Friday, October 19, 2012

Calling verbs into action!

Every Wednesday afternoon at precisely 1:00 p.m. the community sirens blare through our neighborhoods, calling our attention to the oft-chance that a tornado or other calamity should befall our towns.  It got me to thinking, what are our personal alarms? Sirens? What gets our attention? 
In grammar, there are many sirens sounding, trying to get our focus to hone in on rules and misusage of our words.
I’ve noticed one commonality in my editing tasks; the ever “present” (play on words) problem with verb tense.  Past?  Present? Future? – There are the other tenses, all important and screaming for our attention: 1) Perfect tenses – perfect present, past perfect and future perfect – 2) Progressive tenses – present progressive, past progressive (which to me seems like an oxymoron – how can the past be progressive?), and last, but not least, future progressive. 
There is also passive voice and active voice.  An example of passive voice is: “My son was scratched by the family cat.” – Example of active voice, “The family cat scratched my son.” – Very different!
I will blog more about verb tenses in the “future.”  Below is a verb exercise just for fun!
What is wrong with the following sentence? 
I “seen” a truck heading for the bicycle rider.   
Seen is the verb.
Take a closer look at the tense. 
Present perfect: have seen, has seen
Past perfect: had seen
Past Passive: I was seen, you were seen, he/she/it was seen – it all ties together.
My alarms are still under inspection for improper verb usage.  Education in one’s craft, at any age, to me, is extremely important.  I will continue to study grammar to become excellent at my editing vocation. 
What are your grammar alarms?  What are your pet peeves with the English language?
Comments welcome.

1 comment:

  1. My pet peeve is putting "at" on the end of a sentence?!! Where are you AT? Oh my! Another is the habit of not using 'your' and 'you're' correctly. Why aren't teachers catching these mistakes? My husband says I should have been an English teacher!! First time on your blog, but I'll have to come back because my paying job is calling!