Tense consistency: jumping spider
The Grammar Bit!
Read aloud the three multi-clause sentences opposite. You’ll notice that they don’t sound right. This is because the action performed by the subject in the first clause takes place at a different time to the action in the second clause.
Shifting from one tense (past, present or future) to another without a good reason, either within sentences or throughout paragraphs, can be both confusing and distracting for the reader.
With your talk partner, discuss ways of making each sentence sound right. What changes will you make? Which tense will you use?
1) Portia is mapping her world in three dimensions and then formulated a plan of attack.
2) When Portia abseiled down her silk thread, she paralyses the web-weaving spider by injecting venom into its body.
3) The male jumping spider, who is waving his legs in the air and beating his abdomen on a leaf, attracted several females to his leafy stage.
What do you call a spider with four pairs of eyes?