The rule is there in red.
Originally Posted by shun
Well, actually, linguists view language as non-linear and, morever, descibe language by using non-linear models and mathematical notations and illustrate them using graphic software. :D We've come a long way babe.
I think it's not unconventional, only thing being that grammarians (that's just speaking broadly and jokingly) fear treading on unfamiliar territory that is the domain of mathematicians (or graphic artists!!), such as graphical representation of an idea.
In terms of a linear explanation, I agree whole heartedly with you on that point. Describing Tense in terms of a lineal model, a line, is unconventional, and hence my noted advanced apology.
I had thought of using the horizontal line (great minds think alike) to pictorise the explanation of tenses, but I have decided very decidedly not to, because experts will look on it not just with disdain but total consternation!! And my poor text will be still-born, looking more like a book on geometry!!!
Cas3. I ate. (finished, over, ended)
Cas4. I have eaten. (finished, over, ended)
'ate' is an action that HAPPENED in the past
"action" has got to go.
We need to delete or change the word "action" in part A of our definition. Otherwise, it defines the Perfect and the Simple Past as having no difference:
I don't understand what you mean by "action" has got to go
Definition Part A. Present Perfect expresses an action that is already COMPLETED at the present time.
Well, not necessarily. Just because a given speaker, native or non-native, feels there is no difference between, say, "I ate" and "I have eaten" doesn't prove they are the same. That is, the similarity is apparent only. Both actions ended, finished, are over. They seem similar, don't they, but they aren't.
No difference. That's what I meant by saying that the difference may not ALWAYS be there between the two tenses. Which is very true, because we often have a choice of saying the same thing in more than one way.
The Present Perfect expresses continuity, or what you've referred to as "spanning", I believe, whereas the Simple Past does not. So in that respect, the Simple Past is not like the Present Perfect. So, even though it may not be apparent on the surface, speakers use the two in different ways.
If, let's say, someone asks us to explain when to use "I have eaten", and we give them the A. part of our definition, they may ask, 'Well, then, if Present Perfect refers to an action that happened in the past, what then is the difference between "I have eaten" and "I ate"?"
Would we add, "Oh, well, there's a B. part to the definition, re: "spanning". So, 'ate' and 'eaten' are the same with regards to being finished, over, happened, and differ with regards to "spanning". 'have eaten' spans, whereas 'ate' does not. Ok, well, that fits nicely.
But, and here's the rub, the same explanation does not hold true for all verbs. Consider 'lived' and 'have lived. One ended, the other has not. In other words, to explain 'have eaten' we have to use both A. and B. parts of our definitions. To explain 'have lived', on the other hand, we can only use the B. part of the definition. That is, "Perfect" refers to ? being completed, so why isn't 'have lived' completed? a learner may ask.
If we view 'completed' as referring to an action, learners, then, have to know which verbs (actions) fit into part A. and B. and which verbs fit only into part B. That's what Shun means when he says that grammarians hide away. What he means, simply put, is that the definitions don't make any sense. And he's right. They are somewhat complex (i.e. A & B, but only B in some cases), but, and here's where Shun and I disagree, he believes grammarians use complex definitions so as to mask a lack of understanding of the Perfect. In other words, Shun strongly feels that grammarians don't know what they are talking about, but since they are authorities they have to make it look good, so they use complex language, hoping that the average Joe won't question them and 'find them out, as Shun is known to say.
And, I don't need to tell you, given our present definition for the Present Perfect, we're in agreement with him. He loves this stuff. It fuels his fire. And rightly so. We're wrong. He is right about our definition. We need to take a step back and rework it. Not because we want to prove Shun wrong, that's neither here nor there. So we ourselves can gain a clearer insight into the issues as well as be able to offer learners, especially our students a better understanding of how to use the Present Perfect.
Describing the Present Perfect by using A and B parts of a definition is rather uneconomical not to mention somewhat suspect. We need to define X as X, not as X and Y, as does part A. of our definition. Something in the Present Perfect's definition has to be deleted, or changed (i.e. 'has to go) so as to differentiate its function (Present Perfect) from that of Y's function (the Simple Past). I humbly suggested the word "action" go.
Sorry for typos and whathaveyouz. I'm on lunch and in a mad dash.
Looking delightfully forward, as always, to your insightful reply.
A jws quote:
I luv that saying, jws! :D :D :D :D :D
You'll take a long, round about, and trial and error way to build a house without.......
The more it is fixed, the more it looks bad.
The rule is very basic that Present Perfect cannot stay with past time expressions:
Ex: *I have visited there last week.
I have both explanation and example, so there will be no room for misunderstanding. Even a beginner in studying English tenses has to learn this.
And surprisingly you claimed you have not heard of this rule.
Now you wanted to fix it up:
> It means you can't make a sentence such as
> "I have eaten when you arrived". So the rule
> is: You don't use the Present Perfect with the
> Simple Past (not "past time expression")
My reply: "Past time expressions" are like yesterday, last week, last year, etc., and are including "when you arrived", thus explaining also your example "I have eaten when you arrived".
Please visit the following page about tenses if you have time:
You CANNOT use the Present Perfect with time expressions such as "yesterday," "one year ago," "last week," "when I was a chlid," "when I lived in Japan," "at that moment," "that day" or "one day."
You fix your slip by twist the common rule into "You don't use the Present Perfect with the Simple Past (not "past time expression")". It is incorrect. There is no rule to forbid the two tenses working together:
Ex: I have lived here since we parted.
Ex: Their ancestors wrote many instructions that have helped them a lot today.
Ex: He claimed that he has never seen the picture.
I am afraid you need to upgrade the version of you fixture.
Originally Posted by Red5
Re: The Hidden Evidence: The Past Family
All grammar books...preach that past time adverbials are not compatible with [the] Present Perfect:
Ex: *I have seen him yesterday
But the fact is, as we all well know, the Past Family (i.e. 'past time adverbials') are quite compatible with [the] Present Perfect:
Ex: I have seen him in the past few days
Well, you know,
Ex: I have seen him (jogging) in the past few days.
has an omitted present participle. I added 'jog', but it could be any number of words; that is, 'in the past...' is compatible with '-ing', not 'have seen', hence the grammaticality.
Even though the participle ('-ing') is not there on the surface for the naked eye to see, it's there underlyingly as part 'n parcel of 'have seen''s semantic make-up:
I've seen you (do something) under the bridge at night.
I've seen you (doing something) under the bridge at night.
Would you have other example sentences wherein the Present Perfect is compatible with 'past time adverbials'? Because the one gave is solved.
Re: The Hidden Evidence: The Past Family
My reply: If we don't depend on what we can see, how can I know if there are how many words there underlying:
Even though the participle ('-ing') is not there on the surface for the naked eye to see, it's there underlyingly......
Ex: I've seen you (doing something) under the bridge at night (I am joking, as I see nothing at nights, especially under the bridge). :wink:
It is not a kind of solution. If it were, we may even say:
Ex: I have seen him yesterday.
Because we may still give underlying implication:
Ex: I have seen him (jogging) yesterday.
1. See my comments in red.
Originally Posted by shun
2. When something is generally accepted or followed, it becomes a "rule"; otherwise it remains a proposition or viewpoint. Your opening post said "..ALL grammar books hide away the past time adverbials.." You were trying too hard here.
3. Rules are based on both reasoning and something most of us know as common sense. They are not to be applied blindly and ACROSS THE BOARD, without UNDERSTANDING the application of the rule and the contexts applicable.
4. I have said that one should take context into account in a previous post to you in this very thread: "Words carry meaning within a context. A word for word dissection or analysis is not always applicable".
5. The context of the 'rule' that the Present Perfect is not used with the Simple Past has not been detailed to you, but you appear very determined not only to prove your point but somewhat belligerent and very angry with people for "hiding" things and promoting "falsehoods" (very strong words which may land you in serious trouble). You were given time to think objectively about that 'rule' that I stated (and learned) to look at all sides of the coin.
6. The "rule" that the Present Perfect is used only with the Simple Past has to be and IS applied in the relevant context. Students are correctly taught (as I was taught too) that when two actions happen at the same time, you cannot use the Present Perfect with the Simple Past (in "I had eaten when he arrived", completion of eating and arrival are simultaneous).
7. I shall leave the matter here, whether or not you re-think about it.
8. I saw the warning in this thread about your "crusade", but several of us nevertheless accommodated you in good faith.
8. One last word to you, Shun. You used words like "twist" to describe my replies (which I gave as a friend on the forum). I shall not ask you for an apology, but warn you that you are not only NOT contributing to this FRIENDLY forum by your use of words and lack of respect for others and for yourself, but verging very close to breaking its rules and etiquette (please read the rules if you wish to continue). Think about my advice and you'll be a better person. :wink:
Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
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