By Josiah Nelson Cushing

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Y are. You need a plural to match Grace and I. z will have. The sentence speaks about the future. Z has been. The sentence requires a link between past and present, so simple past won’t do. You need present perfect, the bridge between those two time periods. Has been does the job. 1 had. The sentence calls for a contrast with now, so opt for past tense. 2 will be. Once more into the future! 3 am or will be. You may choose either present or future, depending upon the context. 4 would. The going is dependent upon the press arrangement.

Clearly you’re in the present with a recurring action. b challenged. Another time clue: last year’s places you in the past. c is buying or buys. The second verb in the sentence (is) takes you right into the store with David, watching the unfolding action. Present progressive tense gives a sense of immediacy, so is buying makes sense. The plain present tense (buys) works nicely also. d will flatter. The key here is next, which puts the sentence in the future. e is writing. The time clue “right now” indicates an ongoing action, so the present progressive form is writing works well here.

Any sentence with a neither/nor pair requires a ruler: The subject that’s closer to the verb dominates. If the closer subject is singular, go for a singular verb. If the closer subject is plural, opt for a plural verb. In this sentence the plural costars is closer to the verb than the singular Tom Cruise, so a plural verb (that is, attend) is called for. Chapter 2: Matchmaker, Make Me a Match: Pairing Subjects and Verbs Correctly 8 is. Each is a magic word that automatically creates a singular subject, no matter what it precedes.

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Grammar of the Shan language by Josiah Nelson Cushing


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