historic present

historic present
is a term used of narrative that is put in the present tense for dramatic effect, although it is describing events in the past. For example:

• She had no notion of how welcome she would be. But Raymond opens the door before she can touch the bell, and he hugs her around the shoulders and kisses her twice —A. Munro, 1989.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • historic present — his.toric present n [singular] technical the present tense, used in some languages to describe events in the past to make them seem more real …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • historic present — n. (Grammar) present tense used instead of the past in a lively story …   English contemporary dictionary

  • historic present — noun Grammar the present tense used instead of the past in vivid narrative …   English new terms dictionary

  • historic present — noun (singular) the present tense, used in some languages to describe events in the past to make them seem more real …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • historic present — /hɪsˌtɒrɪk ˈprɛzənt/ (say his.torik prezuhnt) noun → historical present …   Australian English dictionary

  • historic present — …   Useful english dictionary

  • (the) historic present — the historic present UK US noun linguistics the present tense when it is used for writing about past events in order to make them seem more exciting Thesaurus: verb forms and tenseshyponym …   Useful english dictionary

  • the historic present — UK / US noun linguistics the present tense when it is used for writing about past events in order to make them seem more exciting …   English dictionary

  • present tense — The natural and most frequent use of the present tense is in contexts of present time, whether actual (The door is open) or habitual (The door is always open / Paris is the capital of France). It is also used of past events in certain contexts,… …   Modern English usage

  • historic — adj. 1 famous or important in history or potentially so (a historic moment). 2 Gram. (of a tense) normally used in the narration of past events (esp. Latin & Greek imperfect and pluperfect; (cf. PRIMARY)). 3 archaic or disp. = HISTORICAL. Phrases …   Useful english dictionary

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