Tag Archives: newspapers

What’s on the Front Page?

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We call the first page of a newspaper the “front page.” Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages website shows front pages from many American newspapers, and a few others from around the world. It’s a good way to read short phrases of English (headlines) and look at photos. Just remember that news English often breaks the rules of standard English grammar! (This is why I don’t recommend magazines and newspapers for your main source of English reading material.)

Today all of the newspapers show President-Elect Barack Obama, of course. What will they show tomorrow? You can tell what’s on people’s minds by what appears on a lot of different newspapers.

(The site is slow right now because so many people are looking at it.)

Take a Peek at the San Francisco Bay Area…Present Tense

Do you remember the present tense? (she walks, I read, he tells me, they buy some coffee, etc.) It’s probably one of the first things you learned in English. One place where you will often find the simple present tense is in captions–the explanatory writing that goes with a photo in a newspaper, magazine, etc.

image of newspaper from artvex.com

In journalistic style, the captions are usually written in present and present continuous/progressive tense, as though the event is happening as you look at the picture. Of course, the actions have already occurred, so past tense may seem more logical. However, you can think of the photo’s events as “frozen in time.” If you study academic writing in English, you learn to do the same thing when referring to other writings (Dr. Krashen writes that reading and listening are important, etc.).

Through the Lens is a feature of the San Francisco Chronicle‘s website. Every week, images from around the Bay Area are posted, with captions. The captions show a mix of tenses depending on the situation. For example, in this week’s Through the Lens, we have these captions posted:

If you’re interested in the San Francisco area, you can bookmark Through the Lens and get a regular look at life here.