Writing: A College Handbook - Verbs: Tense (Ch. 22)


For learning: English

Base language: English


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Created Nov 22, 2008
Level , Advanced
  • Advance
  • college
  • Grammar
  • handbook
  • Intermediate
  • tense
  • verbs
  • Writing

If English is your native language, you probably have a good working knowledge of tenses. You know how to describe what someone or something did in the past, is doing in the present, or will do in the future. But you may not know just how to describe an action that doesn’t fall neatly into one time slot. For instance, how do you describe the action of a character in a novel or a play? How do you describe an action that started in the past but is still going on now? How do you write about an action that will be completed at some time in the future? This chapter is chiefly meant to answer questions like these. The chapter is limited to verbs in the indicative mood (the mood of fact or matters close to fact) and in the active voice (in which the subject performs the action, as in “Whales eat plankton”). For a full discussion of mood, see chapter 25; for a full discussion of voice, see chapter 24.

Through four successful editions, Writing: A College Handbook’s positive approach has not only empowered students to write effectively, it has challenged students to consider why good writing matters. The Fifth Edition builds on this emphasis, exemplifying in clear, engaging prose the skills that students need to communicate in a wide variety of rhetorical contexts. A reliable and easy-to-use reference tool and an up-to-date rhetoric and research guide, Writing: A College Handbook invites students to discover the power of effective writing.