#GrammarSeries – This post teaches you when to shift tense


Last week we started talking about the Tense Shift and we promised to discuss the various situations that can allow for a Tense Shift. Well, we are fulfilling that promise today.

However, if you missed the earlier post on Tense Shift you can read it here.

Back to today’s topic, here are two peculiar situations that allow you to shift tense.

  • When there is a shift in time frame. For example, a shift from general description (Present) to a specific occasion (Past)

Luke is a clever boy who doesn’t like to follow the rules and as a result, he often gets into trouble. On one occasion he convinced the boys in his neighborhood to pay him for clearing their lawn.

Can you notice the shift from present tense in the first sentence to past tense in the second.

  • Another time when you can shift tense is when you are relating current mental activity to past events.

Take a look at these examples;

I don’t remember when I met him but I think it was about ten years ago.

The author describes the path of development that Japan took after World War 2.

Now that we have explained when it’s right to shift tense, we hope you don’t have issues with this again.

Watch out for another Grammar post on Tuesday and until then keep your grammar in check.

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