Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Plurals and Singulars, Verb Tenses, and Redundancies (IIB)

Part IIA gave you an overview of the kinds of deficiencies we see in Harriet’s use of the English language, particularly focusing on incorrect words and compound words.

Part IIB continues the overview of problems with Harriet’s written words, highlighting the areas of singular and plurals, verb tenses, and redundancies.  The same slice of 600 reviews over about a three-month period was used to develop this information.

First, we’ll look at singulars and plurals.  The following samples are pretty uniform and give you more than enough information to see the problem.

What does this show us?  Actually, it shows us that not only is there confusion about the plural nature of nouns and verbs, but it also reveals confusion when it comes to identifying the subject of a sentence.  It reveals a gaping hole in the logic of sentence structure.

Let’s turn to verb tense.  This is basic English.  Verb tense is about keeping your tenses consistent so that, if you use a verb in the past tense, your verbs have to be in the past tense through the rest of the sentence.  There are three main tenses—past, present, and future—with an additional three “subtenses" associated with them.  Each tense has a perfect tense associated with it, and then there are two additional progressive tenses (meaning that a verb is strung onto another verb or you have a series of verbs acting as one).  Whatever main tense you use in your sentence, any additional verbs have to match the tense or come from the other three associated with that tense.

Here are some lovely examples of what not to do with your verb tenses:

We’ll conclude this section with redundancies.  A redundancy occurs when you say the same thing you just said.  Or saying something that is unnecessary because it is already stated another way.

Part IIC of this very lengthy English discussion will take on nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and possessives flowing from the pen of Amazon’s No. 1 Hall of Fame Reviewer.

Click here to go to Part IIC, A Mess of Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, Verbs, and  
Click here to return to Main Page for “A Reviewer with a Masters Degree in Library Science”.

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