ELA 5: Inappropriate Shifts in Verb Tense

As we know from countless sci-fi flicks, messing around with time can lead to problems. The same thing’s true when it comes to grammar, though you're a bit less likely to change the course of history with verb tenses.

5th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School5th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:26

verb tenses were changing the times when the various verbs

00:29

are taking place instead of a sentence where everything is

00:32

taking place in the present your sentence might start in

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the present but ended the past or start in the

00:37

present but end in the future or well There are

00:40

lots of different webley wobbly timey wine The ways that

00:43

verb tenses can shift in most cases It's just it's

00:45

Confusing as it sounds i say you're out on a

00:48

fishing trip and you get a call from a friend

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who asked how the trip is going When you say

00:52

the fish are biting and the water was calm this

00:55

sentence has a shift in verb tense The verb are

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biting is in the present while was is in the

01:01

past Now this sentence might be true but it's a

01:04

bit confusing The water was calm but how is it

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now that the fish are Biting your friend is probably

01:10

over there going uh i was just making small talk

01:13

You've completely bamboozled me by the way Bamboozling people is

01:17

super fun because you get to use the word bamboozled

01:20

it's pretty fun to say bamboozled bamboozled bamboozled bamboozled that

01:24

being said sometimes shifts in verb tense make perfect sense

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say jared's at an all night movie marathon and a

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friend calls asking what he's seen jared might say I

01:33

saw the creature from the weird shed and soon i

01:35

will watch space monsters from over there This sentence definitely

01:39

involves a shift in verb tense the verb saw is

01:41

in the past while will watches in the future But

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even with this shift in verb tense it makes perfect

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sense So jared is in the clear think but let's

01:51

say jared wasn't quite so clever and he said i

01:53

saw the creature from the weird shed and soon i

01:56

am watching space monsters from over there again The sentence

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involves a shift in verb tense the verb saws in

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the past while i'm watching is in the present but

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the last half of the sentence is a bit of

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a mess How can you Soon be doing something in

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the present It hurts our head just thinking about it

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So this hypothetical sentence is what we call an inappropriate

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shift in verb tense When it comes to shifting verb

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tenses you really just have to be careful After all

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make one mistake and your entire sentence will soon cease 00:02:24.95 --> [endTime] to make sense Darn it