since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

Die and Died in a title

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

Moderator: Alan

Gold Member
Posts: 472
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:02 am

Die and Died in a title

Postby pdh0224 » Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:41 pm

Dear teacher,

Christopher Reeve, 52, Symbol of Courage, Dies

Q : This is a title of an article, but something is odd to me. Why is a present tense "die" used instead of a past tense "died"?

All the best,

User avatar
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12801
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Status: English Teacher
Location: Japan

Postby Alan » Sat Oct 16, 2004 5:42 am

This is an instance of a rhetorical device known as a 'historic present' where, to produce a more graphic or 'immediate' effect, a present tense is used to relate a past event. It is popular with storytellers as well as the standard form for newspaper headlines.

Return to “Grammar Help”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests