Although there are occasions when a shift in point of view is appropriate, unnecessary and inconsistent shifts—especially within a sentence—are distracting to the reader and can cause a confusing change in perspective.
How can you correct an unnecessary shift in point of view?
- In a passage where an unnecessary shift has been noted, go through and highlight each of the point of view words.
- Change the point of view of the inconsistent pronouns to align them with the primary point of view that has already been established.
- Reread the passage aloud and listen for consistency in point of view.
Let’s look at an example:
- Inconsistent point of view:
- Even though he believed weight loss was possible, you do not know how hard it can be until you try to lose a few pounds.
- Consistent point of view:
- Even though he believed weight loss was possible, he did not know how hard it would be until he tried to lose a few pounds.
For more information on point of view:
- Avoid the Use of First-person Point of View
- Avoid the Use of Second-person Point of View
- Use Third Person Point of View