Verb Errors Exercise (369)

Edit the following sentences to correct any verb errors.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: Beginning at Thanksgiving, the children can’t hardly wait for Christmas to get here.
Correct : Beginning at Thanksgiving, the children can hardly wait for Christmas to get here.

The construction "can’t hardly" is a double negative. Standard usage calls for either "can hardly wait" or "can’t wait."

2.
Original: The contractor was suppose to finish the project on Friday, but he didn’t.
Correct : The contractor was supposed to finish the project on Friday, but he didn’t.

Supposed (not "suppose") is the past participle of suppose.

3.
Original: I use to worry about cleaning the house, but now I just ignore the mess.
Correct : I used to worry about cleaning the house, but now I just ignore the mess.

Used (not "use") is the simple past tense form of the verb.

4.
Original: Entering the room, the teacher asked the intruder what is he doing.
Correct : Entering the room, the teacher asked the intruder what he was doing.

In this type of reported speech, the verb will be in the past tense and the subject of the reported statement will come before the verb.

5.
Original: I could of finished the work sooner if I hadn’t had so many distractions.
Correct : I could have finished the work sooner if I hadn’t had so many distractions.

In conversation, the verb could have is often misheard as "could of."

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