Home Forums Editing & Proofreading Grammar, tenses…

  • Grammar, tenses…

     Anagrammer updated 1 month ago 4 Members · 42 Posts
  • HappiWriter

    Member
    October 21, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    <p>Would the following make sense grammatically?<br></p><p>“Chaim squared his shoulders. Now, he must forget. He must move on.<br></p><p>With a new energy propelling him forward, he continued down the road.”</p><p>Notice, the story is written in past tense, but the italicized words move to more of a present tense. Is it ok? That’s my question… </p><p><br></p><p>Also, how about fragmented sentences? </p><p>For example:</p><p>A tug at the fishing line. Chaim hauled in the catch.</p>

  • Sherry

    Member
    October 21, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    <p>The present tense adds tension but is grammatically incorrect.</p><p>Employing deep third POV, you could write the present tense sentences in first person, using italics.</p><p>e.g. I must forget. I must move on. </p>

  • HappiWriter

    Member
    October 21, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    <p>Isn’t there “poetic license”? πŸ˜‰ </p>

  • Sherry

    Member
    October 21, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    <p>Well, you could set your own rules. πŸ™‚ Let me know if it sells.</p><p>The truth is that internal monologue (thoughts) works well. (And, as in dialogue will be written in present tense.) </p><p>I use it a lot in my writing to show emotional vulnerability or just to add tension. It’s also a good way to reveal the character’s motivation.</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 21, 2020 at 10:11 pm

      Oh my, you’re literally asking my technical/grammar questions!My questions are: when do you use a semi colon (;) and this (- -)? Like I notice some people will write a sentence ____________ (I can’t think of one now) and then use these lines 2 times (- -) and then continue on with the sentence. Are there any rules for this – – or people just insert it when it feels right? I also find that I overuse semi colons… What do my writing experts say?

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 21, 2020 at 10:50 pm

      <p>Use a semicolon when each part of the sentence is independent (can stand on its own). You can use it to break up a long idea or to combine two sentences that sort of ‘go together’. Ex: She was a great student; every assignment was completed on time. </p><p>You can also use it when listing items that are longer than a couple of words each (commas would be too complicated). Ex: She packed the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so she would have what to eat for lunch; two flashlights, in case one of them would break; an extra change of clothes just to be on the safe side; and her trusty notepad that had seen better days.</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 21, 2020 at 11:54 pm

      Thank you! And what about this mark – – ?

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 21, 2020 at 11:55 pm

      And is there such a thing as overusing semi colons? I like using them and I’m finding that I’m using them a lot..

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 22, 2020 at 1:57 am

      <p>I’m not really sure how to explain dashes ‘cuz I think it’s just sort of the author’s judgment… but they’re basically used instead of commas to separate a nonessential clause from the rest of the sentence. Ex: My grandmother – better known to us grandchildren as Bubby – is a dynamic and creative woman.</p><p>(I think generally commas are for when it’s somewhat essential, dashes for a bit less, and parenthesis even less, but it really depends on the context.)</p><p>They are also used sometimes as a colon. Ex: The winner of the race was announced – John.</p><p>Hope this is making sense to you.</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 22, 2020 at 2:04 am

      Yes, that helps. Thank you!

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 22, 2020 at 1:58 am

      <p>Yes, there is such a thing as overusing semicolons, as with any sentence structure. You should always look to vary your sentence structure.</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 22, 2020 at 2:04 am

      Right. Thank you!

    • HappiWriter

      Member
      October 22, 2020 at 4:32 pm

      <p>This article explains em dashes well. (β€”)</p><p>https://www.grammarly.com/blog/why-you-should-love-the-em-dash/</p&gt;

    • HappiWriter

      Member
      October 22, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      <p>LOL funny story. Last night I was absently flipping through the pages of a book when, lo and behold, I found this sentence:</p><p>”If he planned — and he did plan — to escape from here as soon as he could, he must be in the best physical shape possible. And he must prepare Kalev for the journey as well.”</p><p>hmm…</p><p><br></p>

    • Sherry

      Member
      October 22, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      <p>I’m pretty sure that mixing tenses is not standard. </p><p>Perhaps, one of our more expert writers can chime in?</p><p>(And, this is one rule I actually get!)</p>

