Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default need clarification on auxiliary verb "to be"

    Hi, I need clarification on these:

    For present tense,

    He leaves tomorrow ("leaves" is of the future)
    He is busy tomorrow ("is" refers to his state of being of the future and not the time of speaking)

    However for present progressive,

    He is leaving tomorrow (does auxiliary "is" here refer to his future state of being i.e. tomorrow/time of action or his present state i.e. at the time of speaking?).

    Should "is" in progressive refer to the time of speaking? As the following for past progressive shows:

    I told you he was leaving at 1 p.m. but it's already 1 p.m. and he is still here. ("was" refers to the time of speaking i.e. in the past and not the time of action i.e. 1 p.m.)

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,509
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: need clarification on auxiliary verb "to be"

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    Hi, I need clarification on these:

    For present tense,

    He leaves tomorrow ("leaves" is of the future) No, it's not, "tomorrow" gives the sense of the future.
    He is busy tomorrow ("is" refers to his state of being of the future and not the time of speaking) Same here.

    However for present progressive,

    He is leaving tomorrow (does auxiliary "is" here refer to his future state of being i.e. tomorrow/time of action or his present state i.e. at the time of speaking?).

    Should "is" in progressive refer to the time of speaking? As the following for past progressive shows:

    I told you he was leaving at 1 p.m. but it's already 1 p.m. and he is still here. ("was" refers to the time of speaking i.e. in the past and not the time of action i.e. 1 p.m.)
    In all your examples, except the last, you are using the present to talk about the future, the future meaning is indicated by the word "tomorrow".

  3. #3
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    966
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: need clarification on auxiliary verb "to be"

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    Hi, I need clarification on these:

    For present tense,

    He leaves tomorrow ("leaves" is of the future)
    He is busy tomorrow ("is" refers to his state of being of the future and not the time of speaking)

    However for present progressive,

    He is leaving tomorrow (does auxiliary "is" here refer to his future state of being i.e. tomorrow/time of action or his present state i.e. at the time of speaking?).
    'is' is a progressive aspect auxiliary in present tense. It adds time meaning to the meaning that tense conveys and is part of a VP that reports an action that is bound to take place in the future (specified by 'tomorrow').

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    Should "is" in progressive refer to the time of speaking? As the following for past progressive shows:

    I told you he was leaving at 1 p.m. but it's already 1 p.m. and he is still here. ("was" refers to the time of speaking i.e. in the past and not the time of action i.e. 1 p.m.)
    I told you he was leaving at 1 p.m. but it's already 1 p.m.

    The present circumstances can't affect the truth value of the meaning the speaker was trying to convey in the past through the chosen structure of the verb phrase. 'but it's already 1 p.m.' suggests the intended meaning was that the referent of 'he' was bound to leave at 1. P.M, at a later point in time compared to the time of reporting the news of his leaving.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: need clarification on auxiliary verb "to be"

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    In all your examples, except the last, you are using the present to talk about the future, the future meaning is indicated by the word "tomorrow".
    He leaves tomorrow ("leaves" is of the future) No, it's not, "tomorrow" gives the sense of the future. I know "tomorrow" gives the future sense, what I mean is does "leaves" in this context has its original meaning of being an action done at the time of speaking changed to an action that will be present tomorrow i.e. "leaves" becomes a future action because of tomorrow.

    He is busy tomorrow ("is" refers to his state of being of the future and not the time of speaking) Same here. Am I right to say that "is" refers that his state of being/condition at the time of speaking, which is to be busy tomorrow?
    Last edited by lycen; 16-Jan-2010 at 16:59.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,509
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: need clarification on auxiliary verb "to be"

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    He leaves tomorrow ("leaves" is of the future) No, it's not, "tomorrow" gives the sense of the future. I know "tomorrow" gives the future sense, what I mean is does "leaves" in this context has its original meaning of being an action done at the time of speaking changed to an action that will be present tomorrow i.e. "leaves" becomes a future action because of tomorrow.

    He is busy tomorrow ("is" refers to his state of being of the future and not the time of speaking) Same here. Am I right to say that "is" refers that his state of being/condition at the time of speaking, which is to be busy tomorrow?
    Yes, that's right. I can understand your question better now that you have made it clearer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: need clarification on auxiliary verb "to be"

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Yes, that's right. I can understand your question better now that you have made it clearer.
    OK, so let me summarize. Present tense "leaves" in the context of the first example is a future action.

    Present tense "is" in the context of the second example, although "tomorrow" is also used, "is" is to used to emphasize the state/truth at the time of speaking that he will be busy tomorrow and unlike "leaves" it does not refers to a future state

    Auxiliary verb "is" in present progressive refers to the present state at the time of speaking as in "He is leaving tomorrow".

    Am I right?

  7. #7
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    966
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: need clarification on auxiliary verb "to be"

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post

    Auxiliary verb "is" in present progressive refers to the present state at the time of speaking as in "He is leaving tomorrow".

    Am I right?
    No.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: need clarification on auxiliary verb "to be"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    No.
    If that's the case, in the grammatically correct example:

    I told you he was leaving at 1 p.m. but it's already 1 p.m. and he is still here. (why does "was" refer to the time of speaking i.e. in the past and not the time of action i.e. 1 p.m.?)

    bhaisahab didn't say I was wrong.
    Last edited by lycen; 18-Jan-2010 at 02:26.

  9. #9
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    966
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: need clarification on auxiliary verb "to be"

    Auxiliary verb "is" in present progressive refers to the present state at the time of speaking as in "He is leaving tomorrow"
    'is' refers to an event that takes place later than the speaker's now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    114
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: need clarification on auxiliary verb "to be"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    'is' refers to an event that takes place later than the speaker's now.
    OK, this means that "is" in the example below refers to the future state at 1 p.m. and not the present state at the time of speech.

    I tell you he is leaving at 1 p.m.

    I told you he was leaving at 1 p.m. but it's already 1 p.m. and he is still here.

    However, what about my past progressive example above? Does "was" refer the state of being/truth at time of the action "I told" or at 1 p.m. which is the present moment in the example context i.e. when the action of leaving should be taking place. Are you suggesting that in the same way, "was" refers to state at 1 p.m. and not the time of the action "I told"? Now that's odd because 1 p.m. is right now in the context of the example.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. verb "to hear" : why irregular verb ?
    By ph2004 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 14-Dec-2009, 05:54
  2. complements of "to be" -gerund, infinitive or simple verb
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Apr-2005, 05:22
  3. noun phrases
    By sting in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Aug-2004, 21:52
  4. Does have/has a auxiliary verb?
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-Jun-2004, 19:28
  5. Subject of a verb
    By Anonymous in forum Linguistics
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 14-Oct-2003, 07:10

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •