1. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Here or there in past tense?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by spklvr, Jul 31, 2011.

    Something I've wondered for a while is if it's more correct to use "there" or "here" in past tense when narrating. Say a character is stranded in the desert and I'm using third person limited, which is correct/sound better?
    "It was very hot here" vs. "It was very hot there".

    Something else is when using "today" and "now".

    Example: "Today was an important day." Would it be more correct to say something like "that day" instead?

    Maybe it's because I'm not a Native English speaker that I can't tell what's right.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There's no absolute rule. If tghe person has lived in that desert all his life, and is presumably still there when narrating the story, it's quite sensible for him to say, "It was very hot here that year."

    Know the narrator's POV - when and where for both the narrator and the described events - and use the adverb that makes sense.
     
  3. Shadow Reeves
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    Shadow Reeves Active Member

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    i agree. if the desert no longer exists - you are flashing back or something similar - here would not be as correct as there.
    It simply depends on the tone of your writing. 'here' makes the narrator feel more apart of the story in comparison to 'there'.
     
  4. Seye
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    Here and There in past tense.

    It was very hot there/here.

    Since the location is often known, the use of 'here/there' is redundant most times. If he is in the desert at the time, simply stating

    It was very hot.

    Tells the important factor, 'that it was hot' without again pointing to a location already know.

    Still there are times when 'here/there' can be used.

    example

    He was here, but then was over there.

    This shows a change in status/location, a change in time period.

    As was mentioned by others, I do not believe there is any set rule, but if 'here/there' is not needed to clarify, then why use its distracting qualities, when 'that it is hot' is the main theme of the scene?
     
  5. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    I agree with Seye in saying here/there and now/then are usually redundant and should be left out.

    If you do use them, I think you should use there and then. There is no 'now' in the past, and 'here,' unless the narrator is active and currently in the same location, probably isn't there either.
     
  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the narrator is there at the time of the narration.
    If the narrator is not there at the time of the narration. As others have suggested, you can drop the "there" unless you want to emphasise a contrast with somewhere else.
    I'd probably just go for "That" or "It", to avoid the repeated "day", although sometimes "Today" might flow better which I would consider more important than precise deictic correctness.
     

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