic patterns for forming the present, past, and future tenses.

Present Tense
The simple present tense is used for actions that are happening at the same time that you are writing about them and about actions that are ongoing. There are two forms for the simple present tense of regular verbs ??” -s ending or no added ending. Use the -s ending when the subject is she, he, or it, or the name of one person or thing. Do not add any ending for other subjects.

Regular Verbs in the Simple Present Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL

First person Second person Third person

I laugh. You laugh. She/he/it laughs. The baby laughs.

We laugh. You laugh. They laugh. The babies laugh.

PRACTICE 1 FINDING VERB ERRORS

Find and underline the eleven errors in the student??™s writing on page 453.

PRACTICE 2 USING THE SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE OF REGULAR VERBS

In each of the following sentences, ?rst underline the subject, and then circle the correct verb form.
EXAMPLE:
?¦ For answers to odd-numbered practice exercises, see pages A-1??“A-19 at the back of the book.

Most elevator riders ( share / shares ) a common complaint.

1. Too often, elevator doors ( open / opens ) at practically every ?oor even when there are just a few people in the car.

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2. Now, guests at one big hotel ( enjoy / enjoys ) faster, more direct elevator rides, thanks to a new ???smart elevator??? system. 3. The system ( work / works ) so well because it knows where people want to go before they get into their elevator car. 4. Whenever someone ( want / wants ) to take an elevator, he or she must ?rst punch in the desired ?oor number at a keypad in the lobby. 5. A digital display then ( indicate / indicates ) the letter of the elevator car that will directly go to a ?oor close to the person??™s destination. 6. To ensure that guests don??™t get confused with the new system, employees of the hotel ( help / helps ) guests to use it correctly. 7. The hotel??™s managers ( claim / claims ) that the system reduces the average trip time by up to 30 percent. 8. However, some guests ( express / expresses ) irritation with the system. 9. They sometimes ( wait / waits ) a long time for an elevator, and then they cannot get into the ?rst car that comes because it is not going near their ?oor. 10. Still, most people who use the system ( consider / considers ) it to be a welcome improvement in elevator technology.

?¦ For more practice with verbs, visit Exercise Central at bedfordstmartins .com/realessays.

Two other present-tense forms are the present progressive tense and the present perfect tense. The present progressive tense is used to describe actions that are in progress. It is formed as follows:

Present-tense form of be (helping verb)

+

Main verb with -ing ending

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Present Progressive Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL

First person Second person Third person

I am laughing. You are laughing. She/he/it is laughing. The baby is laughing.

We are laughing. You are laughing. They are laughing. The babies are laughing.

Language Note: Some languages, such as Russian, do not use the progressive tense. If your ?rst language does not use the progressive tense, pay special attention to this section.

PRACTICE 3 USING THE PRESENT PROGRESSIVE TENSE

In each of the following sentences, underline the helping verb (a form of be), and ?ll in the correct form of the verb in parentheses.
EXAMPLE:

My grandmother is looking (look) into our family history. (start) with my grandfather??™s side of the family, the

1. She is Mancinis.

2. To learn more about the Mancinis, she is

(contact) several of

my grandfather??™s relatives to get birth documents and other information. 3. Also, she is (gather) information about the Mancinis through

genealogy sites on the Internet. 4. She is (learn) a lot about my grandfather??™s ancestors; for in-

stance, they were peasants who ?ed Italy around 1910 because of dif?cult living conditions. 5. My sister and I are records from Ellis Island. (help) our grandmother by looking at online

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6. Also, we are at a local college. 7. Even our mother is 8. For example, she is 9. She is constantly

(think) of taking a course in genealogical research

(pitch) in. (call ) older Mancinis to get family stories. (share) the stories with my sister and me; for

instance, she learned that our great-grandfather helped to organize a coalminer strike soon after coming to America. 10. ???These stories are (remind) me of some modern Mancinis,??? she

said. ???We like to stir things up.???

The present perfect tense is used for an action begun in the past that is ongoing into the present or that was completed at some unspeci?ed time in the past. It is formed by using a past participle, a verb form that uses the helping verb have. The past participle of the verb play, for example, is has played or have played. The present perfect is formed as follows:
Present-tense form of have (helping verb) + Past participle
?¦ Be and have are irregular verbs. For more details on irregular verbs, see pages 467??“75.

Present Perfect Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL

First person Second person Third person

I have laughed. You have laughed. She/he/it has laughed. The baby has laughed.

We have laughed. You have laughed. They have laughed. The babies have laughed.

Language Note: Be careful not to leave out have when it is needed for the present perfect. Time-signal words like since or for may mean that the present perfect is needed.
INCORRECT CORRECT

Krystal played basketball since she was ten. Krystal has played basketball since she was ten.

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PRACTICE 4 USING THE PRESENT PERFECT TENSE

In each of the following sentences, underline the helping verb (a form of have), and ?ll in the correct form of the verb in parentheses.
EXAMPLE:

My father has served (serve) in the army for twenty years. (force) our family to move many

1. My father??™s military career has times. 2. We have 3. I have

(live) in seven towns that I remember. (attend) three different high schools. (seem) like home.

4. None of the towns has ever really 5. I have never 6. None of us has ever 7. My closest friends have all 8. One of them has seventeen other countries. 9. She has always 10. But she has

(object) to my family??™s traveling life. (expect) to stay in one place for long. (travel) a lot, too. (visit) Egypt, Australia, Turkey, Pakistan, and

(like) the idea of becoming a travel agent. (decide) to accept a position with a large interna-

tional corporation that will allow her to travel.

Past Tense
The simple past tense is used for actions that have already happened. An -ed ending is needed for all regular verbs in the past tense.
SIMPLE PRESENT SIMPLE PAST

First person Second person Third person

I rush to work. You lock the door. Rufus seems strange.

