I was watching this stand-up show on tv, and this guy said "Two months ago I'm walking down the street and this is walking toward me...". And that's how the conversation started, he didn't say anything like "Two months ago I was walking down..." and at some point go off track and then doubled back to the main thing, saying "So, two months ago i'm walking down the street...". The joke started that way.

I'm just curious whether it's okay to talk like that. Is it grammatically correct?

  • Yes, you can often hear that in reported speech. The point is to relive the story you are telling. Nov 20, 2017 at 15:51
  • 2
    It's called historical or narrative present.
    – Lambie
    Nov 20, 2017 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


Yes. It's a long-established pattern, used in narrative, called the "historic present" or "narrative present".

See https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/139986/past-present-tense-when-telling-a-story-in-spoken-english

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