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We started the first mountaineering club at Eton and made dozens of trips to Scotland and Wales... The day we had an opportunity to get to the summit, Bear came down with a virus and didn't go. .. I just look back on Everest as an amazing experience, which I luckily survived. ..

This guy is talking about some kind of history, so, he is using "started", how about "look back"?

one situation where simple present tense is suitable is to state a fact or regularity, such as, the sun rises in the east, I drink 20 cups of water everyday

what is the appropriate situation where I should use the simple present form of "look back"?

1 Answer 1


In this situation the speaker first recounts an experience using the past tense. He then reflects on it using the present tense because he is expressing feelings that still remain with him.

He might have used the past tense but the present tense works better because it emphasises his enduring appreciation of his experience.

This is not an unusual technique. The speaker diverges from the story to reflect on the impression it has made on his life. (Eton gives the clue to his gender.)

The present tense can be used in various ways, whether recounting events as though they are still happening (the historical present), speaking of a continuing practice (I visit the library on Tuesdays) or referring to a future event (I leave on Tuesday).

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