Exercise to Practice Present and Future Time by Gillian Devereux
Write past, present, and future in your notebook. Think about all
each word represents. Each of these forms has multiple meanings.
Begin with the simple present. Divide it into three parts: 1) general truth,
2) habitual action, and 3) the state of being. Find examples for each
category. Label your examples. Move from the present to the present
progressive. It encompasses both now and later. It helps you reach
into the future. Can you explain how? Now pretend you need to narrate
a series of actions. Would you begin in the present or the past? Next
write five narrative sentences in your notebook using the simple past.
Rewrite each verb in the simple present. How has your story changed?
Remember: moving through time is always difficult. It causes headaches,
dizziness, and habitual nosebleeds. You will want to narrate these events
in sequence. Be careful not to use the simple present for actions which
began in the past and are continuing now. That would ruin everything.
Gillian Devereux received her MFA in Poetry from Old Dominion University and is currently a PhD candidate in the Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches Media Culture and English at Bay State College. Her poems have appeared in FOURSQUARE, H_NGM_N, Open Letters, Gargoyle, 32 Poems, Wicked Alice, and other journals.