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      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 81

    Question tense usage in book review

    Hi: I have a question about the use of present tense in book review. my question is why book reviews are always written in present tense? while this is not the case in some other sort of writings, for example, essays. when authors make a citation, they could choose between past and present tense, such as "as Plato says/said, ..." Thank you

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484

    Re: tense usage in book review

    Admittedly, you get people who say « Plato said … » but in fact it should be “Plato says…”: Plato may be dead but his sayings live on. The same goes for the use of the present tense in book reviews: the author may or may not be dead, it’s irrelevant; but the characters he describes have lives that are dissociated from time as we know it in the real world; they live on. And the same goes for what they do or what happens to them.

    If you think about book reviews in French, your language, you will see that it works the same way.

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