Whether you are an English learner or an experienced writer, how well you use tenses in your writing is important. Not only do tenses help describe the time certain events occurred but also improve the overall flow of your texts. On the flip side, incorrect usage of tenses can confuse the readers and even lead to misinterpretation of your message. Still, improper usage of tenses can leave a bad taste in the reader’s mouth, as well damage your reputation irredeemably.
Faced with these gleam prospects, writers are increasingly turning to automated AI tense corrector online tools to scan for and fix grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Likewise, if you came here looking for answers on how and when to use past perfect tense, you have come to the right place.
But before we delve deeper into the details of our sentence tense checker, let’s briefly define tenses.
What Are Tenses in English Writing?
As indicated at the beginning, tenses in English writing are used to describe or communicate the time a certain event occurred. There are three primary categories of tenses (i.e past, present, and future,) which can be divided further into simple, perfect, continuous, and perfect continuous tenses.
This long list of tense categories coupled with diverse rules of application can sometimes be confusing. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that correct tense usage is one of the biggest challenges faced by writers. Whilst there isn’t a limit as to what tense category to use, it is always advisable to avoid using present perfect tenses, simply because they sound subjective and lack a definite point of time.
Common Tense-Related Mistakes and How To Correct Them
Trouncing verb tense errors in your writing takes much more than mastering the basic rules of the English language. You also need to have a deep understanding of each tense category, as well as how these vast tense usage rules apply to them. And since the best way to navigate a landmine is to walk into someone else’s footsteps, let’s explore four common tense usage mistakes and how to correct them using our grammar tense checker.
Inconsistent Verb Forms Usage
As the heading suggests, this verb tense error entails using conflicting verb tenses within a sentence or in the larger context in which it is deployed. Inconsistent verb forms can confuse the readers, which is why you should find the perfect tenses and stick to them.
Inconsistent verb usage: We were on the bridge towards town. Suddenly, the pillars start to collapse.
Consistent verb usage: We were on the bridge towards town. Suddenly, the pillar started to collapse.
Switching Between Past Perfect Tenses Incorrectly
Past perfect tenses are used to signify or denote events that occurred earlier than simple past tenses. One of the most common mistakes that writers tend to make entails switching between present and past tenses, ultimately confusing the readers.
- I had baked cookies.
- I had been baking cookies.
- I baked cookies.
- I was baking cookies.
- I bake cookies.
- I am baking cookies.
- I will bake cookies.
- I will be baking cookies.
If the term “past perfect tenses” brings back the unpleasant memory of middle school English grammar lessons, you don’t have to worry. Our tense checker free can help identify all past perfect tenses, as well as offer suggestions on how to correct them.
Using Continuous Tenses Unnecessarily
In English writing, continuous tenses are often used to denote an action or event that is ongoing, and they’re formed by pairing a verb with the –ing ending.
Whilst it’s completely okay to use continuous tenses in your writing, most writers tend to use them even when it’s unnecessary. Using continuous tenses spuriously can muddy your prose and make your writing hard to follow.
With continuous tense: John was waiting for the teacher, shifting his bag from shoulder to shoulder. He was wondering about what his mum would say when he went back home.
Without the continuous tenses: John waited for the teacher, shifting his bag from shoulder to shoulder. He wondered about what his mum would say when he went back home.
Using Present Perfect Tenses Incorrectly
Of all the English verb tenses, present perfect tenses are by far the most difficult to use. This is partly because they can’t be used to denote an expression of finished time. Put simply, they are used to describe when an event that happened in the past and continues happening in the present time.
Incorrect: We have finally received the visitors on Monday.
Correct: We finally received the visitors on Monday.
One of the easiest ways to avoid this mistake would be to can use past tenses instead of present perfect tenses. Luckily, our tense form checker can step in to help solve this particular mistake or any other tense-related mistakes in your writing. This foolproof editing solution scans both your online and offline documents, ensuring they’re free from any grammar mistakes.
Other Grammar Mistakes That Our Grammar and Tense Checker Can Help With
On top of being a tense converter, our tool comes with a suite of other editing and proofreading features to meet even the most demanding editing needs. Here are some of these functionalities, and how they can help improve the quality of your writing;
Grammar and spell checker. Whether you’re crafting an easy, resume, cover letter, presentation, or email in English, grammar and spelling mistakes can reduce the quality of your writing significantly. Luckily, our past tense corrector detects and fixes all spelling and grammar-related mistakes. Whether it’s subject-verb disagreements, incorrect prepositions, wrong verb tenses, or silly typos, our checker acts as a second pair of eyes.
Punctuation checker. Do constantly find it difficult to differentiate between hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes? Not sure whether to use a comma or a semicolon? Our tense identifier online ensures that you are using commas, colons, semicolons, periods, apostrophes, dashes, and quotation marks correctly.
Run-on sentence checker. Our tense corrector’s proprietary Artificial intelligence ensures that you use consistent sentence structure by identifying and fixing run-on sentence construction and run-on phrases.
Plagiarism checker. The tense identifier also comes with a free, comprehensive plagiarism checker, allowing you to catch accidental plagiarism.