Tense Agreement in Subordinate Clauses: A Must-Know for Content Writers
As content writers, we know how important it is to write with clarity and precision, especially when it comes to grammar. One of the most common grammar mistakes content writers make is tense agreement in subordinate clauses.
Subordinate clauses, also known as dependent clauses, are clauses that cannot stand alone as sentences. They are often used to provide additional information or to add complexity to a sentence. However, when it comes to tense agreement, subordinate clauses can be tricky.
The general rule for tense agreement is that the main clause and the subordinate clause should have the same tense. This means that if the main clause is in the past tense, the subordinate clause should also be in the past tense. If the main clause is in the present tense, the subordinate clause should also be in the present tense.
Let`s look at an example:
Incorrect: I will go to the store after I finished my work.
Correct: I will go to the store after I finish my work.
In the incorrect example, the main clause is in the future tense, but the subordinate clause is in the past tense. This creates confusion and makes the sentence harder to understand. In the correct example, both clauses are in the future tense, making the sentence clear and concise.
Incorrect: I am going to the gym because I want to lose weight.
Correct: I am going to the gym because I want to lose weight.
In this example, both the main clause and the subordinate clause are in the present tense, making the sentence grammatically correct and easy to understand.
However, there are some exceptions to the tense agreement rule. For example, if the subordinate clause refers to a general truth or fact, it can be in the present tense even if the main clause is in the past tense.
I knew that the earth revolves around the sun.
In this example, the subordinate clause is in the present tense, but it refers to a general truth or fact, making it acceptable to use in a past tense sentence.
In conclusion, tense agreement in subordinate clauses is an essential aspect of grammar for content writers to master. By following the general rule of keeping the tense of the main clause and the subordinate clause consistent, content writers can ensure that their writing is clear and concise. Remember to keep in mind the exceptions to the rule, and always proofread your work for any grammar mistakes before publishing. Happy writing!