3 Mistakes That Can Cost You Your PTE Exam Scores
When attending your online PTE review, conjugating verbs might be one of the trickiest topics to master. Overcoming common verb errors does not just help you understand the English language, but it also prevents your readers from misunderstanding you.
Let’s take a look at these frequently committed verb mistakes.
Put simply: plural subjects take on plural verbs, and singular subjects take on singular verbs; however, this sometimes may not be as simple as it seems.
Incorrect: The three best things about the party last night was the food, the music and the people with me.
In the example shown above, the subject is plural (referring to three things); however, the verb is singular. The sentence should be corrected to:
Correct: The three best things about the party last night were the food, the music, and the people with me.
TIP: Look out for the conjunction “and;” if nouns/pronouns are separated by “and,” they usually take on a plural verb. An exception to this rule would be nouns that use “and” but are considered one entity.
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A way for you to avoid confusing your reader during your online PTE review is by sticking to one verb tense. This mistake is common in writing stories. If you are using a storytelling style, utilizing the past tense is an excellent way to show a character’s reflection on something that has already happened. However, using the present tense is also a great way to create a connection with your readers, making them feel like they are living in the moment of the story.
Switching in and Out of a Single Tense
Most of the time, you write the way you speak. This is why wrong tense use sometimes slips by unnoticed. Switching tenses is not entirely incorrect, and can be justified on a case to case basis. However, you can play it safe and follow our original advice: stick to one tense.
Incorrect: “Mary! Come here right now,” Mia yelled. Mia was a police officer and is always nagging me about discipline.
In this example, multiple mistakes are impossible not to notice. The first one is regarding Mia. Is she a retired police officer? Or is she presently a police officer? If she is currently a police officer, the verb tense should be in the present and not the past. Another correction that can you can see is the change of tense from the simple past tense “yelled” to “always nagging,” which is in the present continuous tense. The sentence would do well in both the simple tense and present tense.
Correct: “Mary! Come here right now,” Mia is yelling. Mia is a police officer and is always nagging me about discipline.
Take these corrections to heart and improve your skills not only for your writing but for speaking as well. To read more tips, techniques, and more, visit our blog and check out our PTE review packages.