We asked her if she could outline the advantages and disadvantages of Present Tense and Past Tense in writing.
Indo-European languages[ edit ] The European continent is heavily dominated by Indo-European languagesall of which have a past tense. Further, all of the non-Indo-European languages in Europe, such as BasqueHungarianand Finnishalso have a past tense. English[ edit ] In English, the past tense or preterite is one of the inflected forms of a verb.
With regular and some irregular verbs, the past tense form also serves as a past participle. For full details of past tense formation, see English verbs.
Past events are often referred to using the present perfect construction, as in I have finished also known as present in past. However this is not regarded as an instance of the past tense; instead it is viewed as a combination of present tense with perfect aspectspecifying a present state that results from past action.
Various multi-word constructions exist for combining past tense with progressive continuous aspect, which denotes ongoing action; with perfect aspect; and with progressive and perfect aspects together.
These and other common past tense constructions are listed below. The simple past consists of just the past tense preterite form of the verb he walked, they flew, etc. The simple past is used for describing single occurrences or habitual occurrences in the past, and sometimes for states existing in the past.
The past progressive past continuous is formed using the simple past of be was or were with the main verb's present participle: This form indicates that an action was ongoing at the past time under consideration.
The past perfect combines had the simple past of have with the past participle of the main verb: This denotes that an action occurred before a specified time in the past, and therefore has similar function to the pluperfect found in some languages.
The past perfect progressive combines had the simple past of have with been the past participle of be and the present participle of the main verb: You had been waiting. The expression used to with the infinitive of the main verb denotes a past habitual situation I used to play football when I was youngalthough with a stative verb it can just indicate that a state was continuously in effect I used to belong to that club.
It is often used to emphasize that something is no longer the case. Another way of referring to past habitual action is to use wouldas in As a child I would play the piano every day, although this auxiliary has other uses as well. For further details see English modal verbs. For details of the usage of the various constructions used to refer to the past, see Uses of English verb forms.
Note that the past tense is also used in referring to some hypothetical situations, not necessarily connected with past time, as in if I tried or I wish I knew.
For the possible use of were in place of was in such instances, see English subjunctive. German[ edit ] German uses three forms for the past tense. The perfect Perfekt The past perfect Plusquamperfekt In southern GermanyAustria and Switzerlandthe preterite is mostly used solely in writing, for example in stories.
Use in speech is regarded as snobbish and thus very uncommon. South German dialects, such as the Bavarian dialect, as well as Yiddish and Swiss German, have no preterite with the exception of sein and wollenbut only perfect constructs.
In certain regions, a few specific verbs are used in the preterite, for instance the modal verbs and the verbs haben have and sein be.
There was once a small girl who was called Little Red Riding Hood. In speech and informal writing, the Perfekt is used e. I said this and that. However, in the oral mode of North Germany, there is still a very important difference between the preterite and the perfectand both tenses are consequently very common.
The preterite is used for past actions when the focus is on the action, whilst the present perfect is used for past actions when the focus is on the present state of the subject as a result of a previous action.
This is somewhat similar to the English usage of the preterite and the present perfect. Dutch[ edit ] Dutch mainly uses these two past tenses: Gisteren was ik daar "I was there yesterday". This form is made by combining a form of zijn "to be" or hebben "to have" with the notional verb, for example: Gisteren ben ik daar geweest.
This also means "I was there yesterday", but just as it is the case for English constructions with the present perfect simple, this kind of formulation puts more emphasis on the "being finished"-aspect. Less common is the voltooid verleden tijd, which corresponds to the English past perfect.
It is formed by combining an onvoltooid verleden form of zijn "to be" or hebben "to have" with the notional verb, for example: Ik was daar voor gisteren al geweest.
A listener named Becky had a question about present and past tense. She wanted to know which of the following was correct: “The girl who was next to me was named Stephanie,” or “The girl who was next to me is named Stephanie.”. Narrative point of view. Narrative point of view or narrative perspective describes the position of the narrator, that is, the character of the storyteller, in relation to the story being told. It can be thought of as a camera mounted on the narrator's shoulder that can also look back inside the narrator's mind. For present tense writing to be convincing, therefore, you have to give the impression that events are playing out in real time. So if the character is driving though heavy traffic, you need to describe what she sees and hears .
This means "I had been there before yesterday. Other groups[ edit ] In non-Germanic Indo-European languagespast marking is typically combined with a distinction between perfective and imperfective aspect, with the former reserved for single completed actions in the past.Present Tense Books.
Should you write your novel in present tense? because his book is a crime novel, writing it in the present tense allows the reader to unfold the mystery at the same time as the main character.
Reading a novel requires the reader to suspend disbelief to some degree to get wrapped up in a story we know isn't true, and. Once you set the scene, tell your story in present tense to draw others in and give them a better idea of what happened.
You may also find the present tense makes you more descriptive. My first novel was written in the past tense, and once again I’m writing a fictional crime memoir primarily in the past tense.
However, when the protagonist gets to the action he’s suddenly in the present tense. 32 thoughts on “ The Pros and Cons of Writing a Novel in Present Tense ” Redheaded Beauty June 5, at pm. As a reader I can’t stand present tense, it feels so constricted and gives the novel a voice that just screams amateur.
On the one hand, she wants to use the past tense because the other verb in the sentence is in the past tense, and she doesn’t want to switch tenses needlessly.
On the other hand, if it’s still true that the girl is named Stephanie, wouldn’t she want to use the present tense? What Is the Simple Present Tense? (with Examples) The simple present tense is quite simple to form (see spelling rules on the right), but it's not simple in terms of how it's used.
In fact, it's quite complicated. Examples of the Simple Present Tense The simple present tense is .