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  1. #11
    soutter is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Was and have/has been

    There are two uses of the past tense: the first which is quite irrelevant to spoken English is its use in written narrative.

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …


    He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare …

    The past tense’ second use in spoken English is as an EXACT past that demands one of TWO things:

    1)That a precise time frame be given to the sentence

    or

    2)That a precise reason be given to the sentence:

    EG

    ‘I went to Lausanne’ is OK when beginning a novel; but in spoken English it feels incomplete: I hear myself asking ‘why?’ and when?’ And that’s the problem:

    1)I went to Lausanne yesterday, Easter, Monday, last year, October 31st.

    or

    2)I went to Lausanne to visit my mother.

    Perfect: no problems because some of the expected information is given.

    If I were however to suggest that Lausanne is part of my world and I know it without giving any reason why or when I went there, now I would use the Present Perfect as a general past tense.

    ‘I have gone to Lausanne’ is complete in itself begging no further information than that already given.

  2. #12
    Nightmare85's Avatar
    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Was and have/has been

    Hello again and thanks for your replies.

    Sorry that I ask again something in this thread:
    Does this also mean the green is right and the red is wrong:

    He will be globally banned.
    He will be banned globally.

    He will globally been banned.
    Banned is a verb and if the rules are the same as for "have/has been", then the green should be right.

    Thank you!

    @soutter:
    I'm sorry, but I cannot understand anything.
    Probably wrong thread

    Edit
    @Barb_D:
    So you think "he is banned" would be the best way?(Of course only if the guy is still banned.)
    Cheers!
    Last edited by Nightmare85; 07-Nov-2009 at 00:48.

  3. #13
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Was and have/has been

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello again and thanks for your replies.

    Sorry that I ask again something in this thread:
    Does this also mean the green is right and the red is wrong:

    He will be globally banned.
    He will be banned globally.

    He will globally been banned.
    Yes, this is wrong. You probably meant " He will globally be banned." This is wrong too.


    Banned is a verb and if the rules are the same as for "have/has been", then the green should be right.
    Yes, that's right.
    Also,
    He would have been globally banned (or banned globally).
    He must have been globally banned (or banned globally).
    He will have to be globally banned (or banned globally).


  4. #14
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    Default Re: Was and have/has been

    Soutter wrote:The past tense’ second use in spoken English is as an EXACT past that demands one of TWO things:

    1)That a precise time frame be given to the sentence

    or

    2)That a precise reason be given to the sentence:


    This is totally misleading. It would suggest that I can't say:
    He died.
    ...without giving a full obituary notice.

    Me:"Whatever happened to Joe Smith?"
    She: "Oh, he died."

    Unless I ask for further information, the fact about Joe Smith's existence on earth just hangs in the ether.
    There is absolutely no difference in the suggested 'first' and 'second' uses. The Simple Past tense expresses a fact - a completed action/event that occurred/has occurred prior to my speaking/writing. It is the absolute opposite of the Simple Present: with that, the fact is 'timeless'-was, is, will continue to be from the speaker's perspective. With Simple Past, other than it occurred before 'now', time is irrelevant.
    Last edited by Excalibur; 07-Nov-2009 at 10:26.

  5. #15
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Was and have/has been

    Hi -
    Any of these would be okay in response to the question "Why don't we see posts from so-and-so any more?"

    "He is banned" or "He was banned" or "He's been banned"

    He IS banned is his status
    He WAS or HAS BEEN banned makes it passive. (He was banned by the moderators)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #16
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Was and have/has been

    I think that the bald statement "He was banned" is ambiguous, it invites the question "Is he still banned".

  7. #17
    soutter is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Was and have/has been

    Totally misleading, Excalibur? No need at all for an obituary - just a simple time reference!

    I was trying to give my usual explanation as a guide to the difference between he visited and he has visited.

    What is totally wrong with my definition? It's a good general rule of thumb for my students. (In fact there is nothing
    totally wrong with my definition!)

    I do except that your example is good but you have heard the saying about there 'being always an exception?'

    Congratulations! You've found the exception!

    Me:"Whatever happened to Joe Smith?"
    She: "Oh, he died." -

    - BUT


    Me:"Whatever happened to Joe Smith?"
    She: "Oh, he died."
    Me. When (which needs a simple date or time reference, not an obituary as an answer)?

    See what I mean?

    And (not to leave you in midether) what would be the difference between

    He died (answer (
    just to help you out): sometime in the past)

    and

    He has died
    (sometime in the quite recent past and certainnly more recently than the past time frame of "he died", wouldn't you agree?)

  8. #18
    Nightmare85's Avatar
    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Was and have/has been

    Thank you again for your posts.
    I hope it makes it more and more cleaner to me.

    I have another question.
    Since I read such things in games, I will just write them here this way.

    In one game, a player plants a bomb and a message appears:
    "The bomb has been planted".
    (After the bomb is planted - planting process is over!)
    I understand it, because it affects the present.
    The bomb is ticking (countdown), and if no one will defuse it, the match will end.

    However, in another game there is a possibility to kick vote a player.
    (If you want that he gets kicked.)
    When you kick vote him, a message appears:
    "A kick vote was placed against player X"

    So, I don't really understand the difference between those 2 examples.
    In the 2nd, the kick vote affects the present as well.
    If there is a high kick vote rate, the player will be kicked and can't play the current match anymore.

    I hope that's not too specific, but grammar should be grammar

    Cheers!

  9. #19
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was and have/has been

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Thank you again for your posts.
    I hope it makes it more and more cleaner to me.

    I have another question.
    Since I read such things in games, I will just write them here this way.

    In one game, a player plants a bomb and a message appears:
    "The bomb has been planted".
    (After the bomb is planted - planting process is over!)
    I understand it, because it affects the present.
    The bomb is ticking (countdown), and if no one will defuse it, the match will end.

    However, in another game there is a possibility to kick vote a player.
    (If you want that he gets kicked.)
    When you kick vote him, a message appears:
    "A kick vote was placed against player X"

    So, I don't really understand the difference between those 2 examples.
    In the 2nd, the kick vote affects the present as well.
    If there is a high kick vote rate, the player will be kicked and can't play the current match anymore.

    I hope that's not too specific, but grammar should be grammar

    Cheers!
    The first game has the more correct grammar.
    If you're talking about computer games, the text of many of these is written by computer programmers, whose first language is C++ or Java or something, not English.

  10. #20
    mxreader is offline Member
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    Default Re: Was and have/has been

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    So, I don't really understand the difference between those 2 examples.
    In the 2nd, the kick vote affects the present as well.
    If there is a high kick vote rate, the player will be kicked and can't play the current match anymore.
    My view is this:-

    Instead of thinking: "it affects the present" try changing that to "looking back at it from now". Thus "The bomb has been planted". At the moment of speaking (says the computer), that particular event in the past is true. Two time references are involved.

    In your second message: "A kick vote was placed against player X", the structure is different. It makes a reference to an event, in this case a remote event in the past. The emphasis is on the factuality of the event not the time.

    The first sentence has the effect of giving us a feeling of imminent danger and we must do something quickly about it. The second sentence has the effect of giving us the feeling that something not nice has happened and we can't do anything about it for now.
    Last edited by mxreader; 14-Dec-2009 at 06:18.

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