Do we have to use the past verb in expressing imagination? Please look at this example.

Imagine; I want to own the same expensive objects and do the same things as my friends or neighbours, because I'm worried about seeming less important socially than they are. You know, It can be called something like jealousy or envy. Well, then I'm trying hard, find a high-paying job but it's back breaking too you know I'm spending all my time trying to get more money. After a while, I get what I want. You know I am loaded with money but I got no satisfaction at all . The way I see it this psychological problem is called "affluenza".

  • What "past verb" are you talking about? Could you please clarify what you're asking about? You can edit both versions in if you're not sure which sounds better.
    – user3395
    Jul 23, 2018 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


It sounds to me like you are just using the word "Imagine", then following up with a story about something that could happen, as if it has already happened. Writing in the present tense about what has already happened is called present tense narrative: it is supposed to make the story more vivid for the listener.

You should definitely use past tense (or more correctly, backshifting/subjunctive) if you were talking about an imaginary/unreal situation- something that could never actually happen- for example,

If I were rich, I would buy a yacht.

However, for story telling, you can use either past or present, as described in the article that I referred to.

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