History UsefulNotes / Tenses

17th Feb '15 7:09:45 AM hbi2k
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This is a Useful Notes page, not a trope.
Many languages, in order to distinguish between the past, present and future, have something called "verb tenses". This trope happens when someone makes the common amateur writing mistake of unintentionally shifting to a different tense. Most commonly, this involves shifting between past and present tense, and seems to most often come up in describing actions after a piece of dialogue.
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Many languages, in order to distinguish between the past, present and future, have something called "verb tenses". This trope happens Trouble occurs when someone makes the common amateur writing mistake of unintentionally shifting to a different tense. Most commonly, this involves shifting between past and present tense, and seems to most often come up in describing actions after a piece of dialogue.
23rd Dec '14 11:25:58 AM LaStella
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In English, and in many romance languages, an additional confounding factor is the notion of verbal ''mood'', which unfortunately shares similar patterns of conjugation as verbal ''tense''. Most writing in English is in the ''Declarative'' mood, and follows the normal rules for tense conjugation. However, if a person wishes to convey possibility, desire, or something contrary to fact, they might use the ''Subjunctive'' mood, which if used properly can look like hideously incorrect usage of the normal declarative mood. Constructions in the subjunctive mood sound like "if I ''were''... then I ''would be''", and so forth. The Subjunctive is most common in a First Person Narrative, when the character is reflecting, remembering, or giving an opinion. [[note]]Although, English - luckily enough - is rather loose with the use of the subjunctive (some would say [[RunningGag 'inconsistent']]) when compared to languages such as Spanish. For example, ''if I was going to'' is used as frequently as the grammatically-correct ''if I were going to''.[[/note]]
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In English, and as in many romance Indoeuropean languages, an additional confounding factor is the notion of verbal ''mood'', which unfortunately shares similar patterns of conjugation as verbal ''tense''. Most writing in English is in the ''Declarative'' mood, and follows the normal rules for tense conjugation. However, if a person wishes to convey possibility, desire, or something contrary to fact, they might use the ''Subjunctive'' mood, which if used properly can look like hideously incorrect usage of the normal declarative mood. Constructions in the subjunctive mood sound like "if I ''were''... then I ''would be''", and so forth. The Subjunctive is most common in a First Person Narrative, when the character is reflecting, remembering, or giving an opinion. [[note]]Although, English - luckily enough - is rather loose with the use of the subjunctive (some would say [[RunningGag 'inconsistent']]) when compared to languages such as Spanish. For example, ''if I was going to'' is used as frequently as the grammatically-correct ''if I were going to''.[[/note]]
13th Jun '14 3:28:22 PM hbi2k
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'''NOTE:''' On a site such as this one which is largely concerned with the discussion of fiction, it is important to note that '''events which take place in a fictional timeline should properly be phrased exclusively in the present tense, although events that take place in the real world in relation to them may be in the past or future tense as necessary.''' For example, "Yesterday I watched the episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' in which Picard is assimilated," or, "Next season on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' we will finally get to watch as Joffrey gets his comeuppance."
to:
'''NOTE:''' On a site such as this one which is largely concerned with the discussion of fiction, it is important to note that '''events which take place in a fictional timeline should properly be phrased exclusively in the present tense, although events that take place in the real world in relation to them may be in the past or future tense as necessary.''' For example, "Yesterday I watched the episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' in which Picard is assimilated," or, "Next season on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' we will finally get to watch as Joffrey gets his comeuppance." " ''See also:'' Administrivia/HowToWriteAnExample.
3rd Jun '14 1:10:07 PM kerani
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namespace move turkey city lexicon
This mistake is described in the Webpage/TurkeyCityLexicon under "Not Simultaneous".
to:
This mistake is described in the Webpage/TurkeyCityLexicon Website/TurkeyCityLexicon under "Not Simultaneous".
3rd Jun '14 9:39:36 AM kerani
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namespace move turkey city lexicon
This mistake is described in the TurkeyCityLexicon under "Not Simultaneous".
to:
This mistake is described in the TurkeyCityLexicon Webpage/TurkeyCityLexicon under "Not Simultaneous".