I rushed to work. You locked the door. Rufus seemed strange.

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PRACTICE 5 USING THE SIMPLE PAST TENSE

In each of the following sentences, ?ll in the correct past-tense form of the verb in parentheses. EXAMPLE: After the Revolutionary War ended (end), American politicians turned (turn) their anger against each other. (1) In general, politicians after the war (decide) to support

either Alexander Hamilton, who favored a strong central government, or Thomas Jefferson, who advocated states??™ rights. (2) Rival politicians were so they people (concern) about the direction of the new democracy, (attack) each other with great passion. (3) Few (care) about facts or honesty in their attacks. (4) Some (challenge) President George Washington (engage)

politicians eagerly and

(call ) him a would-be king. (5) Hamilton

in personal attacks that were especially nasty. (6) In return, Hamilton??™s enemies monarchy. (7) In six different instances, Hamilton in ?erce arguments that (8) He (participate) (accuse) him of planning to bring back the British

(stop) just short of causing a duel.

(fail ) to avoid a duel in his long dispute with Vice Presi(charge) Burr with (duel ) in 1804,

dent Aaron Burr. (9) For years, Hamilton being corrupt and dishonest. (10) When they each

(?re) a shot from a pistol. (11) Burr was not hit, but Hamilton (die) the next day.

was seriously wounded, and he

SIMPLE PAST TENSE

My car stalled.

[The car stalled at some point in the past but does not stall now, in the present.]
PRESENT PERFECT TENSE

My car has stalled often.

?¦ Be careful not to confuse the simple past tense with the present perfect tense (see p. 457).

[The car began to stall in the past but may continue to do so into the present.]

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PRACTICE 6 USING THE SIMPLE PAST TENSE AND PRESENT PERFECT TENSE

In each of the following sentences, circle the correct verb form.
EXAMPLE:

Within the last twenty years, racial pro?ling ( became / has become ) a signi?cant source of disagreement between law enforcement agencies and some communities of color.

1. Numerous charges of racial pro?ling ( increased / have increased ) the tension between local police and members of various ethnic groups. 2. Law enforcement agencies ( used / have used ) pro?ling for a long time. 3. With this practice, they ( attempted / have attempted ) to identify people who might be participating in criminal activity by their behavior and the conditions of a particular situation. 4. Once these ???pro?led??? individuals ( were singled out / have been singled out ), the police questioned or searched them for drugs, guns, or other illegal material. 5. In 1998, an investigation of the New Jersey State Police ( raised / has raised ) the public??™s awareness of this issue. 6. The extensive publicity from this investigation ( de?ned / has de?ned ) racial pro?ling as the separating out of members of racial or ethnic groups for minor traf?c or criminal offenses. 7. Investigators reviewing past law-enforcement activity concluded that the New Jersey State Police ( violated / have violated ) civil rights on numerous occasions. 8. Since this case was made public, other police departments ( initiated / have initiated ) investigations into their own possible pro?ling activities. 9. Similarly, communities ( started / have started ) to demand that the police be more accountable in their relationships with members of minority racial or ethnic groups.

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10. The issue of pro?ling ( endured / has endured ) in the public mind and continues to be controversial.

Two other past-tense forms are the past progressive tense and the past perfect tense. The past progressive tense is used to describe actions that were ongoing in the past. It is formed as follows:

Past-tense form of be (helping verb)

+

Main verb with -ing ending

Past Progressive Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL

First person Second person Third person

I was laughing. You were laughing. She/he/it was laughing. The baby was laughing.

We were laughing. You were laughing. They were laughing. The babies were laughing.

PRACTICE 7 USING THE PAST PROGRESSIVE TENSE

In each of the following sentences, ?rst underline the helping verb (a form of be), and then ?ll in the correct form(s) of the verb in parentheses.
EXAMPLE:

Grandma and Grandpa still remember what they were doing (do) when Neil Armstrong became the ?rst person to walk on the moon. (climb) up Mount

1. On that summer day in 1969, they were Marcy, the highest mountain in New York State. 2. Neither of them was walk.

(intend) to see that famous ?rst moon

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3. They were both mountain.

( focus) on the dif?cult climb up the steep

4. Grandma, who exercised regularly, was well. 5. But Grandpa was

(handle) the hike pretty

(have) a lot of trouble with it. ??“

6. By the time they got about halfway up the mountain, he was (ask) to stop for a rest every few minutes. 7. Finally, he said he was went back down with him. 8. On the drive back to their house in New Jersey, they were

(stop) and going back down; Grandma

(listen) to the radio when they heard that Neil Armstrong would soon set foot on the moon. 9. They drove to the nearest diner, where people were the moon landing on television. 10. About ten minutes after Grandma and Grandpa had each ordered hot chocolate, they were (experience), along with most of the (watch)

world, the ?rst steps on the moon by a human.

The past perfect tense is used for an action that was begun in the past but was completed before some other past action took place. It is formed as follows:
?¦ Be and have are irregular verbs. For more details on irregular verbs, see pages 467??“75.

Past-tense form of have

+

Past participle

Past tense of have
PAST PERFECT TENSE

Past participle

My head had ached for a week before I called a doctor.

[Both of the actions (head ached and I called ) happened in the past, but the ache happened before the calling.]

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Be careful not to confuse the simple past tense with the past perfect tense.
SIMPLE PAST TENSE

My car stalled.

[One action (the car??™s stalling) occurred in the past.]
PAST PERFECT TENSE

By the time Jill arrived, my car had stalled.

[Two actions (Jill??™s arrival and the car??™s stalling) occurred in the past, but the car stalled before Jill??™s arrival.]

