Can someone explain the tenses in this?

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Can someone explain the tenses in this?

Postby duckpuddle » Sun, 27 Jul 2008 05:24:40 -0500

"First, the right amount of water is added to the lump of clay and it is kneaded by hand."
Why is it "added" and "kneaded" if the sentence is in the present tense?

Also in this sentence "It chose to bite you", why is it not "It chose to bit you."?
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Re: Can someone explain the tenses in this?

Postby MauraS » Wed, 06 Aug 2008 10:25:41 -0500

"Added" and "kneaded" are not actually in the past tense. This is a passive sentence. A passive sentence does not have the subject as the focus of the sentence. If we change the sentence to an active sentence (the opposite of passive) it looks like this.

First, you add the right amount of water to the lump of clay and then you knead it by hand.

A passive sentence takes away the "you" because it is assumed. We do not need to say it.

To create a passive sentence we use the verb "to be" conjugated in the proper tense, followed by the past participle (which can often look like the past tense). So the verbs in your original sentence are "is added" and "is kneaded".

Do you already know about active and passive sentences? It can be a bit difficult.

Your other sentence. "It chose to bite you."
We only conjugate the main verb "choose" to "chose" and then follow with the infinitive "to bite". We don't conjugate the second verb.

Hope this helps!

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