Narrative Tense and POV


Past to Present

In this lesson, you will practice changing a past-tense narrative into a present-tense narrative. Start by reading the following passage. Notice all the past tense verbs.

John followed the trail, allowing his horse to slow to an easy pace. The moon was full, and steep canyon walls rose on either side of the trail. The cool night air was a welcome relief from the blistering heat of the day.

The dog was still following him. Several times, John had tried to get the dog to turn back and go home—wherever that might be. But the dog refused to be chased off.

John felt a bit sorry for the dog. His owner lay dead in the desert behind them, one of John's bullets lodged in his skull. John didn't feel any remorse about the killing, but he did feel a touch sorry for the dog. In any case, he finally gave up and allowed the dog to follow.

John wanted to get to the Benson ranch before dawn. He missed Susan. He wanted to tell her that everything was going to be all right. In the distance, a wolf howled at the moon.

Lesson Steps

  1. Open your writing portfolio.
    • Level 13
      • Present to Past
  2. Change the main verbs from past tense to present tense. You don't have to write anything new; the purpose of this lesson is simply to give you some practice changing a past-tense narrative into a present-tense narrative.
  3. When you are finished, return to this page to take the quiz.

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.