My Broken English Isn’t an Excuse for Your Disrespect


Written by Jesse Q. Sutanto, and was originally published in Cosmopolitan. Apr 26, 2021

First published in Dial A for Aunties

I have a confession to make: I prefer writing in present tense because I don’t really know my tenses. I did learn English when I moved to Singapore at the age of 7, but since I moved back to Indonesia seven years ago, I feel my grasp of the language slipping. Plus, the other two languages that I speak (very badly, I might add), Indonesian and Mandarin, don’t have tenses. So I find myself always speaking in present tense, which gets a bit confusing…and embarrassing.

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