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Let's say I am on a trip (in France) and I am telling a story, in some place from this history I say:

I lived in Alabama for about a year and worked as a musician but last year I moved to New York; here the people speak really fast and sometimes I do not understand them.

If I am speaking over that specific time. Is that here right? Or should it be there?

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  • There is not enough context to establish whether, at the time of writing, you were in New York or not.
    – Mick
    Nov 5, 2016 at 20:23
  • @Mick I was not in New York when I said that. I added that.
    – distante
    Nov 5, 2016 at 20:35
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    If you are telling the story aloud, it would generally be more appropriate to say "where the people speak very fast".
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 5, 2016 at 20:42
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    Here always refers to the place where you are now (when speaking or writing). As @HotLicks says, it would avoid confusion if you used where.
    – Mick
    Nov 5, 2016 at 20:45

4 Answers 4

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You can sometimes use it in storytelling. Even if your story is taking place elsewhere. For example:

After training at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama and gaining a Diploma in Community Theatre Arts and Theatre in Education in 1983, I worked as a freelance actor/teacher for 10 years. Here I met my first Guru, Brian Bishop, who was then team leader of Theatre in Education at Belgrade Theatre Coventry and is now Education Director at Warwick Arts Centre.

or another example:

My "I love you moment"—like any sense memories from my teenage years of 1996-98—mostly revolves around my bedroom. Here I hid from the feeling that I didn’t fit in at my high school...

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    Interesting but doesn't answer the OP's question. Nov 6, 2016 at 2:55
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I can't remember the term for the style of writing, but if you wrote in the present tense you might say: "I'm living in Alabama for a year, working as a musician. But I don't like it so I move to New York. Here the people speak really fast and sometimes I don't understand them."

But this style of writing is difficult at best, and requires careful consistency to "flow" pleasantly and not seem awkward.

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  • I can't remember Yeah, it's getting to be a problem for me too. The style is called the historical present or the narrative present.
    – deadrat
    Nov 6, 2016 at 2:06
  • Interesting but doesn't answer the OP's question. Nov 6, 2016 at 2:55
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If you are visiting France and telling a story, it would be better to say:

"I lived in Alabama for about a year and worked as a musician but last year I moved to New York; there the people speak really fast and sometimes I do not understand them."

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In this case, probably not. But close!

If you were telling this story but instead you were using a form of present tense throughout (something like the simple present or present perfect), then it could work. Example: "I live/I'm living in Alabama for a year, working as a musician. But I don't like it so I move to New York. Here the people speak really fast and sometimes I don't understand them."

I'd say it would be best to use "there" instead of "here" to avoid any confusion, or change the tense to be consistently in the present.

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