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  1. #1
    Blarg Guest

    Question Mixing past and present tense in a narrative

    I am not talking about mixing tenses in the same sentence, which is the only real information I've found, but mixing within a single paragraph.

    In the essay I am writing about my past experience playing on a team, and in one of the paragraphs, the form is like this:
    1) a general situation that occured nearly every game (an introduction of sorts).
    2) an in-the-moment description in present tense of the real action.
    3) pulling away from the real time, back describing the end of what normally happened.

    My professor indicated that this was a confusing use of tense, that at least there should be paragraphs separating the tenses or just put it all in the past tense.

    I used present tense for the very specific reason of highlighting the difference between a seemingly repetitive past with the actual emotion of the moment, so I do not want to flatten it all into the past.
    How I am I supposed to mix tenses properly?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Mixing past and present tense in a narrative

    Quote Originally Posted by Blarg View Post
    I am not talking about mixing tenses in the same sentence, which is the only real information I've found, but mixing within a single paragraph.

    In the essay I am writing about my past experience playing on a team, and in one of the paragraphs, the form is like this:
    1) a general situation that occured nearly every game (an introduction of sorts).
    2) an in-the-moment description in present tense of the real action.
    3) pulling away from the real time, back describing the end of what normally happened.

    My professor indicated that this was a confusing use of tense, that at least there should be paragraphs separating the tenses or just put it all in the past tense.

    I used present tense for the very specific reason of highlighting the difference between a seemingly repetitive past with the actual emotion of the moment, so I do not want to flatten it all into the past.
    How I am I supposed to mix tenses properly?

    Thanks.
    You may have mixed tenses properly, Blarg. Why not post at least part of the actual essay to give us an example of what you mean.

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