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Home » Module 1 Unit 4: Tenses » Common mistakes - page 5/9
Unit 1: Sentence fragmentsUnit 2: Run-on sentences Unit 3: Subject-verb agreementUnit 4: TensesUnit 5: PassiveUnit 6: ApostrophesUnit 7: Articles

This table shows the purpose of the sections of an essay and sample sentences from each section.

Can you recognise the tenses that have been used in each sample sentence?

Can you think of any other tenses that may be suitable for this purpose?

When you have thought of answers to these questions, click in the column showing Tense choice to see if you were correct. The first one has been done for you.

How did you go? Did you notice that:

  • a limited range of tenses were used.
  • one of the primary tenses (e.g. simple present) predominates for each purpose, in conjunction with other related tenses (e.g. present perfect, present continuous).
  • the tenses in the introduction and concluding sections tend to be the same because they usually state the same basic points.

Note: The future tense rarely occurs as the dominant tense in academic writing. It is usually used only to state the writer's purpose/intention, or to give an overview of what is to come in the piece of writing.