Narrative present

In linguistics and rhetoric, the historical present (also called dramatic present or narrative present) refers to the employment of the present tense when narrating past events. Besides its use in writing about history, especially in historical chronicles (listing a series of events), it is used in fiction, for ‘hot news’ (as in headlines), and in everyday conversation (Huddleston & Pullum 2002: 129–131). In conversation, it is particularly common with ‘verbs of communication’ such as tellwrite, and say (and in colloquial uses, go) (Leech 2002: 7).

Literary critics and grammarians have said that the historical present has the effect of making past events more vivid.

The Life and Death of a Pumpkin

The Life and Death of a Pumpkin

  1. I cried out for rescue but my_____remained silent and unmoving.
  2. My home began to____ in the distance.
  3. The pain was incredible. I became ____nauseated.
  4. They were now tearing my innards from my body and strewing them before me like____from a gift.
  5. Moments later the knives returned, ____ me over and over again.
  6. They lowered a stick of hot fire into my ____.
  7. My captors had carved a gruesome ____ into me.
  8. Who were these ____ people and why had they done this to me?
  9. A ____ of hope sprang up inside me.
  10. The reason I had been ____ and disfigured were merely for the entertainment of these demons.
  11. They tormented me, ____ me.
  12. Now I sit ____ , deformed, waiting for the sweet peace of death to arrive.


1. kin
2. fade
3. dizzy
4. ribbons
5. impaling
6. belly
7. visage
8. sick
9. glimmer
10. hacked
11. mocked
12. mangled

Queen Elizabeth II Christmas Message 2010

“Over four hundred years ago, King James the Sixth of Scotland 1. _____ of England at a time when the Christian Church was deeply divided. Here at Hampton Court in 1604, he convened a conference of churchmen of 2.______ to discuss the future of Christianity in this country. The King agreed to commission a new translation of the Bible that was 3.______. This was to become the King James or Authorized Bible, which next year will be exactly four centuries old.

Acknowledged as a 4.______ and the most vivid translation of the scriptures, the glorious language of this Bible has survived the 5.______ and given many of us the most widely-recognised and beautiful descriptions of the birth of Jesus Christ which we celebrate today.

The King James Bible was a 6.______ that required the efforts of dozens of the day’s leading scholars. The whole enterprise was guided by an interest in reaching agreement for the wider benefit of the Christian Church, and 7.______ to the Kingdoms of England and Scotland.

Four hundred years later, it is as important as ever to build communities and create harmony, and one of the most powerful ways of doing this is through sport and games. During this past year of 8.______, I have seen for myself just how important sport is in 9.______ from all backgrounds, from all walks of life and from all age-groups.

In the parks of towns and cities, and on village greens 10.______, countless thousands of people every week give up their time to participate in sport and exercise of all sorts, or simply encourage others to do so. These kinds of activity are common throughout the world and play a part in providing a 11.______.

Apart from developing physical fitness, sport and games can also teach vital social skills. None can be enjoyed without 12.______, and no team can hope to succeed without cooperation between the players. This sort of positive team spirit can benefit communities, companies and enterprises of all kinds.

As the success of recent Paralympics 13.______, a love of sport also has the power to help rehabilitate. One only has to think of the injured men and women of the Armed Forces to see how an interest in games and sport 14.______ and renew a sense of purpose, enjoyment and comradeship.

Right around the world, people gather to compete under standard rules and, in most cases, in15.______. Competitors know that, to succeed, they must respect their opponents; very often, they like each other too.

Sportsmen and women often speak of the enormous pride they have in 16.______, a sense of belonging to a wider family. We see this vividly at the Commonwealth Games, for example, which is known to many as the Friendly Games and where I am sure you have noticed that it is always the competitors from the smallest countries who 17.______.

People are capable of belonging to many communities, including a religious faith. King James 18.______ quite how important sport and games were to become in promoting harmony and common interests. But from the scriptures in the Bible 19.______, we know that nothing is more satisfying than the feeling of belonging to a group who are dedicated to helping each other:

‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should to do to you, do ye even so to them’.

I wish you, and all those whom you love and care for, a very happy Christmas.”

HM. Queen Elizabeth II

1. inherited the throne
2. all shades of opinion
3. acceptable to all parties
4. masterpiece of English prose
5. turbulence of history
6. major cooperative endeavour
7. to bring harmony
8. abundant sporting events
9. bringing people together
10. up and down the country
11. different perspective on life
12. abiding by the rules
13. bears witness
14. can speed recovery
15. a spirit of friendly rivalry
16. representing their country
17. receive the loudest cheers
18. may not have anticipated
19. which bears his name