PRACTICE 8 USING THE PAST PERFECT TENSE

In each of the following sentences, circle the correct verb form. Note: Some of the verbs are irregular. For a chart showing forms of these verbs, see pages 469??“72.
EXAMPLE:

By the time I reached home, rolling blackouts ( darkened / had darkened ) the city.
?¦ For more practice on the past and perfect tenses, see Chapter 33.

1. The temperature was unseasonably hot when I ( got / had gotten ) out of bed that morning. 2. By noon, the air conditioners at the of?ce ( were running / had been running ) at high power for three hours. 3. My boss told me that she ( heard / had heard ) that energy use that day was skyrocketing. 4. I ( asked / had asked ) how we could conserve energy. 5. I mentioned that I ( just learned / had just learned ) that some household and of?ce machines use power even when they are turned off. 6. My boss ( read / had read ) the same information, so we unplugged computers in the of?ce that were not in use. 7. We also ( raised / had raised ) the of?ce temperature from sixty-eight degrees to seventy-two, and then we turned off some of the lights. 8. By late afternoon, we ( did / had done ) everything we could think of to save energy, but it was not enough.

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9. We knew that the city ( warned / had warned ) residents that rolling blackouts were possible. 10. However, when the of?ce ( suddenly darkened / had suddenly darkened ), everyone was stunned.

Future Tense
The simple future tense is used for actions that will happen in the future. It is formed with the helping verb will.

Simple Future Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL

First person

I will graduate in May. You will graduate in May. She/he/it will graduate in May. My son will graduate in May.

We will graduate in May. You will graduate in May. They will graduate in May. My sons will graduate in May.

Second person

Third person

Two other future tense forms to be familiar with are the future progressive tense and the future perfect tense. The future progressive tense is used to describe actions in the future that are continuing. It is formed as follows:
Will + Be + Main verb with -ing ending

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Future Progressive Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL

First person

I will be working Friday. You will be working Friday. She/he/it will be working Friday. The boss will be working Friday.

We will be working Friday. You will be working Friday. They will be working Friday. The bosses will be working Friday.

Second person

Third person

The future perfect tense is used to describe actions that will be completed in the future before another action in the future. It is formed as follows:
Will have + Past participle

Future Perfect Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL

First person

I will have ?nished by 10:00. You will have ?nished by 10:00. She/he/it will have ?nished by 10:00. The painter will have ?nished by 10:00.

We will have ?nished by 10:00. You will have ?nished by 10:00. They will have ?nished by 10:00. The painters will have ?nished by 10:00.

Second person

Third person

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PRACTICE 9 USING THE FUTURE TENSE

In each of the following sentences, circle the correct verb form. Note: Some of the verbs are irregular. For a chart showing forms of these verbs, see pages 469??“72.
EXAMPLE:

By Monday, Andrew ( will pass / will be passing / will have passed ) his driving test.

1. From then on, he ( will use / will be using / will have used ) his new car whenever he wants to get anywhere. 2. Andrew has already said he ( will visit / will be visiting / will have visited ) his friend Angela at her school one day next month. 3. Over the next few days, he also ( will plan / will be planning / will have planned ) visits to several other friends. 4. His car??™s manual says that his car ( will need / will be needing / will have needed ) servicing in six months. 5. By the time he leaves for his trip to Colorado next fall, he ( will check / will be checking / will have checked ) with his mechanic to make sure the car is in good condition. 6. Andrew has promised himself that, whenever something needs to be ?xed on the car, he ( will ?x / will be ?xing / will have ?xed ) it. 7. He learned this from seeing his older sister Carrie, who always ( will wait / will be waiting / will have waited ) until something in her car breaks before she concerns herself with it. 8. Andrew expects that next winter he ( will receive / will be receiving / will have received ) frequent emergency calls from his sister when her car breaks down. 9. By next spring, he expects that he ( will rescue / will be rescuing / will have rescued ) her several times.

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10. But he also realizes that, even after having several breakdowns, Carrie still ( will avoid / will be avoiding / will have avoided ) dealing with any car problem until she absolutely must.

Irregular Verbs
Unlike regular verbs, which have past-tense and past-participle forms that end in -ed or -d, irregular verbs change spelling in the past-tense and past-participle forms.

Present-Tense Irregular Verbs
Only a few verbs are irregular in the present tense. The ones most commonly used are the verbs be and have.
BE SINGULAR PLURAL HAVE SINGULAR PLURAL

First person Second person Third person

I am you are he/she/it is the dog is Chris is

we are you are they are Chris and Dan are

I have you have he/she/it has Chris has

we have you have they have the dogs have Chris and Dan have

the dogs are the dog has

PRACTICE 10

USING BE AND HAVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE

In each of the following sentences, ?ll in the correct form of the verb indicated in parentheses.
EXAMPLE:

Disc golf

is

(be) played with Frisbees.

1. I

(be) a fanatical disc golfer. (have) eighteen holes, like regular golf, but uses a Fris-

2. The game

bee instead of a ball. 3. A disc golf course 4. A tee (have) fairways and holes.

(be) at the beginning of each fairway.

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5. Players

(be) eager to get the Frisbee from the tee into a metal basket

in the fewest possible throws. 6. Some disc golfers (have) special Frisbees for teeing off and putting. (have) thirty different Fris-

7. My brother, who also plays disc golf, bees for the game. 8. His wife 9. ???You

(be) surprisingly patient with his enthusiasm for the sport. (be) in the middle of a second adolescence,??? she tells him. (have) formidable Frisbee technique.

