"Now" in past tense environments.

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milky

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Does anyone object to the use of "now" here:

He drove out of the confines of that sleepy little town as fast as he could. Now he was in open country and the madness of the past six months gradually began to fade. By nightfall he'd reached his destination. BLACKIE POINT.
 

Tdol

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The use of 'now' is fine, imo, but I'm not sure about the punctuation at the end.;-)
 
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milky

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tdol said:
The use of 'now' is fine, imo, but I'm not sure about the punctuation at the end.;-)


It is meant to represent the sign on entry to the place. I guess it would be better in block capitals. Thanks for noticing. I'll change it now.
 
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milky

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Have a look at these, all:

Here are three uses of now from Dictionary.com that I feel are pertinent to this discussion:

At the present time: goods now on sale; the now aging dictator.

At this point in the series of events; then: The ship was now listing to port.

At times; sometimes: now hot, now cold.
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Possible sentences for each (sorry, you'll have to provide your own wider contexts and cotexts):

At the present time: goods now on sale; the now aging dictator.

"Now" in past tense environments:

"I met the dictator by the pool filled with coy carp, his passion. Now aged since last we met, he greeted me as a prodigal returned and a long cold shiver ran down my back knowing the things he's been up to recently."

"Now" in present tense environments:

"Here we are today July 21st, 2004, at the silver jubilee celebrations of General ---- , supreme dictator and beneficent father of the island of ... . The General, now well aged, is standing tall in his finery of..."
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At this point in the series of events; then: The ship was now listing to port.

"The Romans had stormed into Britain in 43AD. Now, 453 years later, they drizzled out like a fine summer rain."

At times; sometimes: now hot, now cold.

"Steve did a double-take. He saw the strange lights shifting erratically-now purple, now green; now bright, then... dim. Gone!"
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Happy to answer any questions.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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milky said:
tdol said:
The use of 'now' is fine, imo, but I'm not sure about the punctuation at the end.;-)


It is meant to represent the sign on entry to the place. I guess it would be better in block capitals. Thanks for noticing. I'll change it now.

That makes sense.

I also think that Dictionary.com has indicated the three uses quite succinctly. I see no reason to associate 'now' with, and only, with this moment.;-)
 
M

milky

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I also think that Dictionary.com has indicated the three uses quite succinctly. I see no reason to associate 'now' with, and only, with this moment.;-)

I can't think why anyone would.

Psst!! Hey, check out your punctuation above.
 

Casiopea

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milky said:
Does anyone object to the use of "now" here:

He drove out of the confines of that sleepy little town as fast as he could. Now he was in open country and the madness of the past six months gradually began to fade. By nightfall he'd reached his destination. BLACKIE POINT.

I agree with FRC.

Now refers to the past; specifically, the time after he had driven out of the confines of that sleepy little town. :D
 
M

milky

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Casiopea said:
milky said:
Does anyone object to the use of "now" here:

He drove out of the confines of that sleepy little town as fast as he could. Now he was in open country and the madness of the past six months gradually began to fade. By nightfall he'd reached his destination. BLACKIE POINT.

I agree with FRC.

Now refers to the past; specifically, the time after he had driven out of the confines of that sleepy little town. :D

Me too. Thanks.
 
M

milky

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tdol wrote:

I also think that Dictionary.com has indicated the three uses quite succinctly. I see no reason to associate 'now' with, and only, with this moment.;-)

Thanks to Costas Gabrielatos:

In a random 50,000 instances of ‘now’ in the BNC, there were some 5,650 instances of ‘now + noun/pronoun + verb’, of which about 1,500 are instances of ‘now + noun/pronoun + past tense’ – that’s about 25%.

Thought you might like to know.

Costas

----------------------------------------
If you would like to read some of Gabrielatos' writing on language learning,:

http://www.gabrielatos.com
 
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