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Illogical shifts

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  • 1. Avoiding Shifts in Tense, Person, andVoice
  • 2. 1. Watch your verb tenses.o Don’t shift back and forth in time unless you have a good reason.
  • 3. Illogical Shift in Verb Tense Past tenseo I started writing my essay last night at 9p.m. and then finish it five minutes beforeclass today. Present tense
  • 4. Consistent Verb Tense Past tenseI started writing my essay last night at 9p.m. and then finished it five minutesbefore class today. Past tense
  • 5. Logical Shift in Verb Tense Past tense I started writing my essay last night at 9 p.m., but I will not do that any more. Future tense
  • 6. 2. Watch your pronouns. Don’t move back and forth between first-, second-, and third-person pronouns unless you have a good reason.
  • 7. PRONOUNS: The System SINGULAR PLURAL 1st person I (me/my) we (us/our) (= the person who is writing or speaking) 2nd person you (your) you (your) (= the person who is being written or spoken to) 3rd person he (him/his) they she (her) (them/their) (= the person or it (its) thing being one (one’s) written about)
  • 8. Illogical Shift in Person Third PersonEveryone can become a good writeronce you learn how to revise andedit. Second Person
  • 9. Consistent Point of View1st Person o I can become a good writer once I learn how to revise and edit.2nd Person o You can become a good writer once you learn how to revise and edit.3rd Person o Everyone can become a good writer once he or she learns how to revise and edit.
  • 10. 3. Watch active/passive voice.o Don’t shift back and forth between active and passive voice unless you have a good reason.o In an active sentence, the subject performs the action. o She took my sister’s old job. o The subject, she, performed the action in this sentence—she did the taking.
  • 11. Watch active/passive voice. o In a passive sentence, the subject is acted upon. o My sister’s old job was taken by her. o The subject, job, receives the action in this sentence—it was taken.
  • 12. Illogical Shift in Voice Activeo Jill and I started the report, and it was finished by another team. Passive
  • 13. Consistent Voice Active Jill and I started the report, and another team finished it. Active
  • 14. Generally, prefer the active voice:Passive o The directions were given by the teacher.Active o The teacher gave the directions.Passive o Economic declines are often caused by rising interest rates.Active o Rising interest rates often cause economic declines.
  • 15. To review illogical shifts in tense,person, and voice, see Chapter 17.