10. However, she, too,

Past-Tense Irregular Verbs
As discussed earlier, the past-tense and past-participle forms of irregular verbs do not follow a standard pattern. For example, they do not use the -ed ending for past tense, although the past participle uses a helping verb, just as regular verbs do.
PRESENT TENSE PAST TENSE PAST PARTICIPLE

Tony makes hats. You write well. I ride a bike.

Tony made hats. You wrote well. I rode a bike.

Tony has/had made hats. You have/had written well. I have/had ridden a bike.

The verb be is tricky because it has two different forms for the past tense ??” was and were.

The Verb Be, Past Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL

First person Second person Third person

I was you were she/he/it was the car was Jolanda was

we were you were they were the cars were Jolanda and Ti were

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PRACTICE 11

USING PAST-TENSE FORMS OF THE VERB BE

In the paragraph that follows, ?ll in each blank with the correct past-tense form of the verb be.
EXAMPLE:

The many visitors to President Lincoln??™s White House were generally polite. respectful of his visitors as well, but they took politicians,

(1) Lincoln

up a great deal of his time. (2) Most of his visitors

army generals, journalists, job seekers, and relatives of Mrs. Lincoln. (3) Nearly every visitor seeking something from the president, such

as promotions, policy changes, or pardons. (4) Whenever a visitor came asking for nothing, Lincoln relatives the Todds clearly relieved. (5) Mrs. Lincoln??™s

especially troublesome for the president. (6) Many of Confederate sympathizers or even Confederate comlooking for

batants. (7) Usually, though, a Todd visiting Lincoln

a job. (8) Nearly everyone who had known Lincoln at some point in his life welcomed by the president. (9) His manner almost quickly put at

always so friendly and gracious that his visitors

ease. (10) Contrary to the serious face in the Lincoln Memorial, whenever the president greeted a visitor, he usually smiling.

As you write and edit, consult the following chart to make sure that you use the correct form of irregular verbs.

Irregular Verb Forms
PRESENT TENSE PAST TENSE PAST PARTICIPLE (with helping verb)

am/are/is become

was/were became

been become
continued

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PRESENT TENSE

PAST TENSE

PAST PARTICIPLE (with helping verb)

begin bite blow break bring build buy catch choose come cost do draw drink drive eat fall feed feel ?ght ?nd forget freeze get give go grow have/has hide hit hold hurt

began bit blew broke brought built bought caught chose came cost did drew drank drove ate fell fed felt fought found forgot froze got gave went grew had hid hit held hurt

begun bitten blown broken brought built bought caught chosen come cost done drawn drunk driven eaten fallen fed felt fought found forgotten frozen gotten given gone grown had hidden hit held hurt

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PRESENT TENSE

PAST TENSE

PAST PARTICIPLE (with helping verb)

keep know lay leave let lie light lose make mean meet pay put quit read ride run say see sell send set (to place) shake show shut sing sink sit (to be seated) sleep speak spend stand

kept knew laid left let lay lit lost made meant met paid put quit read rode ran said saw sold sent set shook showed shut sang sank sat slept spoke spent stood

kept known laid left let lain lit lost made meant met paid put quit read ridden run said seen sold sent set shaken shown shut sung sunk sat slept spoken spent stood
continued

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PRESENT TENSE

PAST TENSE

PAST PARTICIPLE (with helping verb)

steal stick sting strike swim take teach tear tell think throw understand wake wear win write

stole stuck stung struck swam took taught tore told thought threw understood woke wore won wrote

stolen stuck stung struck, stricken swum taken taught torn told thought thrown understood woken worn won written

PRACTICE 12 USING PAST-TENSE IRREGULAR VERBS

In each of the following sentences, ?ll in the correct past-tense form of the irregular verb in parentheses. If you do not know the answer, ?nd the word in the chart of irregular verb forms on pages 469??“72.
EXAMPLE:

The Titanic

set

(set) out from England in 1912. (build) the Titanic, which was the biggest

1. The White Star Line

moving object in the world at that time. 2. The huge ship 3. The newspapers (hold) over 2,200 passengers on its maiden voyage. (write) that twenty lifeboats, which could hold

1,178 people altogether, hung from the upper deck of the Titanic.

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4. The shipbuilders

( feel) that the giant liner was the safest ship in

the world and that more lifeboats were simply unnecessary. 5. On April 14, 1912, during its ?rst trip across the Atlantic, the Titanic (strike) an iceberg. 6. The sharp ice 7. Icy ocean water Titanic down in the water. 8. Few passengers 9. Half-empty lifeboats (understand ) the danger at ?rst. (leave) the sinking ship while other passengers (tear) a gaping hole in the bottom of the ship. (begin) to pour into the hold, dragging the

(stand ) on deck, refusing to depart. 10. Hundreds of people nearest ship ( freeze) to death in the ocean before the (come) to rescue the Titanic??™s 705 survivors.

PRACTICE 13 USING PAST-TENSE IRREGULAR VERBS

In the following paragraph, replace any incorrect present-tense verb forms with the correct past-tense form of the verb. If you do not know the answer, look up the verbs in the chart of irregular verb forms on pages 469??“72.
EXAMPLE:

Dewayne faced a judge and jury of his fellow high school hit students after he hits a boy in the classroom.

^
(1) Two years ago, my high school sets up a student court to give students a voice in disciplining rule breakers. (2) Before the court opened its doors, adults teach students about decision making and about courtroom procedures. (3) Some of us served as members of juries, and others become advocates or even judges. (4) I sit on a jury twice when I was a junior. (5) Then, last spring, my friend Dewayne appeared before the student court after he loses his temper and strikes a fellow student.

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(6) I agreed to be his advocate because I think he truly regretted his behavior. (7) I tell the jury that he knew his violent reaction was a mistake. (8) The jury sends Dewayne for counseling to learn to manage his anger and made him write an apology to the other student. (9) After hearing the verdict, Dewayne shakes hands with all the jurors and thanked them for their fairness. (10) The experience makes me eager to learn more about America??™s system of justice.

