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.
verb2

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.

-Sheryl

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Assumption