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    #1

    Use present tense or past tense?

    The rest of the paragraph is in present tense. Now, here is the sentence I'm having problems with.


    By making sure the kid is fed, cooking and making playing time, I gain a variety of organizational skills and a degree of babysitting professionalism.


    Is this sentence gramatically correct? My specific concerns are the "kid is fed", and the "I gain a"
    I chose to use the present tense here, because the rest of the paragraph is in present tense, however it sounds a bit weird? especially the "gain", should it be "I gained?" that sounds better, but it wouldn't be in the present tense, like everything else.


    Thanks a lot.


    -Thementor5

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    #2

    Re: Use present tense or past tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by thementor5 View Post
    The rest of the paragraph is in present tense. Now, here is the sentence I'm having problems with.


    By making sure the kid is fed, cooking and making playing time, I gain a variety of organizational skills and a degree of babysitting professionalism.

    The problem in the above sentence is not tense.
    Your sentence means that besides being fed, the kid is also cooking and making playing time.

    I think you mean 'By making sure the kid is fed and (also) by cooking and making playing time, I gain.......'.

    Don't worry about "fed"; it's an adjective/past participle. Anyway, there is no reason all the verbs in a sentence or paragraph have to be of the same tense.

    Whether you use "gain" or "gained" depends on whether you are describing an ongoing situation or a past situation. If you use "gained", you should say '...the kid was fed...'.

    -Thementor5
    2006
    Last edited by 2006; 28-Dec-2009 at 21:52. Reason: correct punctuation

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Use present tense or past tense?

    This has nothing to do with grammar, but I'd be careful how I used "the kid." It sounds very detached. If I was interesting in hiring someone and he or she referred to the baby that he or she took care of as "the kid" I would think that person didn't really like the baby very much.

    By the way "making sure" is in the same tense as cooking and making playing time. However, I'm not sure what "making playing time" is supposed to mean. Do you mean organizing play dates with other children? or "Making sure there is time to play"? Or something else?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #4

    Re: Use present tense or past tense?

    I missed the "making playing time" oddity. I assume that 'making play time' or, even better, 'making time for play' is what was meant.

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