Share this entry

Share this page

historic present

Syllabification: his·tor·ic pres·ent
Pronunciation: /hiˌstôrik ˈprezənt
 
/

Definition of historic present in English:

noun

Grammar
The present tense used instead of the past in vivid narrative, especially in titles, such as The Empire Strikes Back, and informally in speech, e.g., “so I say to him.”.
Example sentences
  • It includes historic present, but for the moment no attempt is made to identify instances of this.
  • In Bell's opinion the historic present in English is an exciting, but unusual, narrative strategy.
  • This might only be a literary device or literary preference, since use of the historic present vivifies the action.

Definition of historic present in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…