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Sequence of Tenses

Understanding the sequence of tenses is crucial for accurately reporting events across different times from a past perspective. This involves using specific verb tenses to denote actions in the speaker's past, present, and future from that viewpoint.
  • Sequence of tenses becomes complex when reporting from a past perspective involves events that also span the past, present, and future.
  • For the speaker's present, use simple past or past progressive; for the speaker's past, use past perfect; and for the speaker's future, use conditional tense.
  • The sequence of tense rules apply to verbs of saying, thinking, arguing, believing, or any verb that introduces a that clause.
  • Correct application of these rules is demonstrated through examples, highlighting the importance of consistency in tense usage to maintain grammatical correctness.
  • Common mistakes include mixing tenses inappropriately, which can lead to grammatical errors or changes in meaning.
Introduction to Sequence of Tenses
Rules for Sequence of Tenses
Applying Sequence of Tenses in Complex Sentences
Common Mistakes and Corrections