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Present Tense to Past Tense?
Dy Young
Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014 11:25 PM
Joined: 4/13/2014
Posts: 1


How does one keep their tense consistent while writing? I've noticed that I will switch from past tense (I ran) to present (I was running). It's a bad habit that I'd like to grow out of but every time I practice it usually doesn't come out right! Any helpful tips?
Lucy Silag - Book Country Director
Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2015 11:29 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Hi Dy--I couldn't figure out how I had missed this post last spring but then I realized you posted it about 5 days before I got married, so I guess I was a little distracted!

 

Anyway, what you said resonated with me because I wrote a trilogy of books in the present tense, and the ENTIRE TIME, through several drafts of each book, I made mistakes with the tense. It was kind of weird--like a subconsciously did not want to write in the present. Anyway, the way I dealt with it was by keeping that in the back of my mind when I was editing, and then having others looks it over for me to point out things I missed. I never figured out a good way to train myself to avoid making the mistake in the first place.

 

Have you figured out any tricks about this since then?



Dave Pearce
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2015 1:26 AM
Joined: 12/21/2014
Posts: 7


I run a search in Word for the "to be" verbs. Amazing what you find from those searches. You can also use an online grammar check like Grammarly or ProWriting.  Some of these sites will let you check a thousand words at a time for free.
Lucy Silag - Book Country Director
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2015 11:38 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359



Dave, love your idea of running a check for conjugations of "to be." Smart!
D J Lutz
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2015 7:34 PM
Joined: 4/27/2011
Posts: 130


Genius!
Richard Maitland
Posted: Friday, September 4, 2015 10:43 AM
Joined: 8/31/2015
Posts: 16


Dy Young wrote:
How does one keep their tense consistent while writing? I've noticed that I will switch from past tense (I ran) to present (I was running). It's a bad habit that I'd like to grow out of but every time I practice it usually doesn't come out right! Any helpful tips?
 

 

To be technical, "I was running" is not Present tense, but Past Progressive.

  
 
The Progressive tense involves action that  Is, Was, or Will Be in progress at a certain time.  Form it with a "be" verb + ing.





--edited by Richard Maitland on 9/4/2015, 10:44 AM--


 

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