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  1. #1

    can someone check my verb tense

    i have questions on couple sentences that i have verb tense problem. Can you check to see if i wrote it correctly? These sentences should be in past tense.

    1. Now, Godzilla's job of destroying the world would only take half the time....

    2. The....guns that were shot to stop Godzilla were not even penatrated.

    3. Moms grabbed their kids and tried to make them run as fast.......

    4. All that could be seen were piles.

    5. Godzilla did not care what was in front of him.

    6. Godzilla then proceded to go onto the campus.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: can someone check my verb tense

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckchuck123 View Post
    i have questions on couple sentences that i have verb tense problem. Can you check to see if i wrote it correctly? These sentences should be in past tense.

    1. Now, Godzilla's job of destroying the world would only take half the time....

    2. The....guns that were shot to stop Godzilla were not even penatrated.

    3. Moms grabbed their kids and tried to make them run as fast.......

    4. All that could be seen were piles.

    5. Godzilla did not care what was in front of him.

    6. Godzilla then proceded to go onto the campus.
    Allowing for the sentences not being complete, The following are correct:
    1, 3, 5, 6.

    The only problem with 4 is that "piles" is not explained. Piles of what?

    2. The verb is stated in the passive voice. In the passive voice, the object becomes the subject.

    Bullets penetrate Godzilla; Godzilla does not penetrate bullets. (Guns don't penetrate; they shoot.)

    Try that one again.


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    #3

    Re: can someone check my verb tense

    chuckchuck: These sentences should be in past tense.

    1. Now, Godzilla's job of destroying the world would only take half the time....

    This sentence is NOT in the past tense, Chuck. 'would' is not a past tense verb. It, like all other modal verbs in the English of today, is a tenseless verb. Here it is being used to describe a future in a narrated past.

    Here's another example of this use of 'would'.

    In 1858, Lincoln debated F Douglas on the issue of slavery. Two years later he would be elected president.

    [This is an example only and I don't mean to sugggest it is historically accurate]

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: can someone check my verb tense

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckchuck123 View Post
    i have questions on couple sentences that i have verb tense problem. Can you check to see if i wrote it correctly? These sentences should be in past tense.

    1. Now, Godzilla's job of destroying the world would only take half the time....

    2. The....guns that were shot to stop Godzilla were not even penatrated.

    3. Moms grabbed their kids and tried to make them run as fast.......

    4. All that could be seen were piles.

    5. Godzilla did not care what was in front of him.

    6. Godzilla then proceded to go onto the campus.
    You were probably taught that "would" is the past tense of "will". I know that Riverkid objects to that, but most good dictionaries agree with that past tense designation. Riverkid is correct that it is not referring to past time in this sentence, but it is still the past tense form.


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    #5

    Re: can someone check my verb tense

    MikeNewYork: You were probably taught that "would" is the past tense of "will". I know that Riverkid objects to that, but most good dictionaries agree with that past tense designation.

    Most good dictionaries, until very recently, told people that splitting an infinitive was a no-no. Just because something is in a dictionary doesn't mean that it is 'good'.

    ... but it is still the past tense form.

    The problem here is that this is precisely what has led all these ESLs to mistakenly use modal verbs. When an ESL thinks that 'might' is the past tense of 'may', 'could' of 'can', etc, they produce language that isn't grammatical.

    Modal verbs are tenseless because that's how they operate in the English of today. Modal verbs can be used in all time situations, past, present and future.

    As proof, all that's ever been offered is the shifting that occurs in Reported Speech and we know that that shifting has nothing to do with past tense. Why stick with a description that hasn't beeen accurate for hundreds of years. Does that really make any sense at all?

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: can someone check my verb tense

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    MikeNewYork: You were probably taught that "would" is the past tense of "will". I know that Riverkid objects to that, but most good dictionaries agree with that past tense designation.

    Most good dictionaries, until very recently, told people that splitting an infinitive was a no-no. Just because something is in a dictionary doesn't mean that it is 'good'.

    ... but it is still the past tense form.

    The problem here is that this is precisely what has led all these ESLs to mistakenly use modal verbs. When an ESL thinks that 'might' is the past tense of 'may', 'could' of 'can', etc, they produce language that isn't grammatical.

    Modal verbs are tenseless because that's how they operate in the English of today. Modal verbs can be used in all time situations, past, present and future.

    As proof, all that's ever been offered is the shifting that occurs in Reported Speech and we know that that shifting has nothing to do with past tense. Why stick with a description that hasn't beeen accurate for hundreds of years. Does that really make any sense at all?
    I am aware of your opinions, and I am certain that you are aware of mine. I will stick with the dictionaries and will continue to encourage others to do so.


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    #7

    Re: can someone check my verb tense

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I am aware of your opinions, and I am certain that you are aware of mine. I will stick with the dictionaries and will continue to encourage others to do so.
    Are you listening to yourself, Mike? When you measure those opinions against actual language use, they just don't seem to square up.

    Yet you seem content to just keep telling students the very things that lead them to perpetuate these errors. What am I missing here?

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    #8

    Re: can someone check my verb tense

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Are you listening to yourself, Mike? When you measure those opinions against actual language use, they just don't seem to square up.

    Yet you seem content to just keep telling students the very things that lead them to perpetuate these errors. What am I missing here?
    This is neither the time nor the place for another debate about modal tenses. The original poster has now received the benefit of both of our opinions. It is now up to him/her.

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