Verb Tense Exercise (353)

Edit the following sentences to correct verb tense inconsistency.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: If Myrna spent more time practicing the verbs, she will improve her French.
Correct : If Myrna spent more time practicing the verbs, she would improve her French.

The "if clause" needs to be followed by a "would clause" to indicate an action that has not taken place, but could.

2.
Original: Just as the prince puts the crown on his head, his father woke.
Correct : Just as the prince put the crown on his head, his father woke.
Alterna.: Just as the prince puts the crown on his head, his father wakes.

The verb in the introductory clause is present tense, but the verb in the main clause is past tense. To indicate ongoing action in the present, change woke to wakes; to place both clauses in the past, change puts to put.

3.
Original: Last month, the counselor advised a better diet for the child, who suffers from too much sugar.
Correct : Last month, the counselor advised a better diet for the child, who was suffering from too much sugar.

A continuous tense is needed in the second clause because the verb suffer describes an action that was ongoing in the past.

4.
Original: By the time the road construction began, local motorists have complained about it to their council representatives.
Correct : By the time the road construction began, local motorists had complained about it to their council representatives.

The verb complained refers to an action that occurred before construction began, so the past perfect (had complained) is called for.

5.
Original: After Magellan ordered an attack on the natives of the Philippines, he is abandoned by his crew and killed.
Correct : After Magellan ordered an attack on the natives of the Philippines, he was abandoned by his crew and killed.

Both actions occurred in the past.

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