Narrative tenses

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How past tenses combine in a narrative

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Narrative tenses

  1. 1. Narrative Tenses
  2. 2. John got up late that morning. He got dressed quickly, skipped breakfast and went out. He walked to the bus stop. He had to wait a long time for his bus but in the end it came. He got on, found a seat and sat down. Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K!
  3. 3. John got up late that morning. He got dressed quickly, skipped breakfast and went out. He walked to the bus stop. He had to wait a long time for his bus but in the end it came. He got on, found a seat and sat down. Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K!
  4. 4. Johngotuplate thatmorning. Hegotdressed quickly, skippedbreakfast andwentout. Hewalkedto thebusstop.
  5. 5. The Past Simple gives us the events in a story
  6. 6. These events are in chronological order
  7. 7. These events are in chronological order We can change the order using conjunctions of time before, after, while, etc but that’s a different lesson
  8. 8. These events are in chronological order We can change the order using conjunctions of time before, after, while, etc but that’s a different lesson
  9. 9. John got up late that morning. He was still feeling drunk from the night before. He got dressed quickly, skipped breakfast and went out. He walked to the bus stop. He had to wait a long time for his bus but in the end it came. He got on, found a seat and sat down. Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an sms from K!
  10. 10. John got up late that morning. He was still feeling drunk from the night before. He got dressed quickly, skipped breakfast and went out. He walked to the bus stop. He had to wait a long time for his bus but in the end it came. He got on, found a seat and sat down. Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an sms from K!
  11. 11. Johngotuplate thatmorning. Hegotdressed quickly, skippedbreakfast andwentout. Hewalkedto thebussop. He was feeling drunk
  12. 12. The Past Continuous gives us descriptions and background information
  13. 13. John got up late that morning. He was still feeling drunk from the night before. He got dressed quickly, skipped breakfast and went out. He walked to the bus stop. He had to wait a long time for his bus. He was starting to think it would never arrive but in the end it came. He got on, found a seat and sat down. Then he
  14. 14. John got up late that morning. He was still feeling drunk from the night before. He got dressed quickly, skipped breakfast and went out. He walked to the bus stop. He had to wait a long time for his bus. He was starting to think it would never arrive but in the end it came. He got on, found a seat and sat down. Then he
  15. 15. thebusarrived. He was starting to think
  16. 16. The Past Continuous also contrasts a long verb to a short verb that interrupts
  17. 17. The Past Continuous also contrasts a long verb to a short verb that interrupts This is called interrupted action and it is a very common construction
  18. 18. John got up late that morning. He was still feeling drunk from the night before. He had been to a very good party, several parties in fact. He got dressed quickly, skipped breakfast and went out. He walked to the bus stop. He had to wait a long time for his bus. He was starting to think it would never arrive but in the end it
  19. 19. John got up late that morning. He was still feeling drunk from the night before. He had been to a very good party, several parties in fact. He got dressed quickly, skipped breakfast and went out. He walked to the bus stop. He had to wait a long time for his bus. He was starting to think it would never arrive but in the end it
  20. 20. Johnwasstilldrunk. John had been to several parties.
  21. 21. The Past Perfect refers to a previous verb
  22. 22. TIME we use the Past Perfect to go outside the chronological sequence of verbs in the Past Simple
  23. 23. COMUNICATION we use the Past Perfect to explain one of the verbs in the Past Simple
  24. 24. advanced points
  25. 25. EARLIER STORY sometimes the Past Perfect starts a new narrative outside the timeframe of the main narrative…
  26. 26. … Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K! Last night she had taken him into her confidence. She had called him to a quiet spot and had asked him not to betray her secret. She started to tell him things, but she was interrupted before she could tell him the most important thing. Now John remembered everything. The SMS said…
  27. 27. … Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K! Last night she had taken him into her confidence. She had called him to a quiet spot and had asked him not to betray her secret. She started to tell him things, but she was interrupted before she could tell him the most important thing. Now John remembered everything. The SMS said…
  28. 28. … Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K! Last night she had taken him into her confidence. She had called him to a quiet spot and had asked him not to betray her secret. She started to tell him things, but she was interrupted before she could tell him the most important thing. Now John remembered everything. The SMS said… events in the time frame of story ‘John’s morning’
  29. 29. … Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K! Last night she had taken him into her confidence. She had called him to a quiet spot and had asked him not to betray her secret. She started to tell him things, but she was interrupted before she could tell him the most important thing. Now John remembered everything. The SMS said…
  30. 30. … Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K! Last night she had taken him into her confidence. She had called him to a quiet spot and had asked him not to betray her secret. She started to tell him things, but she was interrupted before she could tell him the most important thing. Now John remembered everything. The SMS said… events before the time frame of story ‘at the party’
  31. 31. … Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K! Last night she had taken him into her confidence. She had called him to a quiet spot and had asked him not to betray her secret. She started to tell him things, but she was interrupted before she could tell him the most important thing. Now John remembered everything. The SMS said…
  32. 32. … Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K! Last night she had taken him into her confidence. She had called him to a quiet spot and had asked him not to betray her secret. She started to tell him things, but she was interrupted before she could tell him the most important thing. Now John remembered everything. The SMS said… new narrative events in the new time frame ‘at the party’
  33. 33. … Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K! Last night she had taken him into her confidence. She had called him to a quiet spot and had asked him not to betray her secret. She started to tell him things, but she was interrupted before she could tell him the most important thing. Now John remembered everything. The SMS said…
  34. 34. … Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K! Last night she had taken him into her confidence. She had called him to a quiet spot and had asked him not to betray her secret. She started to tell him things, but she was interrupted before she could tell him the most important thing. Now John remembered everything. The SMS said… return to previous narrative frame ‘John’s morning’
  35. 35. REPORTED SPEECH we (often) use the Past Perfect to report words that were originally in the Past Simple (or Present Perfect)
  36. 36. I’ve been to the bar He said (that) he had been to the bar
  37. 37. I’ve been to the bar He said (that) he had been to the bar
  38. 38. I spoke to them He said (that) he had spoken to them
  39. 39. I spoke to them He said (that) he had spoken to them
  40. 40. PAIR WORK Compose a short story starting with John’s morning In pairs: • decide what sort of story horror, spy, romantic, thriller, biography • write your story – be careful with narrative tenses you have 20 minutes • finish your story for homework (you need to find a way of working together outside class)
  41. 41. John got up late that morning. He was still feeling drunk from the night before. He had been to a very good party, several parties in fact. He got dressed quickly, skipped breakfast and went out. He walked to the bus stop. He had to wait a long time for his bus. He was starting to think it would never arrive but in the end it came. He got on, found a seat and sat down. Then he took out his phone and checked his messages. There was an SMS from K! Last night she had taken him into her confidence. She had called him to a quiet spot and had asked him not to betray her secret. She started to tell him things, but she was interrupted before she could tell him the most important thing. Now John remembered everything. The SMS said…
  42. 42. www.davidnicholson.it

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