PRACTICE 14 USING PAST-PARTICIPLE FORMS FOR IRREGULAR VERBS

In each of the following sentences, underline the helping verb (a form of have) and ?ll in the correct past-participle form of the verb in parentheses. If you do not know the correct form, ?nd the word in the chart on pages 469??“72.
EXAMPLE:

Hector has and downs.

found

( ?nd ) that a dot-com career has ups

1. By the time Hector graduated from college in 1998, he had dozens of hours of computer courses. 2. He had (choose) a career in programming.

(take)

3. Before getting his diploma, Hector had Internet service provider.

(begin) to work for an

4. By the end of the summer, a rival online service had Hector away from his employer. 5. His new bosses had

(steal )

(be) in business for only a few months. (make) a pro?t. (buy) shares of the com-

6. After a year, the company still never had 7. However, hundreds of investors had pany??™s stock.

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8. By early 2000, the stock??™s price had times its original worth. 9. Hector often wishes that he had a rich man.

( grow) to more than ?fty

?¦ For more practice on using past forms of irregular verbs, see Chapter 33.

(sell ) his shares then and retired

10. Instead, the company went bankrupt, and Hector has work for an old-fashioned but secure banking ?rm.

( go) to

Passive Voice
A sentence that is written in the passive voice has a subject that performs no action. Instead, the subject is acted upon. To create the passive voice, combine a form of the verb be with a past participle.
Be (helping verb) + Past participle = Passive voice Be (helping verb)
PASSIVE

Past participle

The memo was written by an employee.

[The subject, memo, did not write itself. An employee wrote the memo, but the subject in the sentence, memo, performs no action.]

In sentences that use the active voice, the subject performs the action.
ACTIVE

An employee wrote the memo.

Use the passive voice when no one person performed the action, when you don??™t know who performed the action, or when you want to emphasize the receiver of the action. Use active voice whenever possible, and use passive voice sparingly.
PASSIVE

The dog was hit by a passing car.

[If the writer wants to focus on the dog as the receiver of the action, the passive voice is acceptable.]
ACTIVE

A passing car hit the dog.

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Language Note: Don??™t confuse the passive voice with the present-perfect tense or past-perfect tense. The passive uses a form of the verb be (is, was, were), and the subject performs no action. The present-perfect tense and the past-perfect tense have subjects that perform an action, and they use a form of the verb have.
PASSIVE CORRECT

The boat was crushed by huge waves.

[The subject boat performs no action. The verb uses was, a form of be.]
PASSIVE INCORRECT

The boat was been crushed by huge waves.

[The verb in the passive voice should not use two forms of be (was, been). Use was.]
PRESENT PERFECT

Huge waves have crushed all the boats.

[The subject waves performs the action, crushed, using the present form of have.]
PAST PERFECT

Huge waves had crushed all the boats.

[The subject waves performed the action, crushed, using the past form of have.]

PRACTICE 15 CHANGING FROM PASSIVE VOICE TO ACTIVE VOICE

Rewrite the following sentences in the active voice. Of?cers control the EXAMPLE: The Queen Mary 2, the world??™s largest cruise ship, can be

^

controlled with a joystick. 1. The Queen Mary 2 is equipped with a grand lobby and an old-style threestory restaurant. 2. Its bridge, however, is ?lled with advanced consoles, screens, and joysticks. 3. The effects of the wind, waves, and ocean currents can be automatically corrected by the ship??™s computer systems. 4. During the ship??™s ?rst docking in New York, the joystick was not touched by the captain.

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5. He said the joystick would probably be used more by him in the future.

Consistency of Verb Tense
Consistency of verb tense means that all the actions in a sentence that happen (or happened) at the same time are in the same tense. If all of the actions happen in the present, use the present tense for all verbs in the sentence. If all of the actions happened in the past, use the past tense for all verbs in the sentence.
Past tense
INCONSISTENT TENSE

Present tense

The bell chimed just as I am running up the stairs.
Present tense Present tense

CONSISTENT PRESENT TENSE

The bell chimes just as I am running up the stairs.
Past tense Past tense

CONSISTENT PAST TENSE

The bell chimed just as I was running up the stairs.

PRACTICE 16 USING CONSISTENT TENSE

In each of the following items, double-underline the verbs in the sentence, and correct any unnecessary shifts in verb tense by writing the correct form of any incorrect verb in the blank space provided.
EXAMPLE:

use People either ride bicycles for leisurely journeys, or they used bikes for serious exercise.

1.

Those who want a good workout needed different kinds of equipment than those interested in an easy ride.

2.

For example, serious cyclists who had bikes with wide padded seats face the chance of injuries.

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3.

A wide seat makes the rider shift from side to side, and it caused painful rubbing.

4.

In addition, the seat should have been high enough so that the rider cannot put his or her feet on the ground.

5.

Serious riders wore special shoes that snap onto the pedals to allow pushing up as well as pushing down.

6.

Serious money is also a factor because custom bicycles were expensive.

7.

Once an experienced cyclist chose the proper bicycle, he or she knows how to ride it properly.

8.

For instance, knowledgeable riders move around as they ride so that they exercised different muscle groups.

9.

The smart rider also kept his or her knees slightly bent, which eases the strain on the knees.

?¦ For more practices on verbs, see Chapter 33.

10.

Of course, those who just wished to have a fun ride through the park ignore all of this advice.

