I've just stumbled upon this quote from a commentary,

Direct hit and Amla was gone but Kohli misses.

Is this sentence grammatically correct?

Why is it misses? The event has already been happened by the time when he says this, so why would it not be therefore written in past tense?

  • I'm not sure of the context, so will just place this in a comment for now. This looks like a piece of sporting commentary. It sounds like (1) a critical play had been made, (2) Amla was taken out of contention, leaving the goal open, but (3) kohli's shot missed. The sentence is grammatically valid if we take #1 and #2 to be in the past and #3 to be in the present.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 11:47
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    1) could you please link to the quote or commentary? (2) if necessary, clarify what exactly is being described, and (3) realize that a running commentary is used to report happenings when/as they occur but they may refer to actions just a split second after they occur, unless the commentator has ESP. Very few things happen at the exact same time that you say them; example: I forgive you. Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 15:05
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    You might want to know that in the below sentence sounds terrible to many native speakers. Use in the sentence below. Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 15:11
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    Please do not use "the below" to mean "this" or "the following"; it sounds extremely stilted in English, like you don’t know how to use demonstratives like “this”, or the normal “the following” construct. Also take care to write using standard capitalization, spelling, spacing, and punctuation. Almost no native speakers of English have any idea what a “kohli” is, and only the capitalization of “Amla” suggest this may be a proper noun. Please provide a reference to your quote if possible. Do you know about our sister-site, English Language Learners?
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 16:23
  • @Clare For whatever reason, Asian and in particular subcontinental learners of English are immensely more likely to use this weird “the below” construction that sounds so off to most native speakers. Somebody needs to tell a billion people they sound wrong because they don't use demonstratives (this, that, these, those) appropriately, or even just plain “the following”.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


Yes in a commentary but no in an article/speech etc.

That sentence does make sense because misses is present tense and the commentator is describing what has just happened. It would likely be too soon to use past tense. The tenses for 'miss' are:

Past- Missed

Present- Misses

Future- Will miss

Commentaries are usually in present tense because they are describing what has just happened. It mainly depends on what happens but because this is a commentary you can do it in both past and present. In an article it wouldn't make sense because you'd be referring to something that has already happened.

  • 2
    A live sports commentary is always done in the present tense when describing present actions. Yes, it's going to be slightly after an action (he passes the ball to Xyz) but it is said in the present tense to make it seem more vivid. Also very few actions occur at the exact moment in time that one says something; examples include I forgive, I pronounce, I name, I declare (in the right context). Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 15:10

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