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 22, 2020 at 11:02 pm

      <p>It’s called a tense trap – when you are writing in present tense about the past or in past tense about the present. I always thought it was okay, just a bit of a fine line to get right, but it could be there is some controversy on it, Sherry… </p>

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 22, 2020 at 11:06 pm

      <p>Oh, and HappiWriter, I love fragmented sentences (when used right, of course)! It irked me to no end when, in eighth grade, I would hand in a first draft of a story, and my teacher would reword my fragments to make them full sentences. I felt it took away from the tension/impact I was trying to create. I was a rebel; I used to put them right back into my final draft;).</p>

    • Sherry

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 12:03 am
      This is getting tense. πŸ™‚ Intense? ;)<br>
      <p>Seriously though, how does Happiwriter’s example fit the bill for allowed tense shift? It goes against everything I’ve learnt. (Do UK have different standards?) The only way I can see it working in the example above is with IM.</p><p><br></p><p>And yes, I agree with you about fragmented sentences. With the correct punctuation, it’s a novelist’s tool.<br></p>
    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 1:11 am

      <p>Ha :)</p><p>You’re right. I was really replying to the example HappiWriter just posted from the book and about the rule in general… HappiWriter’s original example wouldn’t work as is. It would have to be reworded a bit. Either, as you said, Sherry, “I must…” or “Now, he had to forget”/”Now, it was time to forget” (I think now is okay in past tense as long as the rest of the sentence stays in past tense – which means that if you keep ‘now’, ‘must’ has got to go).</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 1:45 am

      lol!!

    • HappiWriter

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 3:28 pm

      <p>What are the official rules for allowed tense shift?</p>

    • Sherry

      Member
      October 24, 2020 at 11:23 pm

      <p>Hi Happiwriter, </p><p>Anagrammer did a good job of explaining pluperfect.</p>

      <p>There is another tense shift known as the historical present (narrative present) that allows you to throw the spotlight onto a particular part of the narrative by relating it in present tense. There has to be a clear indication of this so it’s not disconcerting to the reader.</p>

      <p>Example:</p>

      <p>Fear tormented her. An attempt to suppress the incident did nothing to stop the hammering in her chest. She ran her tongue over her lips. The acrid taste of danger. Death? He’s coming towards her, knife in hand…</p>

      <p>Another way to ratchet up the tension is to use gerunds (timeless verbs).</p>

      <p>Example:</p>

      <p>Nerve-jangled, she stared ahead at the approaching figure. His face was bear-like. A menacing lurch towards her, his knife charging, the blade glinting, a cackling of laughter over her cowering body, then the running away accompanied by guffaws into the still silence, and she straightened her spine and slowly exhaled.</p>

      <p>Tense shift can be a great way to heighten emotional impact, but it’s essential to do this correctly so that it’s not confusing to the reader.</p>

      <p>Hope this is helpful.</p><p>Sherry</p>

    • Sherry

      Member
      October 24, 2020 at 11:33 pm

      <p>Oops, the italics disappeared…</p>

    • HappiWriter

      Member
      October 25, 2020 at 12:20 am

      <p>Hey Sherry, I didn’t see your post about tense shift before. Thanks, it’s really helpful…</p>

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 25, 2020 at 12:23 am

      <p>HappiWriter, everything’s coming out of order. Look at the dates.</p>

    • HappiWriter

      Member
      October 25, 2020 at 12:28 am

      <p>Past perfect, past simple… That’s probably what I’ve seen. Like, if you’re simply writing in past tense, you’ll write “she was standing”. If you’re writing in past tense about the past, you’ll write “she had been standing”. Is that right?</p><p>This is so interesting. I didn’t know there were so many grammar rules I didn’t know. Glad I asked the question… </p><p>Anagrammer, I think we need an advanced “grammer” lesson (pun intended — ha!)</p>

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 25, 2020 at 1:05 am

      <p>Actually, “was standing” would be past continuous 😁 – something that happened in the past for an extended period of time. Simple past would be “stood”.</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 1:44 am

      Yeah, I also come across that kind of thing in my writings and wonder if it’s okay. I think it is… it sounds right..

