26

It's a nosism (because weism is too close to bathroom humor), specifically the author's we. Similar to the editorial "we", pluralis modestiae is the practice common in mathematical and scientific literature of referring to a generic third person by we (instead of the more common one or the informal you).


13

That is a perfectly valid use of the word "now" and does not change the tense. Now (Definition) 1.5 (in a narrative or account of past events) at the time spoken of or referred to


4

There is a valid literary technique that will subtly shift from past to present but it is much safer to pick one tense and stick with it. An example of this device, which I copied from About.com's page on the subject: Off the road there was what appeared to be a reviewing stand, and I sat there for a few moments, taking in the museum and the cold blue ...


4

All you have to do in a case like this is show the grammar police your poetic licence. Definition of poetic licence in English: noun [mass noun] The freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect: ‘he used a little poetic licence to embroider a ...


3

It's quite hard to say in any particular case that it's wrong to use the past simple rather than the past perfect. For cases (1) and (2), I would say that the tenses the writers chose are the most likely tenses for native English speakers to use. For (3), we simply don't have enough information to decide one way or the other. The hugs were after the ...


3

What makes the second sentence special is the lack of any verb. In linguistics, this is referred to as a zero copula, but generally native English speakers understand this as the abbreviated language of headlines and simple lists. Nevertheless, there is an implied verb, and in the context of the first statement, an implied subject as well (we). [We ...


3

It’s not a pre­cise com­par­i­son, but let’s con­sider, for a mo­ment, the “plu­per­fect” con­struc­tion. I had taken a shower when the door­bell rang. Com­pare to the past tense: I took a shower. The “plu­per­fect” is the “past past”, which is to say that you’re talk­ing about some point in the past, but re­fer­ring to an event that is even fur­ther in ...


3

What you're describing is expository dialogue. More colloquially, it's also called an info dump or "as you know, Bob" dialogue. The last term is generally used in a critical sense, referring to dialogue in a movie or tv show that is obviously unnatural and presented only for the audience's benefit. For example: Dr. Smartly: As you know, Bob, giant ...


2

If the situation reported is still valid at the time of reporting, then this is possible "The girl said (that) if fashion doesn't change, many manufacturers will sit idle". Whether or not the situation is still valid, backshifting is correct: "The girl said (that) if fashion didn't change, many manufacturers would sit idle". If the situation is no longer ...


2

In fiction, you can write what you like. My endeavor here is [to] build the momentum of the narration by using short crisp sentences. "Her beauty arises to action. Pierces my camera lens. Stabs the prism." does just that. Putting the verbs first stresses them in the way you're looking for ( also picking up the word "action"). We don't need the subject ...


2

If you take the dog as a serious player, yes, it's irony: The dog thinks that the owner is a servant, but everyone reads the dog's words while being sure that the food/walks/blankets come from the owner. The double audience is essential for irony. If the dog's words are only a pretence then it's a capriccio, or a conceit, Definition of capriccio (...


2

In technical or scholarly writing, the universal "we" implies more than one person was or is involved with the project, experiment, or paper. There's always the Royal "we," in which monarchs always refer to themselves as a group. You can use "we" to infer that you're working with a group. However, it is always best to be forthcoming, and there's nothing ...


2

Storytelling, at least in this sense, is an art form. It's what separates a gifted or skilled writer from a poor one: the ability to compellingly tell a story. Narration, as contrasted to storytelling, is a much more clinical, dry term. It is merely stating a series of events.


2

(1) When you are unsure about a past perfect tense, try shifting to present perfect, and adjusting the rest of the sentence accordingly. Let's shift "he had heard" to "he has heard." Then we have to shift "They soothed" to the present tense "They are soothing." This is what we get: They are soothing him with hugs and the first kind words he has heard ...


1

Apart from the typical explanation given in other answers, it is considered that in most cases, a thesis is a work of one or more students supervised by one (or more) academic instructor(s). Now, even if you did your thesis without other collaborators, wouldn't it be at least arrogant and egoistic to not consider your supervisor in mentions and say "I" ...


1

In my experience, in fictional narration of the past, using a past tense is generally the norm for narration of events or for indirect (reported) discourse. Direct speech, however, should take the tense that the speaker (or thinker) is actually using. Contrast the following: Indirect: Later that night, Sam thought about the fact that he was now sixteen ...


1

I have just come across this with a language student; they had just covered the rule that you cannot use "must" in the past, then we came across "I must have forgotten to water the plants". I had to find an explanation to this dilemma and it highlights the importance of teaching in context. "Must" in case one is used for obligation: "I must wear a uniform" ...


1

I've assumed that the question mark is a typo and intended to be an exclamation point, as other commenters suggest. "Well played!" would be the boys shouting that the Don Bosco Public School played well. In indirect speech something like The boys shouted that Don Bosco Public School had played well would convey a similar meaning. In the image you linked, ...


1

In 'The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), H Porter Abbott gives the following definitions in the glossary which comes at the end of the book: Narration: The telling of a story or part of a story. Often used indistinguishably from narrative, narration as it is used here refers to the activity of a narrator. ...


1

One solution is starting that new paragraph with a temporal or other adverb or adverbial. Here's one set phrase: in retrospect. It means "reconsidering the past with the knowledge one now has." E.g., In retrospect, this incident can be regarded as one of the most undeservedly overlooked episodes in the history of Whatchamacallit. How about "Today, " or "In ...


1

He told them to hush because the Headmaster was coming. By the way, here in the UK children (and most adults) don't use the word "hush" in conversation any more. "Shut up" is much more colloquial. "Hush" may still be current in other parts of the world.


1

Without knowing which particular essay you are talking about, it's impossible to tell whether you are reading the thoughts of George Orwell as his earnest self or as a character whose views and prejudices he is trying to represent to entertain his readers or to make a point about the character— or perhaps to try to re-create his younger self in hopes of ...


1

Ben asked himself if Jimmy wanted to marry the banker's daughter. Ben wondered if Jimmy wanted to marry the banker's daughter. You can't expect to capture all the nuances of direct speech if you switch to indirect speech. You'll have the essential content, but not the tone of voice or the manner of speaking. Question: why do you want to change it in the ...


1

You used the past subjunctive (I were) instead of the past indicative (I was), which to me made it quite clear that you were talking hypothetically and that the character probably did not heed the advice. If you want to clarify the matter further, then I suggest making the character say that the advice was unheeded. E.g. 'needless to say, I did not heed ...


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