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The Most Appropriate Verb Tense to Describe a Photo

Questions from teachers about English grammar and usage

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Mihan
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The Most Appropriate Verb Tense to Describe a Photo

Unread postby Mihan » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:34 pm

I often use photo's to teach vocabulary. But I'm still not sure about the best verb tense to describe the events captured by a photo. If I use the present continuous and the photo contains some time reference to the past ( an event they know has happened in the past) this would be confusing. If I use the present simple, as it is often used by journalists to write photo captions, most students would think that this tense can be used to talk about events as they happen.

How can I solve the problem and avoid misleading my students?

Thanks.

PS:
I acquire most of my teaching materials from news agencies. To write photo captions, they use the simple present tense to describe the actions in a photo. I know that "we often use the present simple to describe a series of actions – one action after another. We see this especially in stories" but I think this can lead to confusion.

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Susan
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Re: The Most Appropriate Verb Tense to Describe a Photo

Unread postby Susan » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:28 pm

I think you've hit on the answer yourself. It depends on the context and what the photo is showing.

Susan


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