Definition of historic present in English:

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historic present

Pronunciation: /hiˌstôrik ˈprezənt/


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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: his·tor·ic pres·ent

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