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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Post Mixing Tenses

    I am an engineer and have to write many test procedures. I am writing one currently and I got to thinking about what tense it should be in and if it is acceptable to mix tenses. I was always under the impression that the commands given in a procedure should be in the future tense using "shall". I will follow with an example:

    "Install the de-energized valve in test fixture TF-1011. The valve shall then be placed in an environmental chamber."

    Should the first sentence read: "The de-energized valve shall be installed in test fixture TF-1011"?

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Keep it in the present tense, imperative mood, with passive when necessary. "The valve should then be placed ..."


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: Mixing Tenses

    Try to keep it impersonal, factual, directive:

    "Install the de-energized valve in test fixture TF-1011, and place this in an environmental chamber."

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