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Thread: Corpus

  1. #1
    Kudla is offline Junior Member
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    Default Corpus

    Hello everyone,
    I would appreciate your help. I am trying to put together a corpus of sentences in which the present perfect tense occurs and I am not sure whether I have got the functions right:
    “I suppose they also handed on to me a hare-brain humour, which it has been my chief delight to indulge.”- could it receive the continuative interpretation? (I am aware of the fact that for this interpretation to be applicable it is often necessary to use some adverbs such as ever since or for X years (months,...) now) - but still it does not seem to me that this state has ended before the moment of speech. What do you think?
    “And I declare to you, upon my honour, there is not one of them that has not been grossly and untruthfully overrated .” (talking about dissipation) - I am not sure (maybe even due to the double negation) if it refers wholly to past or to the present as well (they were overrated and still are)?
    “From what I see already of the machination in which you have been involved, your case is desperate upon that side.” - does he refer to the past (he found a dead body lying on his pillow) or can the state extend up to the present? (he hasn´t ceased to be the victim of this machinery)
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Corpus

    A simple test is to transform them to the present and see if the meaning holds- in the first and second, I think that using the present works. The third is different- the machination is still present because there is a case against them, but the events are past.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Corpus

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    Hello everyone, I would appreciate your help.

    I am trying to put together a corpus of sentences in which the present perfect tense occurs and I am not sure whether I have got the functions right:

    “I suppose they also handed on to me a hare-brain humour, which it has been my chief delight to indulge.”
    Could it receive the continuative interpretation? (I am aware of the fact that for this interpretation to be applicable it is often necessary to use some adverbs such as ever since or for X years (months,...) now) - but still it does not seem to me that this state has ended before the moment of speech. What do you think?

    “And I declare to you, upon my honour, there is not one of them that has not been grossly and untruthfully overrated .” (talking about dissipation)
    I am not sure (maybe even due to the double negation) if it refers wholly to past or to the present as well (they were overrated and still are)?

    “From what I see already of the machination in which you have been involved, your case is desperate upon that side.”
    Does he refer to the past (he found a dead body lying on his pillow) or can the state extend up to the present? (he hasn't ceased to be the victim of this machinery)

    Thanks
    A tip for future posts. If you try to space out your message a little more and be consistent in your use of fonts, you are more likely to receive a quicker response, because it's easier to read. I have made a few adjustments to your post to illustrate my pont.

  4. #4
    Kudla is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Corpus

    I Got it.
    What do you (or anyone) think about these exaples:

    Even as it is my luck has been extraordinary - does it refer to past events when his luck helped him somehow or is it a state extending up to present?

    I have been graciously spared, but I must go at last - does it try to convey the message that he is still alive or does it tell us about past events when, due to his luck, he was not chosen to die?

    Thank you

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Corpus

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    I have been graciously spared, but I must go at last - does it try to convey the message that he is still alive or does it tell us about past events when, due to his luck, he was not chosen to die?
    It could mean both. The use of the present perfect suggests to me, in the absence of context. that your first interpretation is more lkely.

    In either case,this is not something that many would say in BrE - it's rather formal and a little flowery.

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