Jennifer Aniston plays/played Rachel Green

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jeromedong

Member
Chinese
Dear all,

I have trouble deciding the tenses in a sentense I wanted to say. I think I can say that Jennifer Aniston played Rachel Green in Friends. I used past simple because that's something happened in the past. But if I want to add something about Rachel as the charater in the show and I have learned that I should use present simple when talking about the plot of books or movies, do I say, In Friends, Jennifer Aniston played Rachel Green, who is a lovely girl? Or I should change played to plays here to make both clauses present simple?

Thanks!
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, the convention when you are providing the plot line of a novel, play or film is to do so in the present tense, as if everything is revealed before you. So, yes, I'd go for 'In Friends, Jennifer Anniston plays Rachel Green, ...'.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    So, yes, I'd go for 'In Friends, Jennifer Anniston plays Rachel Green, ...'.
    Hmmmm. the TV series Friends ended its run in 2004. Is it still present tense? :confused:
    A TV series doesn't seem to be quite the same as a classic novel .... or maybe not.
     
    Last edited:

    jeromedong

    Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, natkretep! Thank you, sdgraham!

    Maybe an ended TV series is different. Let's say it's a movie. If it's a new movie which is being showed in the cinemas right now, I can definitely say "The actor plays the mum who has three children", right? If it's an old movie, like Titanic, do we say things differently, in past tense?
     
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