Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Mar 2010
    • Posts: 218
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    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?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 1,507
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    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!

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Mar 2010
    • Posts: 218
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    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?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: what tense to use when quoting

    Yes

Similar Threads

  1. Quoting someone.
    By aachu in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 19-Jan-2012, 17:46
  2. Quoting
    By Allen165 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-Mar-2011, 12:01
  3. quoting someone
    By thomasRavenelli in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Mar-2009, 15:11
  4. Quoting.
    By hannawanna98 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-Jan-2008, 18:56
  5. Quoting
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-Feb-2004, 18:21

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •