The paper considers the meanings of Russian aspectual forms in two non-speech contexts – in narrative and hypotactic contexts. The first part of the article deals with present narrative (i.e. present historicum) and past narrative. It is demonstrated that: a) in a narrative the Past and the Present are not interpreted in the same way as in discourse, because they refer not to the moment of speech but to the current moment of the text; b) the Past Imperfective does not denote precedence with respect to the point of reference, as is natural for a form of the Past tense, but synchronicity. The second part of the paper is devoted to the syntactic (namely, hypotactic) interpretation register of the tense forms. The structural differences that stem from the discursive or narrative nature of the main clause are deliniated.