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Which tense to use in a timeline?

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17:22 Feb 8, 2006
This question was closed without grading. Reason: Other

English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - History / Timeline
English term or phrase: Which tense to use in a timeline?
Should I use the present or the past? I'm aware that French (the language I'm translating from) uses the "présent historique" and I've seen examples of both present and past used in online timelines.
I'd be very interested to hear other translators'/writers' view. Many thanks in advance.
Sandra Petch
Local time: 09:36


Summary of answers provided
3 +4present
Yvette Neisser Moreno
3 +1last job I did, I used the present
Angela Arnone


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
which tense to use in a timeline?
last job I did, I used the present


Explanation:
It sounded right for the context. But this is a good style question as I was in doubt myself.
I tried the past and it sounded very wooden so I put it back in the present, but I had the same concern as you, because Italian use the present tense too, and I wondered if it was "interference"...
Angela

Angela Arnone
Local time: 09:36
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Seema Ugrankar
6 hrs
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17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
which tense to use in a timeline?
present


Explanation:
While I'm no expert on the subject, most timelines that I have seen in English use the present tense; I think past tense would look/sound awkward.

Yvette Neisser Moreno
United States
Local time: 03:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marcelo González: :-) >The historical present is frequently used in precisely this context. Regards Yvette :-)
2 mins
  -> Gracias, y saludos. :)

agree  Alexander Demyanov
34 mins

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
2 days6 mins

agree  Naikei Wong: I recently worked on an autobiography and came across this line "I met Mr. Z X and he was [is] the son of Mr. Y X"... the present is problematic but sometimes you need it
2 days19 hrs
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