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To choose the appropriate tense, it is important to look for certain clues in the sentence. These clues can be adverbs (time markers), other verbs in the sentence, or the verbs themselves, which may, by their very nature, be limited to certain tenses.

To choose the appropriate tense, it is important to look for certain clues in the sentence. These clues can be adverbs (time markers), other verbs in the sentence, or the verbs themselves, which may, by their very nature, be limited to certain tenses.

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PATTERNS TO REMEMBER

Certain time markers (now,

tomorrow, since, etc.) indicate the

tense of a verb.

INCORRECT [I deal with his

firm since 1988.1

CORRECT I have dealt with

his firm since 1988.



The verb in the main clause of a

sentence determines the appropriate

tense in the dependent clause.

INCORRECT [He signed the release

before he will read it.]

CORRECT

He signed the release

before he read it.



Stative verbs (seem, become, know,

understand, be, etc.) cannot be used

in the continuous.

INCORRECT [If I’m understanding

what you mean, I have to agree.]

CORRECT

If I understand what

you mean, I have to agree.



1. The express train often …..

on time.

(A) is arriving

(B) arrives

(C) has been arriving

(D) arrive



2. When the shipment ….. , he

will dispatch it to the proper

department.

(A) will come in

(B) is coming in

(C) comes in

(D) is going to come in



3. Go ahead with the proposal,

as long as everyone ….. its

goal.

(A) is understanding

(B) understand

(C) will understand

(D) understands



4. Before the researcher

analyzed the results, the

company ….. to take on the

client.

(A) has agreed

(B) agreed

(C) agrees

(D) was agreed



5. She ….. five years ago

today.

(A) is being promoted

(B) promoted

(C) was promoted

(D) has been promoted



6. The latest franchise ….. in

one week.

(A) would open

(B) had opened

(C) will open

(D) has opened



7. The board reported that it

…..a good decision to find a

new director.

(A) was

(B) be

(C) is

(D) were



8. The survey indicates profits

are up; business ….. .

(A) is being good

(B) were good

(C) good

(D) has been good



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To choose the appropriate tense, it is important to look for certain clues in the sentence. These clues can be adverbs (time markers), other verbs in the sentence, or the verbs themselves, which may, by their very nature, be limited to certain tenses.

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