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  1. #1
    chance22 is offline Member
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    Default what tense to use when quoting

    I was taught that when making quotation, it's preferable to use the simple present. For example, Shakespear says/writes that "All the world is a stage."
    Is this a rule that still applies? Can we use "Shakespear said..."? Is there certain context for people to use simple present or simple past? Are there differences?

  2. #2
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: what tense to use when quoting

    Quote Originally Posted by chance22 View Post
    I was taught that when making quotation, it's preferable to use the simple present. For example, Shakespear says/writes that "All the world is a stage."
    Is this a rule that still applies? Can we use "Shakespear said..."? Is there certain context for people to use simple present or simple past? Are there differences?
    No, there is nothing wrong with saying e.g. Shakespeare said...

    The very widespread use of the present tense, however, tends to suggest that their words are being invested by the writer with a kind of timeless wisdom.

    Needless to say, the usage is restricted to famous dead people. We would not say e.g.

    My grandfather says...

    unless he were still alive!

  3. #3
    chance22 is offline Member
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    Default Re: what tense to use when quoting

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    No, there is nothing wrong with saying e.g. Shakespeare said...

    The very widespread use of the present tense, however, tends to suggest that their words are being invested by the writer with a kind of timeless wisdom.

    Needless to say, the usage is restricted to famous dead people. We would not say e.g.

    My grandfather says...

    unless he were still alive!
    Thank you very much. So they are both used, right?

  4. #4
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: what tense to use when quoting

    Yes
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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