Incorrect Verb Form – Style #3

Incorrect Verb Form

I had a count of 127 errors in Style. If you missed a previous blog, you can click on the purple link here that is crossed out to see that blog post.

Within STYLE are the following issues I had in my story:

1. Unclear Antecedent .
2. Capitalization at the start of a sentence .
3. Incorrect Spacing .
4. Incorrect Spacing with punctuation .
5. Incorrect verb form
6. Inflated Phrase
7. Wordiness
8. Nominalization

Incorrect verb form.

I’m not going to explain this clearly on my own, this is directly from Grammarly’s explanation:

“The subjunctive mood is the verb form used when expressing a wish, demand, suggestion, or making a statement that is contrary to fact. Certain verbs (such as advise, ask, command, desire, insist, propose, recommend, suggest, and urge) and certain adjectives (such as crucial, desirable, essential, important, and vital) signal the subjunctive mood.
In most cases, the subjunctive form is the bare (root) form of the verb. Is and are become be. Runs will become run. In the past tense, was becomes were.”

This is one small mistake I make that is most often found in the dialogue. If my character has poor grammar or uses a lot of jargon or slang I might leave it in. However, this character is educated so the assumption is that she would use proper grammar. Why did I make this mistake? Probably because it’s common for people to say was instead of were.

verb1Grammarly was kind enough to tell me what the correction is with the was → were option. All I have to do is click on the green and it changes it automatically for me. Easy peasy.

“If I were going to ruin your laptop doing this I wouldn’t have used it.”

This next one is in the narrative so I would fix it for certain. The narrative is not the place for slang, jargon, or local grammar quirks.

It was unnerving, even if he weren’t a cop it would make me nervous.

In this situation, I missed these two on my own proofreading. They were the only two incorrect verb forms in my book. Errors like these are easy to pass over because I wrote them and they don’t stand out to me. Have I mentioned I’m not a professional editor?

My advice about incorrect verb form:

Have someone else proofread or use a program specific for grammar. I’m not paid by Grammarly to talk about the program, it’s the one I researched, and I tried and loved the free version before paying for it. Whatever program you use or if you hire a professional, it or they should catch these camouflaged errors.


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A Dash Of Skill And Nine Parts Of Speech

I try not to take things for granted. It still happens from time to time. I know the basics of writing and I know I make mistakes. Everyone does. I also know that not everyone knows what I know and vice versa.

I have A blog coming up that uses terminology that made me pause. Wait maybe I need to go back a few steps and toss in a refresher…  For myself and for anyone that might be interested.

Speech is part of life. Sentences, dialog and everything written contains speech. The necessary words that bring to life what we want to say. To do this we use words. Glorious, wondrous words. Only not all words are created equal. Not all words do the same thing. Some types of words have purpose.

There are nine basic types of words in the English language. (some say eight others will argue ten, and that’s fine. I’m going with the nine I know.) I went to Wikipedia to remind myself of the definitions, give my self a reprieve so I don’t screw them up and hear about it forever and ever.

  1. Verb – They convey an action (bring, read, walk, run, learn), an occurrence (happen, become), or a state of being (be, exist, stand). (Verbs are sometimes classified into two: lexical Verbs such as; work, like, run. Also auxiliary Verbs such as; be, have, must
  2. Noun –  They describe a thing or a person. Such as; living creatures, objects, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.
  3. Adjective –  They a describe noun such as; good, big, blue and fascinating.
  4. Determiner – They limit or determine the noun. Such as; some, many, an, some, and numbers. (These are sometimes classified as adjectives thus the eight)
  5. Adverb – They describe a verb, adjective or adverb. Such as; quickly, silently, well, badly, very, really. (Um… a lot of filter words are adverbs)
  6. Pronoun – They replace a noun with words such as; I, you, he, she and some.
  7. Preposition – They link nouns to other words. Such as; To, at, after, on and but.
  8. Conjunction – They join clauses, sentences or words. Like these; and, but, when.
  9. Interjection – I blogged about this one on it’s own!  An exclamation mark at the end of a sentence or the word “well” typically found at the start!

I know this is a lot to take in, and each have so much more than the rudimentary explanations above and the examples I’m about to give.

Example time

Noun verb   noun verb Verb
Amber sings. Amber is singing.
pronoun verb noun
She loves parrots.
noun verb adjective noun
Animals love good people.
noun verb noun adverb
Amber sings songs well.
noun verb adjective noun
Amber sings good songs.
pronoun verb preposition determiner noun adverb
She walked to the door swiftly.
Some fell on the ice badly.
pron. verb adj. noun conjunction pron. verb pron.
She hates big spiders but I adore them.
He loves chapter books but you loathe them

The following didn’t fit in a graph but contain all of the nine components.

interjection/  pron./ conj. /det. /adj. /     noun / verb/  prep./ noun /   adverb
Well,                she      and    my    young   dog     walk    to       town     quickly.

pron./ conj. /det. /  adj. /  noun /            verb/   prep./  noun /   adverb/  interjection
She       and    your   old     boyfriend     kiss    at         school    often      !

At this point in my life I’m comfortable writing a sentence and knowing I have the necessary components. I do think it’s good to refresh and remind ourselves what words are all about. Despite knowing them, I still pause when someone asks, whats a good verb for… or I need a better adjective for…

My advice about the nine parts of speech.
You might not need to know what they are to use them, but don’t presume everyone does. Not everyone is a walking dictionary. I know I’m not, which is why I’m constantly researching and learning.


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