The Everyday Writer

20 errors
1. Missing Comma after Introductory Element
2. Vague pronoun reference
3. Missing comma in a compound sentence
4. Wrong word
5. Missing comma(s) with a nonrestrictive element
6. Wrong or missing verb ending
7. Wrong or missing preposition
8. Comma splice
9. Missing or misplaced possessive apostrophe
10. Unnecessary shift in tense
11. Unnecessary shift in pronoun
12. Sentence fragment
13. Wrong tense or verb form
14. Lack of subject-verb agreement
15. Missing comma in a series
16. Lack of agreement between pronoun and antecedent
17. Unnecessary comma(s) with a restrictive element
18. Fused sentence
19. Misplaced or dangling modifier
20. Its/It's confusion

Book-Specific Resources / 20 Most Common Errors /
Error #10

Check to make sure all the verb tenses in each of your sentences work together appropriately. Verb tenses tell readers when actions take place: saying "Willie went to school" indicates a past action whereas saying "he will go" indicates a future action. When you shift from one tense to another with no clear reason, you can confuse readers.

For practice recognizing and editing this error, go to Exercise Central.

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