    • HappiWriter

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      <p>Thanks everyone! I’m replying here because the main reply button isn’t working for some reason…</p><p>Truth is, I didn’t put so much thought into that example. I had this kind of situation when writing, but as I was writing this post, I couldn’t remember exactly how it went so I made this up on the spot…</p><p>Anagrammer, that’s what I was thinking. If I have to write “had to” instead of “must”. (“Must” just sounded much better.)</p><p>I’m thinking that present tense first person is the easiest grammatically. (Even though it does get confusing… Do you write, “she waits” or “she’s waiting”…) but with past third person, it’s much easier to head-hop and get mixed up with tenses.</p><p>When I’m writing in past tense, the scene is still unfolding before my eyes. I feel like it’s happening then… so I start having these problems with tenses. </p><p>Let’s say the character, written in past tense, is thinking about the past. How do you work that out? (never heard of tense trap, Anagrammer… interesting…) I noticed some writers write “had”. For example: When she had heard the news, she had been standing under the tree. Does that make sense? (Excuse my poor example, but you get the idea…)</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 4:10 pm

      I agree that tenses can be changed in the sentence. With your example, I would change it to “when she had heard the news, she was standing under the tree” What do you think of that?

    • HappiWriter

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      <p>Yeah, that does sound better…</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 4:32 pm

      Yeah, glad we agree on this Wink

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 4:33 pm

      But I still think that having different verb tenses is okay…

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 7:04 pm

      <p>Actually, Passionforwriting, I don’t agree. It doesn’t really work because she heard the news at the same time as she was standing under the tree, so they would have to be in the same tense. You can mix past perfect and past simple only when one happened before the other. Ex: “I’d eaten dinner, so I wasn’t hungry.” (Dinner came first. Not being hungry came later) Or “She had been in the school for three years already when I joined the faculty.” (‘I joined’ came later in time.)</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Yeah, I agree with your the example about dinner. But the one about being in school is all in past tense, no? Yeah, I like that last sentence, about “she’s waiting.” I like the idea that it’s more intimate and engaging. Good point! And this one: I’d eaten dinner, so I wasn’t hungry. Isn’t that also in the past tense? I don’t know, I’m getting a little confused. Maybe we could put this into a chart that shows past and present tenses correctly, so it’s easier to understand?

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 7:36 pm

      <p>No present tense involved in the dinner example. The whole sentence happened in the past, and within the sentence, there are two ‘past’s. One of the pasts happened before the other past. The one that happened first is called ‘past perfect’. Same goes for school example. The word ‘had’ refers to something that happened before…</p><p>”It had been a long day, so she was tired.” ‘She was tired’ is not present tense. But the long day happened first, so it says ‘had been’ to indicate that.</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      Oh boy, this is slightly hard for me to understand and follow, Anagrammer.. πŸ™ I’ll look it over after Shabbos when I have more time.

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 23, 2020 at 6:55 pm

      <p>”She waits” or “she’s waiting” is up to you as the author. “She’s waiting” is more intimate – reads like the character’s thoughts. “She’s waiting for me; I’d better hurry. I stuff my things into my purse and fall into step beside her.” Or you can say “She waits for me as I stuff my things into my purse and then fall into step beside her.”</p><p>Writing about the past in past tense is when the past perfect tense comes in (yes, ‘had’). “I met her at the coffee shop on the way to work. Since I had met her there numerous times before, I assumed she was a frequent customer.”</p><p>HappiWriter, keep asking. I’m in my element (yes, people call me a geek)!</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 25, 2020 at 12:01 am

      <p>Gut Voch! I just read it over now and I think it’s sinking in! </p>

  • HappiWriter

    Member
    October 26, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    <p>Wow. This thread is totally mixed up…</p><p>Anyways, Anagrammer, what else don’t I know? How would I learn all this?</p><p>Btw, what are the official rules for starting a new paragraph?</p>

    • PassionforWriting

      Member
      October 26, 2020 at 9:53 pm

      Yeah, it’s confusing and hard to navigate. I think we need a typed chart explaining these tenses… I think the rule is to start with a connecting word like “Furthermore,” “similarly,” Nevertheless” etc.

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      October 26, 2020 at 10:35 pm

      <p>I guess you’re asking about fiction….? Start a new paragraph whenever it feels right – something new happens, the setting changes, the time changes, someone new is speaking/thinking… or just to break up a too-long paragraph.</p>

Log in to reply.

Original Post
0 of 0 posts June 2018
Now

RELAX. ENJOY.

Send me the
event info

Skip to content