Posted by: episystechpubs | March 1, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Avoid Unnecessary Future Tense

Today my gift for you is an article from our vacationing Donna. Enjoy!

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Good morning!

Today’s topic is the unnecessary future tense. No, I’m not referring to an episode of Star Trek or The X-Files. Sorry. I’m talking about grammar—again. I gathered much of today’s information from The Global English Style Guide by John R. Kohl (pp. 39-40).

The future tense includes the auxiliary verb will (as in I will enjoy my vacation!). You should use the future tense when you’re talking about something that happens only in the future as in this example:

· You cannot predict which record will be deleted because the internal sort might place either record first.

The problem is that many writers use the future tense when they’re not necessarily talking about something that happens only in the future, as this example shows:

· When you develop your application, test different values to determine which values will result in the best performance.

You can rewrite the previous example in present tense (removing the auxiliary verb will), and it still works:

· When you develop your application, test different values to determine which values result in the best performance.

To avoid using future tense unnecessarily, just ask yourself if the word will is necessary in your sentence. If it’s not necessary, remove it!

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