present tense ??

Status
Not open for further replies.
U

Unregistered

Guest
I saw this on TV. Benjamin attended the court hearing yesterday. Later, Sharon asked him how the suspect performed during the hearing and she replied:

"Overall, he presents as a sympathetic figure"

My question is why did she use "presents" and not "presented"

thank you
 

TheParser

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I saw this on TV. Benjamin attended the court hearing yesterday. Later, Sharon asked him how the suspect performed during the hearing and she replied:

"Overall, he presents as a sympathetic figure"

My question is why did she use "presents" and not "presented"

thank you

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Good afternoon.

(1) I think that native speakers often use the present tense when

they think of a situation as continuing and not finished.

(2) I assume that the trial is still going on. Therefore, the person

answered with "presents" because the trial is something that is currently

happening every day at this period of time. Presumably, the

suspect is going to have the same conduct every day.

(3) After the trial, and the jury has made its decision, then it would

be appropriate to use "presented."

Have a nice day!
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
I think Benjamin would have said: 'He presents himself as a sympathetic figure.'
Only if you want to imply that he is doing it deliberately.
The original sentence means "He appears as a sympathetic figure."
 

bertietheblue

Senior Member
Joined
May 21, 2010
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Only if you want to imply that he is doing it deliberately. True, I take the 'himself' back. Indeed, it might sound like he was putting on a show to arouse sympathy.
The original sentence means "He appears as a sympathetic figure." I don't think 'he presents as a sympathetic figure' is correct English. Instead I would say 'he seems/appears to be a sympatheitc figure'/'he gives the impression of being a sympathetic figure'.

Bertie
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Quote "I don't think 'he presents as a sympathetic figure' is correct English. Instead I would say 'he seems/appears to be a sympatheitc figure'/'he gives the impression of being a sympathetic figure'."

I don't entirely agree that it's not correct English. Certainly in official/legal terms (in my old job) I heard phrases such as "He presents as a very sympathetic figure", "She presents as very credible yet her story is full of holes", quite regularly.
 

bertietheblue

Senior Member
Joined
May 21, 2010
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Yeah, come to think of it - the 2nd time this morning I'm having to retract and accept I'm wrong. However, I would say this is very formal English - would you at least accept that?
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
It's also widely used in medicine, psychiatry, etc.
"He presents as a depressed, unkempt man ...."
"She presents as a middle-aged woman with an abnormal mass in the right side of the abdomen."
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Yeah, come to think of it - the 2nd time this morning I'm having to retract and accept I'm wrong. However, I would say this is very formal English - would you at least accept that?

I would absolutely agree on its formality! :-D
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top