green_grrl: (SPN_JAhee)
[personal profile] green_grrl
I, N, and G say that E and D have been known to take action in the past

A Tense Situation by John Atkinson

I can't resist a little verb-al humor. (Personally, I think E and D should be a little more worried about I, N, and G, as they like to be in the middle of the action, right now!)

See Fandom Grammar's parts of speech: verbs: tense tag to learn more about these rascals.
[identity profile]
Our question today is from [ profile] ely_baby, who wants to know: When writing mostly in the present tense, what tense should be used for events in the past? 

There are a lot of past tense choices, and all of them can work with a present tense narrative. I will use Daisy, from Agents of SHIELD, to illustrate the options with some present day action and past history. )
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Question: When writing in present tense, should events taking place in the past be written in past tense or past perfect tense? (ex: Victor remembers his first days in Paris (present tense). The first thing he did after unpacking was call home (past tense), just as his mother had urged him to do (past perfect) before he got onto the plane (past tense).)

Examples from the lovely Doctor Who.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
Fandom Grammar was asked ‘what is the relationship and history between to go and went?’

Go is an irregular verb, and our answers wend their way back to Middle English and beyond. Fannish examples will come from Sapphire and Steel, who are accustomed to dealing with irregularities.

Let's go check this out )
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

[ profile] sosaith asks, "When someone is dead or something doesn't exist anymore, should you ever use the present tense to describe them?"

The answer is "it depends." Let's get down to the particulars with the cast of Rosemary Sutcliff's YA historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth - or, if you prefer, the cast of "The Eagle" (2011). Dead and/or gone - but not forgotten! )

[identity profile]
[ profile] skroberts did a really great job of describing the grammatical difference between lie, which never takes an object, and lay, which always takes an object, in the original lie/lay post. Here are a few more tips for remembering the difference, with some help from our friends from Due South.

lay what? )

mental images )

the tricky bit )
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[ profile] saavikam77 asks, Is there any real difference between the full and contracted past tense forms of certain verbs (burned/burnt, leaped/leapt, etc.)? Are there particular situations in which it's not okay to use the contracted form?

As with many things, the answer depends on whether you're writing in American or British English. With examples from Supernatural and Sherlock Holmes. )
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[ profile] avidrosette wants to know: When a verb has both an irregular past tense form and a regular one, such as shone/shined or dove/dived, are the words interchangeable or are there rules that govern when each form should be used? Is contemporary English usage leaning more toward the regular forms?

With examples from Good Omens.

Whew, I really sweat (sweated?) over this one… )
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[ profile] earth2skye asks: How is the verb “would” used in conditionals and habitual tenses in the context of a narrative in the past tense?

With examples from Tin Man )
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What’s So Bad About the Passive Voice, Anyway?

The quick answer: lots.

This feature will explain what passive voice is and give tips and tricks for how to recognize (and change) the passive voice in writing. We’ll also discuss the times when passive voice might actually be a desirable technique to use.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
with examples from Stargate SG-1

There are two conscious decisions an author must make before beginning a piece of writing—selecting the tense of the story and the point of view. These two things can set the tone of the piece, determining whether the reader is close to the action or further removed. The more immediate the action and the reactions from the character, the closer the reader is to the piece; the further away from the action, the more reflective the characters can be. The tense and point of view of the story are what drive the narrative and the reader's experience.

Run, you idiot! )

(Many thanks to [ profile] theemdash for help with examples.)
[identity profile]
[ profile] roadrunner1896 asks When is it correct to use got vs. gotten?

ETA: The following differentiations apply to North American usage of got and gotten. In British usage, gotten is an archaic form that persists in contemporary usage only in compounds: ill-gotten, begotten, misbegotten and forgotten. Gotten comes across as American slang; use got in British fandoms. And now, on with the North American confusion ...

There are some simple black and white rules, and a few gray areas, with the use of got and gotten. Let's take a look, with the help of Mr. Teal'c and the rest of SG-1. )
skroberts: (SG-1 Grammar)
[personal profile] skroberts
...with examples from Stargate Atlantis, Bones, Due South, NCIS, and Psych...

Question: What is the difference between "lie" and "lay," and why are they so often misused?

LIE vs. LAY )


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