Verb Tense Reference Charts
English verbs, like verbs in most other languages, have different tenses to show when something happened: in the past, present, or future.
PAST PRESENT (now) FUTURE

This section covers the most common tenses. The discussions of each tense start with a chart that tells you what time the tense is used for. The

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chart then shows how to use the tense in statements, negative sentences, and questions. You can use the verb charts both to learn tenses and to edit your own writing. Following the charts are lists of common errors to avoid.
THE SIMPLE TENSES
TENSE STATEMENTS

Simple Present
TIMELINE: situations that exist

In the third-person singular, regular verbs end in -s or -es. (For irregular verb endings, see pages 467??“68.)
I/you like pizza. She/he likes pizza.
NEGATIVES

always (now, in the past, and in the future)
PAST PRESENT (now) FUTURE

We like pizza. They like pizza.

Present of DO + not + base verb

I like pizza.

I/you do not like pizza. She/he does not like pizza.
QUESTIONS

We do not like pizza. They do not like pizza.

Present of DO + subject + base verb

Do I/you like pizza Does she/he like pizza

Do we like pizza Do they like pizza

Simple Past
TIMELINE: situations that began

STATEMENTS

Base verb + -d or -ed (regular verbs)

and ended at a speci?c time in the past
PAST PRESENT (now) FUTURE

I/you worked last night. She/he worked last night.
NEGATIVES

We worked last night. They worked last night.

Past of DO (did) + not + base verb

I worked last night.

I/you did not work last night. She/he did not work last night.
QUESTIONS

We did not work last night. They did not work last night.

Past of DO (did) + subject + base verb

Did I/you work last night Did she/he work last night

Did we work last night Did they work last night continued

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TENSE

STATEMENTS

Simple Future
TIMELINE: situations that will

Will + base verb

begin in the future
PAST PRESENT (now) FUTURE

Maybe I/you will work tomorrow. Maybe she/he will work tomorrow. Maybe we/you/they will work tomorrow.
NEGATIVES

I will work tomorrow.

Will + not + base verb

Maybe I/you will not work tomorrow.
QUESTIONS

Will + subject + base verb

Will I/you work tomorrow Will she/he work tomorrow Will we/you/they work tomorrow

Following are some common errors in using simple tenses.

Simple Present
??? Forgetting to add -s or -es to verbs that go with third-person singular subjects (she/he/it)
INCORRECT CORRECT

She know the manager. She knows the manager.

Simple Past
??? Forgetting to add -d or -ed to regular verbs
INCORRECT CORRECT

Gina work late last night. Gina worked late last night.

??? Forgetting to use the correct past form of irregular verbs (see the chart of irregular verb forms on pages 469??“72)
INCORRECT CORRECT

Gerard speaked to her about the problem. Gerard spoke to her about the problem.

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??? Forgetting to use the base verb without an ending for negative sentences
INCORRECT CORRECT

She does not [doesn??™t] wants money for helping. She does not want money for helping.

THE PROGRESSIVE TENSES
TENSE STATEMENTS

Present Progressive
TIMELINE: a situation that is in

Present of BE (am / is / are)

+

base verb ending in -ing

progress now but that started in the past
PAST PRESENT (now) FUTURE

I am typing. You are typing. She/he is typing.
NEGATIVES

We are typing. They are typing.

Present of BE (am / is / are)

+ not +

base verb ending in -ing

I am typing.

I am not typing. You are not typing. She/he is not typing.
QUESTIONS

We are not typing. They are not typing.

Present of BE (am / is / are)

+ subject + base verb ending in -ing Are we typing Are they typing

Am I typing Are you typing Is she/he typing

Past Progressive
TIMELINE: a situation that started in the past and was in progress in the past PRESENT (now)

STATEMENTS

Past of BE (was / were) +

base verb ending in -ing

It was raining when I got to the restaurant at 7:00. The students were studying all night.

PAST

FUTURE

NEGATIVES

Past of BE (was / were) + not +

base verb ending in -ing

raining arrival at restaurant

It was not raining when I got to the restaurant at 7:00. The students were not studying all night.
QUESTIONS

Past of BE (was / were) + subject +

base verb ending in -ing

Was it raining when I got to the restaurant at 7:00 Were the students studying all night continued

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TENSE

STATEMENTS

Future Progressive
TIMELINE: a situation that will

Will be +

base verb ending in -ing

be ongoing at some point in the future
PAST PRESENT (now) FUTURE

I/you will be working when Jan gets home. She/he will be working when Jan gets home. We will be working when Jan gets home. They will be working when Jan gets home.
NEGATIVES

working Jan??™s arrival

Will + not +

be

+

base verb ending in -ing

I/you will not be working when Jan gets home. She/he will not be working when Jan gets home. We will not be working when Jan gets home. They will not be working when Jan gets home.
QUESTIONS

Will + subject +

be

+

base verb ending in -ing

Will I/you be working when Jan gets home Will she/he be working when Jan gets home Will we be working when Jan gets home Will they be working when Jan gets home

Following are some common errors in forming the present progressive.
??? Forgetting to add -ing to the verb
INCORRECT

I am type now. She/he is not work now.

CORRECT

I am typing now. She/he is not working now.

?¦ For more practices on the progressive tenses, including forming negatives and questions, see pages 600??“04.

??? Forgetting to include a form of be (am/is/are)
INCORRECT

He typing now. They typing now.

CORRECT

He is typing now. They are typing now.

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??? Forgetting to use a form of be (am/is/are) to start questions
INCORRECT CORRECT

They typing now Are they typing now

THE PERFECT TENSES
TENSE STATEMENTS

Present Perfect
TIMELINE: a situation that

Present of HAVE + past participle of base verb

began in the past and either is still happening or ended at an unknown time in the past
PAST PRESENT (now) FUTURE

I/you have attended every class. She/he has attended every class. We have attended every class. They have attended every class.
NEGATIVES

I have attended every class.

