Practice with Identifying Verb Tenses

Reprinted without permission from: http://www.themint.org/owing/disadvantages.php
Activity created by Daryl L. Beres

Review the reading below (American Dream R?). Look at the verbs. What tense are they? Choose the correct tense from the list. Then press the "Check" button to see if you are correct.

The subjects are underlined in red, and the verbs are highlighted yellow.

The Big Disadvantage

After all those great advantages, how can credit cards be so dangerous? It has to do with you, not the card itself. You have to know how to control your impulses when it comes to spending.

Way too tempting

Whipping out a piece of plastic is so easy. It doesn't even feel like you're spending money. Do that enough times in a month, and SURPRISE! Look at that balance! Where did it come from? It came from all those not-so-big purchases you made over the month.

Suddenly you're in debt. And you don't have the $197. So you pay $60, all you can afford . What happens next month? The $60 you paid the credit card company has made you short on cash this month so you charge more, and your debt grows larger. Look at the facts.

Carrying a Balance

But, you say , I'll always pay my bill in full and on time. That may be what you intend to do, but the plain fact is that about 60% of cardholders carry a balance (owe money) from month to month.* Many of these people thought they would pay off their bills each month too. The convenience of credit can be very hard to resist. Look at the facts.

Getting out of debt

So what's it like to be in debt? Let's say that you find the perfect winter jacket. What luck! It's marked down from $220 to $180. That's a $40 savings. You don't have the $180 right now, but you hate to pass up the sale, so you charge the jacket. You decide to pay for it over time.

Because you work only one day a week, you can't afford large monthly payments. But you can pay $15 every month and still have some money left over for other things. You faithfully pay the $15 each month, but the months seem to drag on forever. Plus, you pay late once, and you're charged a $30 penalty fee for missing the payment date.

Although you've bought the winter jacket in November, it takes you 16 months (that's two winters, a summer, and a spring) to pay off the purchase! At a17.9% interest rate and with a $30 penalty fee, guess how much you paid for that "sale" jacket? $228.26. That's more than the original price! Those finance charges really add up .

By the time you're done paying for the jacket, you'll be ready to buy a new one. See for yourself how finance charges can add up . Or see how good you are at estimating the cost of credit.

*Source: PR News Wire, August 19, 2001