Hailey
Using the present tense to describe past events I noticed that sometimes people use the present tense when talking about past events. I first thought it was wrong but I did some digging into my grammar book and found out it was not wrong. But I can't grasp how to use it properly or even why one could do it. Could you please give some examples? (Not literary ones)
May 12, 2011 9:00 AM
Answers · 17
Hi Hailey, I do teach a lesson on this to my Slovak students. ;) If I understand you right, the present tense is sometimes used to tell a story about a past event as a dramatic effect. So the story is told "as if it were happening now". Bonus! :D I just found the exact video I use, on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tDMtr07OcM The best example is the fourth story, told by the gangster.
May 12, 2011
In relation to you not meeting me at the bus station yesterday: “I wake up early, travel all that way, wait for you in the rain, and you don't meet me!” Is this not the Simple Present being used with a Past meaning?
May 12, 2011
I think what you are referring to is a type of narration that people use when telling stories. Like in movies sometimes a character will recall a story and say: "We go to the movies to see Iron Man but Mark gets us kicked out for bringing a camcorder. So we all leave and go to the store to buy a few drinks to have a party...." Is this right? I may be a bit confused on what you are asking.
May 17, 2011
You may use present tense to describe something in the past which is still currently true. For example, "My cat catches lots of mice." This refers to the past (my cat, in the past, has caught lots of mice). However, I expect this should continue. My cat will probably continue catching mice. Therefore, I use "catches". If my cat is very old and no longer catches mice, I would say "caught". "When my cat was young, he caught lots of mice."
May 12, 2011
a smile for you
May 12, 2011
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Hailey
Language Skills
English, Japanese, Korean
Learning Language
English, Japanese