Verb Errors Exercise (100)

Rewrite the following sentences so has to remove all verb errors.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: If I would have known you were going, I would have gone too.
Correct : If I had known you were going, I would have gone too.

When an "if" clause is used to express something that did not happen, but which, if it had happened would have produced another result, the verb in the "if clause will be "had," not "would."

2.
Original: The college freshman had drank six beers before passing out.
Correct : The college freshman had drunk six beers before passing out.
Alterna.: The college freshman drank six beers before passing out.

The irregular verb "to drink" has the forms drink, drank, drunk. The form used with "have" and "had" is "drunk." The sentence could also be corrected by changing the tense of the verb (second version).

3.
Original: The driver didn’t see the dog laying in the road.
Correct : The driver didn’t see the dog lying in the road.

As the dog was prostrate or reclining in the road, the intransitive verb "lying" is called for.

4.
Original: When I was in Hollywood, I seen three celebrities walking on Sunset Boulevard.
Correct : When I was in Hollywood, I saw three celebrities walking on Sunset Boulevard.

The irregular verb "to see" has the forms see, saw (have) seen. The simple past is saw.

5.
Original: With only a slingshot, David slew the Philistine.
Correct : With only a slingshot, David slew the Philistine.

The verb "to slay" is an irregular verb with the forms slay, slew, (have) slain, but it is slipping into the category of regular verbs that form their past tense with the ending -ed. In his television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon chose to have his characters use the past form "slayed." The choice between the past forms "slew" and "slayed," and the perfect forms "have slain" and "have slayed" rests with the writer.

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