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    #1

    Smile confused about the use of tense

    this is an excerpt of an online love story in most of which past tense is used. Could anybody tell me why is the highlighted part in present & continuous tense? lots of thanks

    "...when i arrived home, i called all the companies which i had debt with, and changed my address again. however, it was late in th billing cycle, and those which had already been sent to his home needed to be paid. i sent $200 to Jim - he promised to pay for me. Next i know, i 'm getting late charges and collection calls. he had taken the money and spend it on himself. he said that i "owed him for all that he'd done for me." after all the money i'd spent on travel expenses, phone calls, gifts- going into the thousands of dollars, he steals $200 from me? but in retrospect, he was always overly obsessed with money....

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    #2

    Re: confused about the use of tense

    *** I am not a teacher ***

    I think the author is using the present tense to give the passage a more informal, conversational feel. Some people, especially those less educated, might use the present tense like this in conversation when telling a story to make the events sound more exciting.

    To make the passage grammatically correct, you would say "The next thing I knew, I was getting late charges and collection calls ...going into the thousands of dollars, he stole $200 from me?"

  1. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: confused about the use of tense

    Quote Originally Posted by luschen View Post
    *** I am not a teacher ***

    I think the author is using the present tense to give the passage a more informal, conversational feel. Some people, especially those less educated, might use the present tense like this in conversation when telling a story to make the events sound more exciting.

    To make the passage grammatically correct, you would say "The next thing I knew, I was getting late charges and collection calls ...going into the thousands of dollars, he stole $200 from me?"
    Using present simple in stories is a common narraive device, even among "those very educated".

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