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  1. #1
    Rinoceronte is offline Banned
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    Present Simple: A Deeper Look

    There's no need in reminding how closely Language and Philosophy are interweaved. Sometimes the analysis of language elements brings you closer to understanding of the things, that you were not supposed to understand ever. For example, have you heard that Mesoamerican civilizations used to interpret time differently from us? A life as a momentum instead of linear, unstoppable and irreversible running of a clock hand towards the unknownness of death? Time and space interpreted as one whole thing? The Future which lives in the past, and the Past that awaits in future? Don't expect from me the prooves of all that right now, but language analysis can surely bring us a bit closer to apprehending those enormous things.

    It's Present Simple. What does it mean? How would you depict this action on a timeline? What is present? How long is it? A friend of mine wrote an Argentinean poem about Past, Present and Future, which has this line:

    "...y Presente: apenas lo nombro, desaparece en el tiempo...".
    "...and Present: no sooner had you named it, it's lost in time..."


    Present is a moment. "I speak English" is present. Hence, "I speak English" is a moment.
    - What moment are you talking about? I speak English all my life!
    - Your life is a moment...
    God bless Mesoamericans!...

    The fact that you speak English all your life means that you spoke it yesterday and that you will speak it tomorrow. From that you can conclude that Present Simple includes not only Present, but also Past and Future. Isn't it amazing?

  2. #2
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Present Simple: A Deeper Look

    It's not really so amazing, provided that you consider the name 'Present Simple' to be a misnomer. This tense can be, and frequently is, used to refer to past, present, future and general actions, events, states and conditions, both momentary and longer, single or repeated; the same is true of the so-called 'Past Simple'.

    I find that my students are often confused by the traditional names of the tenses, which so often bear little relation to time. They are less confused if I present the 'Present Simple' as the 'Default Tense', to be used unless there is a good reason for it not to be used; I present the 'Past Simple' as the 'Distancing Tense', to be used when the speaker chooses to make the situation more remote in Time, Directness, or Reality.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Present Simple: A Deeper Look

    Quote Originally Posted by Rinoceronte View Post
    From that you can conclude that Present Simple includes not only Present, but also Past and Future. Isn't it amazing?
    Not really- tense and time are not synonymous in English. There's nothing new here. Fivejedjon and the other people who have suggested renaming the tenses to reflect English usage seem to be approaching things in a better way.

  4. #4
    Rinoceronte is offline Banned
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    Re: Present Simple: A Deeper Look

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Not really- tense and time are not synonymous in English. There's nothing new here. Fivejedjon and the other people who have suggested renaming the tenses to reflect English usage seem to be approaching things in a better way.
    Who said they were?
    Where can I have a look at the suggested names for tenses?

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