Ever had an editor use the word "muddled" when referring to your work? Sometimes there are sentences that are just plain hard to follow. Overlong sentences can be to blame, but surprisingly enough, verb tense issues are often the culprit.
Our Double Check this week is to go over your tenses and make sure they 1) are the correct form, 2) match or correlate with the nouns in the sentence and, 3) match the other verbs in the sentence.
The dogs chase...
The dog chases...
Other more complicated sentences pose problem number 3. If there are more than one verb in the sentence that points back to the same noun, it can be easy to switch tenses.
The family of the deceased asks for donations and seeks answers from local authorities.
It would be too easy to write the first verb right and the second wrong. (Side Note: Though it indicates plurality, "family" is the singular version of the noun.) If in doubt, cover the chunk of sentence between the second verb and its noun, then see if it makes sense.
If you still have questions ask your editor :)
P.S. If you don't have an editor, Dream Edit Repeat does all kind of edits. Check out our packages or shoot over an email and we'll get you taken care of.