Results 1 to 2 of 2

    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 1

    Mixing past tense with present tense...

    I am writing a fiction novel in the past tense and there are times when my character explains things that are still true in the present. Is it okay to switch tenses like this? Here is an example:

    A few sheets of paper appeared in Ursula’s hands and she passed them over to me. Soul Certificates. I looked them over while she continued, "Marcus has taken the lives of two more Guardian Angels and their souls,” she pointed to the papers then, “as well as the souls of your parents, have failed to return to rest.”

    The death of a Guardian Angel isn’t something that happens all too often. We are immortal with a few exceptions. Demon poison is one of these exceptions; it’s our kryptonite. If the unfortunate act of death falls upon us, our soul returns to the kingdom we once protected. Our power returns with our soul to help protect our fellow Angels and the castle we once called home. Without the return of the souls we will not gain anymore power and we will become weak. Being weak leaves not only us vulnerable, but also all the mortals that we take great pride in protecting. Their very existence is on our shoulders.

    There are more then this one instant where my character will tell bits of information so the reader can understand a little more of the world I have created... I know that mixing tenses within a sentence is pretty much taboo, but how about mixing tenses in different paragraphs?
    A little help please?
    Cheers :)

  1. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 63,602

    Re: Mixing past tense with present tense...

    There's nothing wrong with it to me- we often start narratives in the past then switch to the present even for past events to make them more vivid.

Similar Threads

  1. Grammar question
    By ivapetrova9 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-Nov-2009, 11:01
  2. will in the past
    By Abstract Idea in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 21-Oct-2009, 14:52
  3. Present tense and Past tense
    By guzhao67 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Nov-2008, 15:47
  4. Past perfect tense usage - lack of clarity
    By venkatasu in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-May-2008, 11:29
  5. My own theory on the present perfect tense
    By HaraKiriBlade in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 16-Aug-2007, 22:29


Posting Permissions

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