Consistency is a critical ingredient to high-quality writing, and this rule applies to writers when using tenses. Whether it denotes past, present, or future events, a high-quality piece of writing leverages consistent verb tenses throughout. Whereas it’s possible to get away with changing verbs, especially in fiction writing, it is always advisable to aim for consistency when using verb tenses in your writing. If you have limited editing skills or are struggling to identify the past tense verb in your writing, a verb tense identifier like ours is an excellent place to start.
Using verb tense checker online tools is a growing uptrend in academia, journalism, corporate, and all the other domains of correspondence. Along with helping you use verb tenses correctly, these tools will help conduct grammar and spell checks, punctuation checks, and even plagiarism checks.
Let’s have a look at the common tense-related mistakes, and tips on using our sentence tense checker effectively.
Common Verb Tense Mistakes That Our Verb Tense Finder Can Help With
No matter how experienced you are as a writer, there are numerous tense-related mistakes that you can potentially make in your writing. Whereas some are easy to identify, some require an extra pair of eyes to spot.
Either way, we have compiled a list of the five most common verb tense-related mistakes, as well as tips on how to correct them.
Tense Verb Shifting
One of the most common mistakes that occur when using tenses is tense inconsistency. As a writer, it is sometimes necessary to shift the tenses, especially when you want to denote a change in the timeframe of an action or event. However, if the tense shift is unnecessary, you should avoid it, as it can muddy your prose and create awkward sentences.
Incorrect: When I closed the window, John sits there in the living room.
Correct: When I closed [past] the window, John just sat [past] there in the living room.
Correct: When I closed [past] the window, John was sitting [past] there in the living room.
Correct: When I close [present] the window, John sits [present] there in the living room.
Correct: When I close [present] the window, John is sitting [present] there in the living room.
The verb tense agreement checker will check for verb inconsistency in your writing and recommend possible corrections.
Misusing Past Continuous Tenses
The past continuous tense denotes an event that occurred in the past and continues to occur in the present time. When using past continuous tenses and it wasn’t an ongoing event in the past, the -ing words and helping verbs can muddy your prose and make your sentences appear cumbersome.
- Simple past tense – She interfered with the car’s ignition system before John walked into the garage.
- Past continuous tense – She was interfering with the car’s ignition system before John walked into the garage.
- Past perfect continuous tense – She had been interfering with the car’s ignition system before John walked into the garage.
Confusing the Present Tense Forms
Present tenses are popular thriller and action stories because they make the story sound like it’s happening at the moment. Unfortunately, there are different categories of present tense verbs intimidating labels, and interchangeably using them is a common mistake.
If you want to mention an event that occurred in the past and another one that occurred earlier than that, it is ideal to use past perfect tenses.
Incorrectly Using Irregular Verbs
As the name suggests, irregular verbs don’t follow the regular tense and past participle pattern, which entails adding “-ed” to a verb. Inexperienced students and writers will often incorrectly pair past tense verbs with -ed.
Incorrect: I growed tomatoes last summer.
Correct: I grew tomatoes last summer.
Misusing Conditional Sentences
Conditional sentences are words or statements used to discuss known elements or hypothetical situations, as well as their consequences. A complete conditional sentence contains both a conditional clause and its consequence.
Incorrect: If you will sleep, you will woke up feeling better.
Correct: If you sleep, you will wake up feeling better.
One of the most common mistakes that writers make when using conditional sentences entails using the simple future tense instead of the simple present tense. Luckily, you can use our verb tense corrector can help rectify this error, as well as other verb tense usage mistakes.
Other Features of Our Verb Tense Error Checker
On top of helping identify verb tense/s in your writing, our tool comes with other editing and proofreading features and functionalities. They include:
Grammar and spell checker. The verb tense checker free tool cleans up your writing by flagging typos and grammar mistakes. Beyond that, it gives real-time feedback and comprehensive suggestions to help you avoid repeating the same errors in the future. Punctuation checker. When is the appropriate time to use a semicolon? What is a comma splice? Even the most experienced grammar sticklers can find it difficult to follow punctuation rules. Fortunately, our verbs tense error checker will ensure correct punctuation usage, saving your brainpower for other things such as researching and articulating your ideas.
Plagiarism checker. Our tool will also compare your texts against billions of published articles and academic databases, allowing you to avoid accidental plagiarism.
How to Use Past Tense Verb Finder
Using our tool is a straightforward process. Just follow these easy steps:
- Copy-paste your work into the tool’s editor.
- Click the Check button and wait for the tense verb finder to analyze your texts.
- After a few seconds, the tool will return feedback highlighting all tense-related mistakes.
- Accept the suggestions by clicking on the highlighted mistake.