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  1. #1
    learning54's Avatar
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    Default Question about Narrative Tenses

    Hi Teachers,
    Based on the explanation given below for narrative tenses, could you tell me if I can use an adjective before ‘events’ in the phrase ‘… the time of the events’? Is it better to rephrase it? Suggestions are more than welcome.
    Narrative tenses using the Past Progressive
    It is used to describe the situation(s) in which the event(s) of the narrative was/were occurring. In other words, we use the past progressive to describe other events and actions that were in progress at the time of events.
    To me it seems a bit confusing for the students because we have already used the word ‘events’ previously. Knowing that they refer to different events, I just don’t know if the students will see it so clearly.
    Thanks in advance

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    Default Re: Question about Narrative Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54 View Post
    Hi Teachers,




    Based on the explanation given below for narrative tenses, could you tell me if I can use an adjective before ‘events’ in the phrase ‘… the time of the events’? Is it better to rephrase it? Suggestions are more than welcome.



    "Narrative tenses using the Past Progressive


    It is used to describe the situation(s) in which the event(s) of the narrative was/were occurring. In other words, we use the past progressive to describe other events and actions that were in progress at the time of events."



    To me it seems a bit confusing for the students because we have already used the word ‘events’ previously. Knowing that they refer to different events, I just don’t know if the students will see it so clearly.



    Thanks in advance
    Yes it is confusing.

    Narrative tenses using the Past Progressive


    "The past progressive is used to describe a situation in which one event is occurring over a period of time and another event either interrupts it or occurs during the time at which the first event is occurring.
    Eg. "The man was running along the road when a car hit him"

    Also:
    We generally don't start a paragraph with "It" merely on the basis of a heading. If the paragraphs are short, perhaps "This" would be appropriate.

    For example:
    Spain:
    Spain is a big country in southern Europe. - OK
    England:
    This is an island off the coast of continental Europe. - OK (grammatically)
    China:
    It is also a big country, in Asia. - No. Use "China" or "This".

    PS: Sorry about the spacing. This editor has a mind of its own lately.

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    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Question about Narrative Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54 View Post
    Hi Teachers,



    Based on the explanation given below for narrative tenses, could you tell me if I can use an adjective before ‘events’ in the phrase ‘… the time of the events’? Is it better to rephrase it? Suggestions are more than welcome.



    Narrative tenses using the Past Progressive


    It is used to describe the situation(s) in which the event(s) of the narrative was/were occurring. In other words, we use the past progressive to describe other events and actions that were in progress at the time of events.



    To me it seems a bit confusing for the students because we have already used the word ‘events’ previously. Knowing that they refer to different events, I just don’t know if the students will see it so clearly.



    Thanks in advance
    Maybe my own definition might help for your purpose:
    Used to describe an event(s) that was (were) in progress/continuing in the past, during which another /other past event(s) occurred. “I was eating dinner when the phone rang." I'm sure you can (re)search for others.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question about Narrative Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes it is confusing.

    Narrative tenses using the Past Progressive


    "The past progressive is used to describe a situation in which one event is occurring over a period of time and another event either interrupts it or occurs during the time at which the first event is occurring.
    Eg. "The man was running along the road when a car hit him"

    Also:
    We generally don't start a paragraph with "It" merely on the basis of a heading. If the paragraphs are short, perhaps "This" would be appropriate.

    For example:
    Spain:
    Spain is a big country in southern Europe. - OK
    England:
    This is an island off the coast of continental Europe. - OK (grammatically)
    China:
    It is also a big country, in Asia. - No. Use "China" or "This".

    PS: Sorry about the spacing. This editor has a mind of its own lately.
    Hi,
    Thank you so much for your reply and advice. Where will you include 'of the narrative' or 'narrative' in your definition?
    Thanks again.
    PS. Don't worry about something you can't control, though it is nice of you to say it.

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    Default Re: Question about Narrative Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    Maybe my own definition might help for your purpose:
    Used to describe an event(s) that was (were) in progress/continuing in the past, during which another /other past event(s) occurred. “I was eating dinner when the phone rang." I'm sure you can (re)search for others.
    Hi,
    Thank you for your reply. One more question, 'Where will you include 'of the narrative' or 'narrative' in your definition?

    Thanks
    L45

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    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Narrative Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54 View Post
    Hi,
    Thank you so much for your reply and advice. Where will you include 'of the narrative' or 'narrative' in your definition?
    Thanks again.
    PS. Don't worry about something you can't control, though it is nice of you to say it.
    If your heading says something like: "Narrative tenses using the Past Progressive", your readers should understand that you're talking about narrative. If the events are not occurring in the narrative, you wouldn't be writing about them under that heading.
    In any case, you still have "describe a situation" in your definition, and this means the same as narrating. Describing a series of events is narrating, and hence it constitutes a narrative.

    A better heading would be "Using the Past Progressive in Narrative [Narration]" because there are no "narrative tenses" as such. There are just tenses which we use, more or less, in narration as elsewhere.