Present of HAVE + not + past participle of base verb

I/you have not attended every class. She/he has not attended every class. We have not attended every class. They have not attended every class.
QUESTIONS

Present of HAVE + subject + past participle of base verb

Have I/you attended every class Has she/he attended every class Have we attended every class Have they attended every class

Past Perfect
TIMELINE: a situation that began and ended before some other past situation occurred PRESENT (now)

STATEMENTS

Past of HAVE (had) + past participle of base verb

I/you had left before Gil arrived. She/he had left before Gil arrived.

PAST

FUTURE

We had left before Gil arrived. They had left before Gil arrived.

(somebody) Gil??™s left arrival continued

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Part Four ??? The Four Most Serious Errors

TENSE

NEGATIVES

Past Perfect (cont.)

Past of HAVE (had) + not + past participle of base verb

Usually used for ???if ??? situations
If you had not left, you would have seen him. If she/he had not left, she/he would have seen him. If we had not left, we would have seen him. If they had not left, they would have seen him.
QUESTIONS

Past of HAVE (had) + subject + past participle of base verb

Had I/you left before Gil arrived Had she/he left before Gil arrived Had we left before Gil arrived Had they left before Gil arrived

Future Perfect
TIMELINE: a situation that will be completed in the future before another future situation PRESENT (now)

STATEMENTS

Will have

+ past participle of base verb

I/you will have graduated before I/you move. She/he will have graduated before you move. We will have graduated before you move.

PAST

FUTURE

They will have graduated before you move.
NEGATIVES

graduation moving

Will not have

+ past participle of base verb

I/you will not have graduated before I/you move. She/he will not have graduated before you move. We will not have graduated before you move. They will not have graduated before you move.
QUESTIONS

Will + subject +

have

+ past participle of base verb

Will I/you have graduated before I/you move Will she/he have graduated before you move Will we have graduated before you move Will they have graduated before you move

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Following are some common errors in forming the perfect tense.
??? Using had instead of has or have for the present perfect
INCORRECT CORRECT

We had lived here since 2003. We have lived here since 2003.

?¦ For more practices on the perfect tenses, including forming negatives and questions, see pages 605??“09.

??? Forgetting to use past participles (with -d or -ed endings for regular verbs)
INCORRECT CORRECT

She has attend every class. She has attended every class.

??? Using been between have or has and the past participle of a base verb
INCORRECT CORRECT INCORRECT CORRECT

I have been attended every class. I have attended every class. I will have been graduated before I move. I will have graduated before I move.

MODAL AUXILIARIES/HELPING VERBS
HELPING VERB (MODAL AUXILIARY) STATEMENTS

Modal auxiliaries join with a main (base) verb to make a complete verb.

Subject + helping verb + base verb
PRESENT Dumbo can ?y. PAST

Forms vary ??” see below.

NEGATIVES

Subject + helping verb + not + base verb
PRESENT Dumbo cannot ?y. PAST

Forms vary ??” see below.

QUESTIONS

Helping verb + subject + base verb
PRESENT Can Dumbo ?y PAST

Forms vary ??” see below. continued

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HELPING VERB (MODAL AUXILIARY)

STATEMENTS PRESENT Beth can work fast. PAST

Can Means ability

Beth could work fast.

NEGATIVES PRESENT Beth cannot work fast. PAST

Beth could not work fast.

QUESTIONS PRESENT Can Beth work fast PAST

Could Beth work fast

Could Means possibility. It can also be the past tense of can.

STATEMENTS PRESENT Beth could work fast if she had more time. PAST

Beth could have worked fast if she had more time.

NEGATIVES

Can is used for present negatives. (See above.)
PAST

Beth could not have worked fast.

QUESTIONS PRESENT Could Beth work fast PAST

Could Beth have worked fast

May Means permission For past-tense forms, see might.

STATEMENTS PRESENT You may borrow my car. NEGATIVES PRESENT You may not borrow my car. QUESTIONS PRESENT May I borrow your car

Might Means possibility. It can also be the past tense of may.

STATEMENTS PRESENT (with be): Lou might be asleep. PAST (with have + past participle of be):

Lou might have been asleep.
FUTURE: Lou might sleep. NEGATIVES PRESENT (with be): Lou might not be asleep. PAST (with have + past participle of be):

Lou might not have been asleep.
FUTURE: Lou might not sleep.

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HELPING VERB (MODAL AUXILIARY)

QUESTIONS

Might (cont.) Must Means necessary

Might in questions is very formal and not often used.
STATEMENTS PRESENT: We must try. PAST (with have + past participle of base verb):

We must have tried.
NEGATIVES PRESENT: We must not try. PAST (with have + past participle of base verb):

We must not have tried.
QUESTIONS PRESENT: Must we try

Past-tense questions with must are unusual.

Should Means duty or expectation

STATEMENTS PRESENT: They should call. PAST (with have + past participle of base verb):

They should have called.
NEGATIVES PRESENT: They should not call. PAST (with have + past participle of base verb):

They should not have called.
QUESTIONS PRESENT: Should they call PAST (with have + past participle of base verb):

Should they have called

Will Means intend to (future) For past-tense forms, see might.

STATEMENTS FUTURE: I will succeed. NEGATIVES FUTURE: I will not succeed. QUESTIONS FUTURE: Will I succeed

Would Means prefer or used to start a future request. It can also be the past tense of will.

STATEMENTS PRESENT: I would like to travel. PAST (with have + past participle of base verb):

I would have traveled if I had the money. continued

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HELPING VERB (MODAL AUXILIARY)

NEGATIVES PRESENT: I would not like to travel. PAST (with have + past participle of base verb):

Would

I would not have traveled if it hadn??™t been for you.
QUESTIONS PRESENT: Would you like to travel

Or to start a request: Would you help me
PAST (with have + past participle of base verb):

Would you have traveled with me if I had asked you

?¦ For more practices on the modal auxiliaries (can/could; may/ might/must; should/ will/would), including forming negatives and questions, see pages 613??“18.

