I held the button for a mere five seconds and the hazard sign had illuminated the dash

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Mad12

New Member
English - New Zealand
So im a noob here and just registered. Im currently doing an English assessment and my teacher told that there is a grammar error in one of my sentences and she refuses to tell me even though i went back to her every 5 minutes. Im writing about a day at the race track and the sentence is

"I held the button for a mere five seconds and the hazard sign had illuminated the dash"

she gave me a hint that it was a verb but i still didn't understand what she was trying to say.

So if you guys could help me out it would be greatly appreciated.

Feel free to add words in to make it sound better

Thanks
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hello Mad12. :)

    Before we help you with homework, we ask you to make a try of your own. How about this: you pick out the verb[s] in your sentence, and tell us whether you can see any problems with them. Then we'll have a starting point for our discussion. :)
     

    Mad12

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    Hey Cagey. Thanks for the quick reply. Well the only verb i can see is held. Sign is also one but the verb is kinda of like a signature.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You are right that sign is not a verb in this sentence, though sometimes sign is a verb.

    What would you call "had illuminated"? ;)
     

    Mad12

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    a verb? I did ask my teacher though and she said she liked the word "illuminated"
     

    Mad12

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    If you were to change this sentence in to your own words, what would it be?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Yes, illuminated is a verb. It is a perfectly good verb.

    I can't read your teacher's mind, but she may have wanted you to change the form of one of the verbs. For instance, whether you say "had illuminated" or just plain "illuminated" depends on other parts of your writing.
    Please give us the sentence before the one we are discussing.
     

    Mad12

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    there we go "The ESP was still on or in other words the Electronic Stability Control (Traction Control)". Tell me about it. No one seems to read her mind. She has a go at everyone in the class if they do something slightly wrong. She has very high expectations.
     

    Mad12

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    and it was nothing to do with the other sentences because she had totally ruled out the rest and just focused on that first line i said about illuminated
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Let's put your sentences together. I'll mark the verbs in blue.

    The ESP was still on or in other words the Electronic Stability Control (Traction Control). I held the button for a mere five seconds and the hazard sign had illuminated the dash.

    I call had illuminated the 'past perfect' form. Generally we use the past perfect when we are talking about something that happened before something else happened, when both happened in the past.
    When I came into the room, my sister had already eaten the candy.
    I had finished my homework before I started to play video games.


    What was the order of the actions in your sentence? Did the hazard sign illuminate the dash first, or did you hold down the button first? The one that happened first should be had .... The other one should be the simple past (without had).
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Does my explanation in post #10 help you figure out which one should be 'had ....'?
    The one that happened first should be had .... The other one should be the simple past (without had).
    (Note: Please remember to use proper capitalization in this forum. ;))

    Added: Actually, you should give us the sentence that follows as well, to be sure that the verb forms fit together.

    I'm not trying to make things hard for you. I am just trying to be sure that you understand how it works for next time.
     
    Last edited:

    Mad12

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    Heres the following sentence aswell "I held on the button for a mere five seconds and the hazard sign had illuminated the dash. It was time to enter a whole new dimension of track racing"
     

    Mad12

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    Thanks so much for your help Cagey! It really helped me. I didnt expect to get a response so fast and will definitely be using this forum in the future. Thanks once again. Ill try what you told me and see what happens.
     
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