1. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    What is this type of present tense called?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by w176, Nov 9, 2010.

    Something has bothering me a few weeks now. There is a particular form of present tense, with is when the narrator narrates a story that is in past tense in present tense.

    ”I'm gasping for air, staring at the shadow. I turn around to run towards the door. Things seems to be happening slowly, to slowly. I'm not getting away, and the monster is getting closer. It reaching out for me, its hand just inches from my face. That's when I awoke, gasping for realizing that I had been dreaming”

    This form of present tense got a particular name, but I cant for my life remember what it is, and neither does my search-fu help me. Does anyone know the name of this form of present tense?

    (It is fantastic and fun tense to write in by the way.)
     
  2. Whiskeysoldier
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    Whiskeysoldier New Member

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    Active past tense, I believe, but I'm not sure.
     
  3. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. Various searches seem to finding nothing writing related when I search for that phrase.
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    You are using Present Progressive/Continous Tense. It doesn't matter that the events have happened in the past, you are describing them as if they are going on at the moment of narration, i.e. present.

    This bit should read: 'It IS reaching out for me...'

    I wouldn't advise you to use this method of describing past action too frequently. It's a bit cumbersome to read over long passages.
     
  5. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    ^ Absolutely right and agree about not using it frequently. It is very passive. Anyway, when a writer choose to narrate a past event using Present Continuous, it definitely doesn't have a different name... it is still Present Continuous.
     
  6. Whiskeysoldier
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    Whiskeysoldier New Member

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    Further proof that I should just stick to writing and cease spreading misinformation.
     
  7. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Guess i have to ask y creative writing teacher at the university. I have a foggy memory of a Latin term for it. Thanks anyway guys.
     
  8. je33ie
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    je33ie Member

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    My Grandad uses this tense all the time to tell stories of his childhood! :)
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    The phrase "In medias res" comes to mind, but I don't know why, because it absolutely doesn't mean what you want. :) So I don't know why I'm posting, but I am.

    ChickenFreak
     

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