An Introduction to Verb Tenses

An Introduction to Verb Tenses
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Updated on 16 December 2014

When using multiple verbs in a clause, it’s important to keep them in the same tense. For example: I went to the store, buy an apple, and ate it on the way home. ‘Went’ and ‘ate’ are both in past tense, but ‘buy’ is in present tense.

To fix this sentence, use ‘bought,’ which is the past tense of ‘buy.’ I went to the store, bought an apple, and ate it on the way home.

Another example: I went to the store and bought an apple, and now I am eating it.

‘Went’ and ‘bought’ are both in past tense and ‘eating’ is in present tense. In this case, the two different verb tenses are in two separate clauses, separated by a comma, so it is ok that they’re in different tenses.

For more information on verb tenses, read this blog post about the difference between gone and went.

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