Tense confusion

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In grammar, a tense confusion occurs when a writer shifts from the present tense to the past tense (or vice versa).[1][2] For example, in the following example, the change from "saw" (past tense) to "is" (present tense) represents a tense confusion:


He saw that she is very tall.

It is important to avoid tense confusions because they hurt reader comprehension.[3][4] They are a common grammatical error,[5] especially among beginning writers.[6]


  1. ^ "Verb Tenses ~ Correcting Shifts" (PDF). The Quality Writing Center. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Tense Consistency". 
  3. ^ "Verb Tense Consistency". Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  4. ^ Verb Tense Consistency. Grammerly Handbook. Grammerly. 
  5. ^ "Verb Tense Consistency". CLA Department of English. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Mencher, Melvin. "Grammar Exercise 11: Verb Tense Consistency". McGraw Hill. Retrieved 28 January 2013.