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    #1

    Question said Plato vs says Plato

    Hi there: I need your help. when citing some great person's famous remarks or ideas, past tense and present tense are both acceptable. for example; “Any meddling or changing over from one class to another’, says Plato, ‘is a great crime against the city and may rightly be denounced as the basest wickedness.”And we can replace "says" with "said". Right? But is there any difference between the tenses used in such citations? are we free to choose the verb tense or not?
    thank you very much

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    #2

    Re: said Plato vs says Plato

    Quote Originally Posted by guzhao67 View Post
    Hi there: I need your help. when citing some great person's famous remarks or ideas, past tense and present tense are both acceptable. for example; “Any meddling or changing over from one class to another’, says Plato, ‘is a great crime against the city and may rightly be denounced as the basest wickedness.”And we can replace "says" with "said". Right? But is there any difference between the tenses used in such citations? are we free to choose the verb tense or not?
    thank you very much
    says Plato suggests that the speaker thinks what Plato said is true, and, that he/she personally makes sure that Plato ever said something.
    said Plato shows us that the speaker is recalling what Plato ever said.
    I would choose says Plato
    not a teacher
    Last edited by norwolf; 20-Nov-2008 at 18:21.


    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #3

    Re: said Plato vs says Plato

    I think the present simple was chosen in an attempt to add a sense of immediacy to the narrative; to try and present the ideas, and no doubt Plato himself, as somehow still relevant and not relics of a bygone era.

    Perhaps.

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