ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

3537 Common Errors in English | Part-III

Updated on December 11, 2015
Common Errors in English
Common Errors in English | Source

Common Errors in English

In this article we will discuss the errors that are caused when the sequence of tenses is not followed. Tenses should be in harmony with each other when there are two clauses. The following rules will help you avoid common errors related to sequence of tenses:

Remember:

If the verb in the principal clause is in present or future tense, the verb in the subordinate clause will be in any tense i.e., Present, Future or Past.

Present
Future
He says he has done his job.
He will say he will do his job.
He says he will accomplish his task.
He will say he will accomplish his task.
He says he was better than him.
He will say he was better than him.
She says she will accompany them to London.
She will say she will accompany them to London.
They said to me they will visit Lahore tomorrow.
They will tell me they will visit Lahore tomorrow.
You say he had left for London.
You will say he had left for London.

Remember:

If the tense in the principal clause is in Past Tense, the tense in the subordinate clause will always be in Past Tense.

Incorrect
Correct
He said that he IS a doctor.
He said that he WAS a doctor.
She asked me that they ARE ready for the test.
She asked me that they WERE ready for the test.
They told him that she HAVE gone to London.
They told him that she HAD gone to London.
They ran faster than I DO.
They ran faster than I DID.
He decided that he WILL not support him.
He decided that he WOULD not support him.
It seemed that he HAS made a mistake.
It seemed that he HAD made a mistake.
He asked me why I AM late.
He asked me why I WAS late.
The police wanted to know why HAVE no driving license.
The police wanted to know why HAD no driving license.
He said to me he CANNOT help her.
He said to me he COULD NOT help her.
She told them she CANNOT attend the party due to an emergency.
She told them she COULD NOT attend the party due to an emergency.
He ran so slowly that he CANNOT catch the train.
He ran so slowly that he COULD NOT catch the train.
The teacher said that she CANNOT pass the exam.
The teacher said that she COULD NOT pass the exam.
They said she MAY have reached home.
They said she MIGHT have reached home.
He said to me that she MAY have returned from London.
He said to me that she Might have returned from London.
He said to me that he HAS taken exercise.
He said to me that he HAD taken exercise.
You told that you ARE not aware of the real situation.
You told that you WERE not aware of the real situation.
He asked me if she WILL come here.
He asked me if she WOULD come here.
He could buy the car if he WANTS.
He could buy the car if he WANTED.
He waited till the rain STOPS.
He waited till the rain STOPPED.
He said that I SHALL support her.
He said that I SHOULD support her.
They said that they SHALL buy him a car.
They said that they SHOULD buy him a car.
He stared at me as if I WAS his enemy.
He stared at me as if I WERE his enemy.
He behaved with me as if he WAS my boss.
He behaved with me as if he WERE my boss.
He asked me if I AM there.
He asked me if I WERE there.
You asked him whether he HAS applied for the visa.
You asked him whether he HAD applied for the visa.
We tried as much as we CAN.
We tried as much as we COULD.
You said that the river IS full of fish.
You said that the river WAS full of fish.
She asked her when she DOES her homework.
She asked her when she DID her homework.
I asked him if he IS ill.
I asked him if he WAS ill.
They said who he IS.
They said who he WAS.
She asked her if she HAS read the article.
She asked her if she HAD read the article.
She said in great wonder how he HAS passed the test.
She said in great wonder how he HAD passed the test.
She used to visit us whenever he IS here.
She used to visit us whenever he WAS here.
There was a king who IS notorious among the public.
There was a king who WAS notorious among the public.

Remember:

If the tense in principal clause is in Past Tense and expresses a universal truth or idea, the tense in subordinate clause will always be in present tense.

Incorrect
Correct
He said that the sun REVOLVED around the earth.
He said that the sun REVOLVES around the earth.
She said that God WAS omnipotent.
She said that God IS omnipotent.
You said that the sun ROSE in the east.
You said that the sun RISES in the east.
The teacher said that snakes WERE carnivorous reptiles.
The teacher said that snakes ARE carnivorous reptiles.
She said that honesty WAS the best policy.
She said that honesty IS the best policy.
They said that greed WAS a curse.
They said that greed IS a curse.

Remember:

If the tense in principal clause is in Past Tense and expresses a comparison between two things, the tense in subordinate clause may be in present, past or future tense.

  1. She liked him more than I like him.
  2. She liked him more than I liked him.
  3. She liked him more than I will like him.
  4. HP laptop were better than Dell is.
  5. HP laptops were better than Dell laptops were.
  6. HP laptops were better than Dell laptops will be.

Sequence of Tenses Errors: Quiz

view quiz statistics

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)