Essay Comparison Present Tense

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See the section on modals for the various kinds of information conveyed by modals (advisability, predictability, guessing, necessity, possibility, etc.).

Visit our section on the passive for advice on when to use the passive and when to substitute more active verb forms.

A linking verb provides no action to a sentence: the subject complement re-identifies the subject; the adjective complement modifies it.

(For further information and additional vocabulary in dealing with linking verbs, visit the hyperlinks in this paragraph.) A form of the verb “ To be” is combined with a past participle to form the passive.

Review carefully the material in our section on Subject-Verb Agreement, and notice how often the choices we make require a familiarity with these forms of the “ To be” verb.

We create simple yes/no questions by inverting the order of subject and the “ To be” verb.For example: If you choose the present tense, as in Example 1.1, you're implying that the findings of the research are generally accepted, whereas the present perfect tense in 1.2 implies not only general acceptance but also current relevance and, possibly, the continuity of the findings as an authoritative statement on the causes of death.On the other hand, the past tense in Example 1.3 emphasizes the finding at the time the research was conducted, rather than its current acceptance.When “ To be” verbs are combined with modal forms in this manner, the construction is called a phrasal modal.Here are some more examples: Sometimes it is difficult to say whether a “ To be” verb is linking a subject to a participle or if the verb and participle are part of a passive construction.As such, your tense choices can indicate to readers the status of the research you're citing.You have several options for communicating research findings, and each has a different rhetorical effect.The verb “ To be” is said to be the most protean of the English language, constantly changing form, sometimes without much of a discernible pattern.Considering that we use it so often, it is really too bad that the verb “ To be” has to be the most irregular, slippery verb in the language.In technical writing, where the process is more important than who is doing the activity, we might report that “ Three liters of fluid through porous glass beads.” Regardless of the verb's purpose, only the auxiliary form of “ To be” changes; the participle stays the same.The “ To be” will change form to indicate whether the subject is singular or plural: The “ To be” verb can be combined with other modal forms (along with the past participle of the main verb) to convey other kinds of information.


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