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What is the capital of Tunisia?

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What is the capital of Tunisia?

Is this a typo in verb tense?

In articles such as those, the present tense is very common. It also has the particularity of being called présent historique. Basically, it allows for a lighter text and can be mixed with passé simple to emphasize certain events. Wikipedia has a little article on its pros and cons. You will most often find this kind of structure in history books or articles, hence its name.

As for your commented question, dans les années 1910 is correct, as is en l’année 1910, although en 1910 sounds more natural. However, the meanings are not the same. When you say dans les années 1910, it means “in the 1910s”, so anywhere between 1910 and 1919. On the other hand, en l’année 1910, or en 1910, means “in 1910”. It’s specific to that year. So since it’s probably difficult to pinpoint when exactly he first started to write, you approximate it.

This particular use of présent is called présent de narration or présent historique, it describes a past event in the présent tense.

présent de narration ou présent historique : il est employé dans les récits pour donner un relief particulier à un fait en le rendant plus présent à l’esprit du lecteur ou de l’auditeur. Il est généralement introduit par des temps du passé.

  • Le 15 décembre 1926, il épouse Marie et convole en justes noces.
  • Hier, j’ai essayé de le convaincre. Je lui montre les papiers; il me rit au nez.

Wikipédia fr

In encyclopaedic texts, it is akin to the présent de vérité générale, used to talk about something that is always true, as in “Tous les matins, le soleil se lève”.


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What is the capital of Tunisia?