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Online Writing Resources

My Own Published Writing:
Chapter on Luis Valdez and Zoot Suit in Latino/a Literature in the Classroom (Routledge 2015)
Two articles about Margaret Atwood's books:
Lady Oracle: The Politics of the Body
Tourists and Terrorists
Hidden Artist and the Art of Hiding - on Moby-Dick

Participle Errors


Other common -ed errors donít have anything to do with tense or time. They come from words that follow the time words in a sentence.

1. The Have rule

Rule: Any form of the verb have must be followed by the past participle of a verb.

I have written to this pen pal for years.

I had spoken to him before.

She has been seeing him.(notice that the past participle follows has and the present participle follows been( a form of to be) To have told a lie is the worst shame of all. Having traveled all over the world, she knows many countries

Find the past tense and past participles for the following verbs.

Verb Past Tense Past Participle Present Participle

1. Begin

2. Break

3. Choose

4. Do

5. Fly

6. Give

7. Hide

8. Ride

9. Ring

Active Voice

In the active voice, the subject is the doer or causer of the verb.

The view from the hotel disappoints me. (The view is causing the disappointment)

The story of the Titanic is very interesting to millions of fans. (The story of the Titanic is causing the interest.)

I am driving the car. (I am doing the driving.)

**Rule : When you use some form of the verb to be in the active voice the following verb has to end in -ing (present participle)

Forms of To Be:

Is Am Are Was Were Being Been Be


He is teaching a class so that the students can be learning enough to pass the proficiency tests.


The student is hoped that the book is interested enough for the student to read.

The important thing to remember here is that you must use an active verb when the subject is causing or doing the verb.

Passive Voice

In the passive voice, the subject is no longer the doer or causer of the verb.

In the passive voice the verb becomes passive when you use

u a combination of the verb to be

Is Am Are Was Were Being Been Be

u and the past participle. (to be) (past participle) The audience was horrified by the cruel and needless deaths. (The audience wasnít causing the horror; the deaths were causing the horror.)

(to be) (past participle) Cigarettes are considered dangerous. (Cigarettes canít consider anything; someone else is considering them dangerous.)

Remember: The passive voice consists of a subject, some form of the verb to be, and the past participle.

When you are deciding whether to use the present or the past participle of the verb following some form of the verb to be, you have to decide if the subject is the doer or the causer of the verb or not.

If the subject is the doer or causer, use an active verb.

If the subject is not the doer or the cause, use a passive verb.


Adjectives Formed From Participles

Rule: Present and past participles can become adjectives. To decide whether you need to use the present or past participle, decide if the noun you are describing is the causer of the adjective or not. Use the present participle to describe nouns that are causing the qualities:

My embarrassing brother made me reluctant to go back. (The brother causes the embarrassment)

Use the past participle to describe nouns when something or someone else is causing or doing the thing the adjective describes.

The bored audiences left the theater long before the movie was over. (The audience didnít cause the boredom; the movie did.

Exercise: Correct all errors of past tense and past participles that should be in the following paragraph (Adjectives formed from passive verbs, passive verbs, and forms of verbs following "have."

Stereotypes are form all over the world even though people don't think they are prejudice. People have learn to stereotype since the time they were borned. Martin Luther King Jr. fight for his whole life for his oppress people as he practice non-violent resistance to the consistently practice racism in the United States. After he was ordain, he achieve national fame because he leads the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott in 1955. His "I Have A Dream" speech was deliver in 1963 to an audience who had assemble in Washington, D.C. The speech was intend to win the support of Congress and the president for civil rights legislation. It was King's most carefully craft speech which he had work on and worry about for days and weeks before he finish. It is consider one of the most move speeches of all times. Martin Luther King, Jr. was award the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his outstand work.

 Updated Tuesday, June 20, 2006 at 9:56:41 AM by Marilyn Patton -
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