What is the difference between tense and time?
Tense: classifies verbs as:
or past tense
Time: classifies situations described by verbs according to whether they occur at some time:
in the past,
in the present
or in the future
Stories/past events are normally written/spoken in the past tense:
Example: A shot rang out. It came from the hill above them. Jake dived to the ground and cautiously crawled behind a rock for cover.
But a deliberate choice can be made to tell a story in the present tense:
A shot rings out. It comes from the hill above them. Jake dives to the ground and cautiously crawls behind a rock for cover.
The vivid present conveys a sense of immediacy and allows you to express the event as if it is currently happening. Also ‘would’ is a past form of ‘will’ which is construed as the present form. As you can see, the meaning of the story does not change by describing in the present tense. So replacing ‘will’ with ‘would’ does not make any difference.
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