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Tense consistency in a sentence


(Praneet Khandelwal) #1

I was trying to figure out a way if we could detect tense inconsistency in a sentence, for eg:

Organised the logistics and ensuring* the smooth running of Seedcamp week.

In the above sentence 'ensuring' should be changed to 'ensured' which has a similar tense form to that of the word 'organised'.

Any help in how to formulate this as a rule would be appreciated.


(Lodewijk Arie van Brienen) #2

In speech your example sentence is acceptable as short for:

"I have organized the logistics of and I'm now ensuring the smooth running of Seedcamp week."

Which has a clear chronological order of a past event leading to a present event and thus not qualifying as inconsistent tense.


(Praneet Khandelwal) #3

Thanks for pointing it out.
But I am trying to make rules for resume English. So I would like to ask how the rule should be made if we are to take this sentence and write it on a resume.


(Mike Unwalla) #4

@nancyntse13,

<rule id="TENSE_CONSISTENCY" name="Tense consistency for resume style">
    <pattern>
       <token postag="SENT_START"/>
       <token regexp="yes" min="0">[*-•]</token>
       <token postag="VBD" regexp="yes" case_sensitive="yes">[A-Z]\w+</token>
       <token chunk="B-NP-singular" skip="-1"/>
       <token chunk="E-NP-singular"/>
       <token postag="CC" skip="-1"><exception scope="next" postag="VBD"/></token>
       <marker>
           <token postag_regexp="yes" postag="VB.*"><exception postag="VBD"/></token>
       </marker>
    </pattern>
    <message>Make sure that the tense of the marked verb agrees with the first verb in the sentence.</message>
    <short>Tense consistency</short>
    <example>Organised the logistics and <marker>ensured</marker> the smooth running of the test.</example>
    <example>Organised the tests and <marker>ensured</marker> no errors.</example>
    <example correction="">Organised the logistics and <marker>ensuring</marker> the smooth running of the test.</example>
    <example correction="">* Organised the logistics and <marker>ensures</marker> the smooth running of the test.</example>
    <example correction="">• Removed the basic rule but also, if possible, <marker>finds</marker> errors.</example>
    <example correction="">Built the basic rule and <marker>find</marker> errors.</example>
<!-- False negative, but why? --><example>Tested the basic rule and <marker>find</marker> errors.</example>
    <example correction="">Analysed the basic rule and also <marker>find</marker> errors.</example>
    <example>•	Removed the basic rule and <marker>find</marker> errors.</example>
</rule>

As a starter, use this rule. I can probably be improved. You need a similar rule to deal with plural noun phrases. Possibly, you could use OR:

   <or>
       <token chunk="B-NP-singular" skip="-1"/>
       <token chunk="B-NP-plural" skip="-1"/>
   </or>

(Praneet Khandelwal) #5

Thanks a lot @Mike_Unwalla. I also came up with a similar rule.