I have heard that you can talk about the content of movies and novels in the present tense.

If you had a dream two weeks ago, could you talk about it today to someone in the present tense?

Generally speaking, can you talk about your dreams in the present tense?

3 Answers 3


You can talk about movies or books in the present tense because if you re-watch a movie or reread a book, the content remains the same. In other words the content of the movie in present time remains the same as when you watched it so you can use present tense.

Generally in most dreams you have the dream only once and when you talk about the dream it occurred in your past, and so you must use past tense.

The only exception to this would be if you have a dream that re-occurs (repeats), in which case you might use past tense to talk about past occurrences and future tense for anticipated future occurrences, but unless you are talking in your sleep while actually having the dream, you won't use present tense.

If there are elements of your dreaming (for example a specific location that repeats in different dreams you have), you might use present tense when talking about that repeating element.


Not entirely sure I understand your question, but...

You can speak generally about your dreams, which might include those from two weeks ago, using the present-tense form of "dream". For example:

  • "I dream about strange things sometimes. In a dream two weeks ago I was in the 23rd century."

But what I think you may be referencing is someone speaking in the first person. A person speaking colloquially about a dream they had two weeks ago might use the first-person present tense to describe events in the dream:

  • "Two weeks ago I have this crazy dream. It's dark. Then it's not. I walk into a vast arena. Everything is really quiet and then all of the sudden -BAM! I get hit in the face by a photon blast."

Hopefully this helps!

  • 1
    In your example, I would have used past tense: "Two weeks ago I had this crazy dream. It was dark. Then it wasn't. I then walked into a vast arena....etc. Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 11:17
  • When you are describing a dream, you are effectively telling a story. Informal storytelling can use present tense, though as @MarkRipley indicates, it's a matter of personal choice. And you would always use present tense when talking about a recurring dream.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 12:14

There is no difference in 1st-person storytelling or 3rd-person storytelling in spoken English. I know that native speakers almost always speak from 1st-person view. (I heard it many times myself)

If you had a dream last night and you can tell it today like you are there (in your dream) right now or like you were there yesterday and watched from aside.

  • I see this dream yesterday. There's this woman and she comes up to me and she kisses me and I feel so lost; I don't know what to do.
  • I saw a dream yesterday. There was a woman. She came up to me and kissed me. I was so lost; I didn't know what to do.

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