While sometimes shifts in person are required, unnecessary shifts in person confuse readers.
The following are the two most common mistakes with shifts in person:
Simple shift in person
Incorrect: One can do well in school if you budget your time. Correct: You can do well in school if you budget your time.
Incorrect: I used to think my parents were fussy, but as you get older you become more tolerant. Correct: I used to think my parents were fussy, but as I've gotten older, I've become more tolerant.
Misuse of "you" when the writer means "I"
Incorrect: You often get cold standing outside at a football game. Correct: I often get cold standing outside at a football game.
Incorrect: You know how it feels painful to have an operation like I just did. Correct: My operation was really painful.
*Notice in the corrected version of this example the subject switches to "operation" which clarifies the statement by exchanging the personal pronoun (you) with a concrete noun (operation). This can often be a good way to create clearer focus in a sentence and avoid the overuse of "you" as a subject.
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