Correcting Common Verb Mistakes | Writing

May 21, 2015 thetasctest

When verbs are used incorrectly, they are not only apparent in the written word but also when spoken. While preparing for the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ Writing subtest, learn how to correct common verb mistakes and recognizing inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood so you can excel on this high emphasis topic.

Choosing the correct verb in your writing can be challenging since there are a great deal of verb rules. From Synonym.com, verbs in the English language have “six tenses: three simple tenses and three perfect tenses.” In addition, there are six variations of these tenses that take place in either the past, present, or future. Further your practice for the TASC Writing subtest by visiting Synonym.com for more helpful writing tips with verbs and various tenses.

Writing Tips to Ensure Correct Verb Use

Along with sentence structure, you can use grammar to directly impact your audience’s reading experience. A previous TASC test writing blog post examines this. The verb form impacts your writing voice.

Let’s take a look at a few helpful examples of common mistakes from Englishgrammar.org:

  • Incorrect: My father told me that honesty was the best policy.
  • Correct: My father told me that honesty is the best policy.

Using a past tense in the subordinate clause when the verb in the main clause is in the past tense is a common mistake. It should be noted that a past tense is unnecessary when the subordinate clause gives information that’s always true.

  • Incorrect: The cashier-cum-accountant are on leave today.
  • Correct: The cashier-cum-accountant is on leave today.

Expressions like the cashier-cum-accountant refer to one person; hence, a singular verb is needed.

  • Incorrect: Tell me why are you beating the child.
  • Correct: Tell me why you are beating the child.
  • Incorrect: I don’t know why is she late.
  • Correct: I don’t know why she is late.

The two sentences given above are examples of indirect questions. In indirect questions, there is no inversion of subject and verb.

Practice with more examples at Englishgrammar.org.

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