Following are some common errors in using modal auxiliaries.
??? Using more than one helping verb
INCORRECT CORRECT

They will can help. They will help. (future intention) They can help. (are able to)

??? Using to between the helping verb and the main (base) verb
INCORRECT CORRECT

Emilio might to come with us. Emilio might come with us.

??? Using must instead of had to in the past
INCORRECT CORRECT

She must work yesterday. She had to work yesterday.

??? Forgetting to change can to could in the past negative
INCORRECT CORRECT

Last night, I cannot sleep. Last night, I could not sleep.

??? Forgetting to use have with could / should / would in the past tense
INCORRECT CORRECT

Tara should called last night. Tara should have called last night.

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??? Using will instead of would to express a preference in the present tense
INCORRECT CORRECT

I will like to travel. I would like to travel.

Edit Paragraphs and Your Own Writing
As you edit the following paragraphs and your own writing, use the Critical Thinking guide below and the Verb Tense Reference Charts that begin on page 478.
CRITICAL THINKING: EDITING FOR VERB PROBLEMS
FOCUS

??? Read all of your sentences carefully, looking for verb problems.
ASK

??? Is my sentence about the present About the past About something that happened before something else ??? Is each verb a regular verb or an irregular verb ??? Have I used the tense that tells the reader when the action happened ??? Have I used the correct form of the verb ??? If the verbs in the sentence are not all in the same tense, is it because the actions actually happened at different times
EDIT

??? Edit to correct any problems with verb form or verb tense.

Find and correct any problems with verb form or tense in the following paragraphs.

EDITING REVIEW 1 (7 errors)

(1) Since 1835, trapeze artists consider the triple somersault the most dangerous maneuver. (2) That year, a performer tried to do a triple somersault on a trapeze for the ?rst time and dies in the attempt. (3) Only one person has managed to do the trick successfully in the next sixty-three

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years. (4) That man, a trapeze artist named Armor, did a triple somersault in 1860 and is afraid to try it again. (5) According to circus legend, the second person to survive the triple, Ernie Clarke, once done a quadruple somersault in private. (6) Ernie Lane, the third person to complete a triple somersault, was later killed by the maneuver when his catcher missed. (7) Circus historians now believed that Alfredo Codona, a performer in the 1920s and 1930s, was the greatest master of the triple somersault. (8) He has went down in history as the King of Trapeze.

EDITING REVIEW 2 (8 errors)

(1) Many people go through life without even knowing that there is a record for peeling an apple or hopping on a pogo stick. (2) However, some people are very aware of such records, and ordinary folks around the world have did some peculiar things to qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records. (3) For example, a New Jersey disc jockey, Glen Jones, recently setted a new record for the longest continuous radio broadcast. (4) In the spring of 2001, he has stayed on the air for one hundred hours with only a few ?fteen-minute breaks. (5) Another world record, for hopping up steps on a bicycle, is hold by Javier Zapata of Colombia. (6) He climbed 943 steps without letting his feet touch the ground, breaking a record that he has previously set. (7) Ashrita Furman of New York also be a record breaker. (8) She balanced a milk bottle on her head and then walks almost eighty-one miles around a track. (9) These strange endurance contests may not make Jones, Zapata, and Furman famous, but their names had entered the record book.

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EDITING REVIEW 3 (9 errors)

(1) The Olympic Games ?rst let women compete in swimming events in 1912, and with that, the swimsuit revolution begun. (2) In 1913, the ?rst mass-produced women??™s swimsuit hit the market. (3) Before that year, women have only been able to wade at the beach in bathing costumes with long, baggy legs. (4) The 1913 suits, designed by Carl Jantzen, was ribbed one-piece out?ts that allowed actual swimming. (5) An engineer, Louis Reard, comed up with the next major development in swimwear in 1946 while working in the lingerie business. (6) He has called it the ???bikini,??? after a Paci?c island used for testing the atomic bomb. (7) In the 1950s, few Americans had dared to wear bikinis, which was considered scandalous. (8) Two-piece swimsuits catch on in the 1960s and 1970s. (9) The bikini losted some popularity in the last decades of the twentieth century, but it has made a triumphant return in the new millennium.

EDITING REVIEW 4 (14 errors and 6 formal English errors)

(1) At most small colleges and universities, people got wherever they want to go by walking or riding their own bikes. (2) But students at one college who didn??™t have their own bikes or whose bikes were stole now had an alternative. (3) One of this college??™s new programs help students 2 get frm one place 2 another. (4) It is calling a shared bike program, and any member of the campus community can participate. (5) For a $10 fee, the participant received a key that will have unlocked any one of dozens of pink bikes that are park in various locations on campus. (6) The participant rides the pink bike to the desired destination, and

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then locked the bike there. (7) The bike then is becoming available for the next participant who wants to use it. (8) The pink color of the bikes so far have not been a prob, even for the most masculine of campus men. (9) Actually, the bikes R pink cuz one of the school??™s colors was rose. (10) So now, for the participant who will have found one of the pink bikes, getting from one end of the campus to the other is simple.

PRACTICE 17 EDITING YOUR OWN WRITING FOR CORRECT VERB TENSE AND FORM

As a ?nal practice, edit for verb problems in a piece of your own writing ??” a paper you are working on for this class, a paper you??™ve already ?nished, a paper for another course, or a recent piece of writing from your work or everyday life. Use the Verb Tense Reference Charts starting on page 478.

???

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