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    Default Re: Question about Narrative Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    If your heading says something like: "Narrative tenses using the Past Progressive", your readers should understand that you're talking about narrative. If the events are not occurring in the narrative, you wouldn't be writing about them under that heading.
    In any case, you still have "describe a situation" in your definition, and this means the same as narrating. Describing a series of events is narrating, and hence it constitutes a narrative.

    A better heading would be "Using the Past Progressive in Narrative [Narration]" because there are no "narrative tenses" as such. There are just tenses which we use, more or less, in narration as elsewhere.
    Hi,
    Thank you so much for your reply and help. Let me give you the whole idea about this. Obviously some changes have to be made since you told me that there are no "narrative tenses" as such. By the way, I read it on the Internet.
    The title has to be changed and so have these sentences, 'The narrative tenses are ...?' and 'The most common narrative tenses ...' Could you suggest others please?

    Thanks again
    L45

    The Narrative Tenses

    Grammar Notes
    The narrative tenses are the grammatical structures that we use to narrate a story.
    The most common narrative tenses are the Simple Past and the Past Progressive.
    Using the Simple Past in Narrative
    The simple past is used to narrate past events in chronological order. It expresses completed actions at a definitive time in the past. In other words, we use the simple past to narrate the principal events of the story.
    EXAMPLE:
    (1) I woke up at half past seven yesterday then, (2) I had a shower and (3) ate my breakfast. (4) I went out of the house at a quarter past eight.

    Using the Past Progressive in Narrative
    The past progressive is used to narrate a situation in which one event is occurring over a period of time and another event either interrupts it or occurs during the time at which the first event is occurring.
    EXAMPLES:
    When (1) I phoned her, (2) she was eating breakfast.
    When (1) her son came into the kitchen, (2) the dog was sleeping and she was making dinner.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Narrative Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54 View Post
    Hi,
    Thank you so much for your reply and help. Let me give you the whole idea about this. Obviously some changes have to be made since you told me that there are no "narrative tenses" as such. By the way, I read it on the Internet.
    There might be some merit in drawing attention to various tenses that are most commonly used in narrative. I've looked at the net, and I see that this terminology is not uncommon, so I guess it's OK to use. The problem I have with it is that you can also use other tenses for narrative.
    It seems that the "narrative tenses" are past simple, past continuous, past perfect simple, and past perfect progressive.

    However, you can also use the simple present, the present continuous, various future and conditional tenses and moods as well. As long as students know what you are referring to (the tenses most used in narrative, there's probably not a problem).

    "So, I'm walking down the street, and this man comes up to me says 'Give me your money!' Well, I haven't got much money on me, but I'm not going to let him deprive me of my lunch, so ... "
    This is narrative, and it uses the simple present, the present continuous, the present perfect, and the future construction with "going to".

    The title has to be changed and so have these sentences, 'The narrative tenses are ...?' and 'The most common narrative tenses ...' Could you suggest others please?


    Thanks again
    L45

    The Narrative Tenses

    Grammar Notes
    The narrative tenses are the grammatical structures that we use most often to narrate a story.
    The most common narrative tenses are the Simple Past and the Past Progressive.
    Using the Simple Past in Narrative
    The simple past is used to narrate past events in chronological order. It expresses completed actions at a definitive time in the past. In other words, we use the simple past to narrate the principal events of the story.
    EXAMPLE:
    (1) I woke up at half past seven yesterday then, (2) I had a shower and (3) ate my breakfast. (4) I went out of the house at a quarter past eight.

    Using the Past Progressive in Narrative
    The past progressive is used to narrate a situation in which one event is occurring over a period of time and another event either interrupts it or occurs during the time at which the first event is occurring.
    EXAMPLES:
    When (1) I phoned her, (2) she was eating breakfast.
    When (1) her son came into the kitchen, (2) the dog was sleeping and she was making dinner.
    I'm sure you could keep your original plan, without too many changes, as long as you make it clear that you don't have to use the "narrative tenses" for narration. I'm not sure why they can't just be called the past tenses.

    PS: See this site, which is labelled "Narrative tenses" and which also points out the same problem I have with the unnecessary restriction.
    http://www.rainschool.com/school-of-english/level-5-advanced/explaining-narrative-tenses-1-for-proficiency-e6-03g/
    Last edited by Raymott; 06-Dec-2011 at 22:21.

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    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Question about Narrative Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54 View Post
    Hi,
    Thank you for your reply. One more question, 'Where will you include 'of the narrative' or 'narrative' in your definition?

    Thanks
    L45
    "Used to describe an event(s) that was (were) in progress/continuing in the past, during which another /other past event(s) occurred. “I was eating dinner when the phone rang." I'm sure you can (re)search for others."

    You could replace "Used to describe" with "Used in a narrative that describes an event(s)............"

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    Default Re: Question about Narrative Tenses

    Hi Raymott,
    I really appreciate your replies and help. The site you have given me is very good. Thanks a lot for everything. No further questions at this point.

    Best,
    L45

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