30th Apr '14 4:38:32 PM hbi2k
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On a site such as this one which is largely concerned with the discussion of fiction, it is important to note that '''events which take place in a fictional timeline should properly be phrased exclusively in the present tense, although events that take place in the real world in relation to them may be in the past or future tense as necessary.''' For example, "Yesterday I watched the episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' in which Picard is assimilated," or, "Next season on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' we will finally get to watch as Joffrey gets his comeuppance."
to:
---- '''NOTE:''' On a site such as this one which is largely concerned with the discussion of fiction, it is important to note that '''events which take place in a fictional timeline should properly be phrased exclusively in the present tense, although events that take place in the real world in relation to them may be in the past or future tense as necessary.''' For example, "Yesterday I watched the episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' in which Picard is assimilated," or, "Next season on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' we will finally get to watch as Joffrey gets his comeuppance." " ----
30th Apr '14 4:36:43 PM hbi2k
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'''On a site such as this one which is largely concerned with the discussion of fiction, it is important to note that events which take place in a fictional timeline should properly be phrased exclusively in the present tense, although events that take place in the real world in relation to them may be in the past or future tense as necessary. For example, "Yesterday I watched the episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' in which Picard is assimilated," or, "Next season on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' we will finally get to watch as Joffrey gets his comeuppance."'''
to:
'''On On a site such as this one which is largely concerned with the discussion of fiction, it is important to note that events '''events which take place in a fictional timeline should properly be phrased exclusively in the present tense, although events that take place in the real world in relation to them may be in the past or future tense as necessary. necessary.''' For example, "Yesterday I watched the episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' in which Picard is assimilated," or, "Next season on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' we will finally get to watch as Joffrey gets his comeuppance."''' "
30th Apr '14 4:35:43 PM hbi2k
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'''On a site such as this one which is largely concerned with the discussion of fiction, it is important to note that events which take place in a fictional timeline should properly be phrased exclusively in the present tense, although events that take place in the real world in relation to them may be in the past or future tense as necessary. For example, "Yesterday I watched the episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' in which Picard is assimilated," or, "Next season on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' we will finally get to watch as Joffrey gets his comeuppance."'''

On a site such as this one which is largely concerned with the discussion of fiction, it is important to note that events which take place in a fictional timeline should properly be phrased exclusively in the present tense, although events that take place in the real world in relation to them may be in the past or future tense as necessary. For example, "Yesterday I watched the episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' in which Picard is assimilated," or, "Next season on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' we will finally get to watch as Joffrey gets his comeuppance."
18th Apr '14 1:11:38 PM MarkLungo
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Confusion can also arise with the ''perfect'' tenses (which are not technically tenses of their own, but an ''aspect''). The past tense "He saw them in the kitchen" and the past-perfect "He had seen them in the kitchen" mean subtly different things. The past perfect serves as a "double past-tense", for talking about things that happened before the events being discussed, which are themselves in the past. For constructions that ought logically to use a triple-past-tense, English grammar shrugs and breaks its own rules: 'She thinks he did it', and 'She thought he had done it' but 'She had thought he had done it'.[[note]]The narration is in the past; from that point, she 'had thought' something previously; at that previous point, she thought he 'had done it' at some even earlier point. Tenseption.
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Confusion can also arise with the ''perfect'' tenses (which are not technically tenses of their own, but an ''aspect''). The past tense "He saw them in the kitchen" and the past-perfect "He had seen them in the kitchen" mean subtly different things. The past perfect serves as a "double past-tense", for talking about things that happened before the events being discussed, which are themselves in the past. For constructions that ought logically to use a triple-past-tense, English grammar shrugs and breaks its own rules: 'She thinks he did it', and 'She thought he had done it' but 'She had thought he had done it'.[[note]]The The narration is in the past; from that point, she 'had thought' something previously; at that previous point, she thought he 'had done it' at some even earlier point. Tenseption.
1st Apr '14 2:15:14 PM hbi2k
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Also note that English is rather strict when it comes to the correct use of tenses; closely related languages like German and Dutch have somewhat more relaxed (some would say 'inconsistent') rules.
to:
Also note that English is rather strict when it comes to the correct use of tenses; closely related languages like German and Dutch have somewhat more relaxed (some would say 'inconsistent') rules. rules. On a site such as this one which is largely concerned with the discussion of fiction, it is important to note that events which take place in a fictional timeline should properly be phrased exclusively in the present tense, although events that take place in the real world in relation to them may be in the past or future tense as necessary. For example, "Yesterday I watched the episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' in which Picard is assimilated," or, "Next season on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' we will finally get to watch as Joffrey gets his comeuppance."
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