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  1. #41
    jwschang Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Casiopea wrote:

    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.
    jws replied:
    I don't understand what you mean by "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: [Sometimes there's a difference (as in the "enjoyed talking" example), sometimes maybe no (as in the "ate" example).]

    Definition Part A. Present Perfect expresses an action that is already COMPLETED at the present time.

    jws added:
    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.
    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. (Agreed. I may see no difference, someone else may see or mean a difference.)
    1. I think most (all??, including scientific ones?) definitions will have limitations. If we apply the Pareto Principle, it may be good enough that the definition covers the main gist; I think it cannot be completely comprehensive. Exceptions, specific contexts, etc will have to be dealt with by qualification, illustrations, etc.
    2. Trouble is, many students like "clear" rules, so the teacher is hard-pressed on this, to avoid confusing the student.
    3. I try to keep it simple (where possible) and "stupid". If the learner can first learn to use the language WITH mistakes but generally correctly, then the refinement comes later and gradually. Some educators may disagree with this viewpoint, like saying old habits die hard.

  2. #42
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    Re: The Hidden Evidence: The Past Family

    Casiopea explained:
    EX: "I have seen him (inging) in the past week"

    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 the verb's meaning.
    Shun replied:
    If we [can't] depend on what we can['t] see, how can I know if there are how many words there underlying:

    Cas 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:
    Ok. That's pretty funny :D , I gotta admit. Joking aside for the moment, though, you've asked a very good question: How do we know what's been omitted? I agree. It's difficult to learn how to use a language when speakers consistently leave out words, the meaning of which they know intuitively and hence the reason for leaving them out. (English, by the way, is not the only culprit there, lemme tell ya :( ). For speakers who lack that intuitive knowledge, or native like knowledge, there are ways to gaining it. One of which is studying a language's grammar: Knowing things like the structure of verbs for example, tells us a lot about what's underlying, what can be omitted, and why speaker's omit words.

    Take the fact that 'have seen' takes a gerund or an infinitive as its object, and, moreover, that the meaning of that object is inherent within the verb (part n' parcel) and so it can be omitted from the sentence without changing the meaning of 'have seen'.

    Knowing the function and distribution of any given part word or phrase, provides us with a better understanding as to why a sentence like "I have seen him in the past" appears to negate the rules. It doesn't negate the rule; it nicely supports it. Present participles and "for the past week" both express continuity and so the reason why they are compatible. The main verb 'have seen' is not compatible with "for the past week", which is where you and I agree. So you have proven Grammarians right :D : 'past time adverbials' are not compatible with Present Perfect verb forms, which you've kindly proven, once more, with your last examples:

    Shun added:
    Ex: I have seen him yesterday.
    Ex: I have seen him (jogging) yesterday.
    Both of the sentences above are ungrammatical. The 'past time adverbial' "yesterday" is not compatible with Present Perfect verb forms, just as da' Man said, nor is it compatible with Present Participles, 'ing'. One expresses continuity, whereas the other does not.

    Cas :D

  3. #43
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    Jws's 8th point to Shun:
    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:
    I don't know what to say first: "Ohmygawd, I'm having a flashback , get me my pills ", or "Pass the popcorn , would'ja?, 'cause I've seen this part before and happily-ever-after Disney style ain't where it's headed.

    Cas

  4. #44
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    You are just too cute for words, jws.

    Whisper: Between me, you, and the fence post, them there words below are not mine. :D

    [quote="jwschang"][quote="Casiopea"]
    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.
    Cas :D

  5. #45
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    Re: The Hidden Evidence: The Past Family

    Cas,

    Present participles and "for the past week" both express continuity and so the reason why they are compatible. The main verb 'have seen' is not compatible with "for the past week", which is where you and I agree.
    I doubt that. "For the past week" is a member of the Past Family, which are compatible with Present Perfect:
    Ex: They have stayed in this hotel for the past week.
    == The structure is perfectly alright. :o

    This is the reason I asked about the Past Family. I am afraid I can't agree "The main verb 'have seen' is not compatible with "for the past week." :? :?

  6. #46
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    Re: The Hidden Evidence: The Past Family

    Cas wrote:
    EX: "I have seen him (inging) in the past week"
    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 the verb's meaning.
    My reply: I still don't like the solution. Compare:
    Ex1: "I have seen him in the past week"
    Ex2: "I have seen him (jogging) in the past week."
    As we see, in Ex1, "in the past week" modifies the subject I.
    In Ex2, it modifies the object HIM.

    Most of all, I cannot pretend the time phrase modifies something I cannot see.

  7. #47
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwschang

    Sure. That's just to have the Past Perfect sit alongside the Present Perfect in the bus, which is taking all of us on a wonderful holiday to Dalian, where Shane is.

    Wow! The man studied Chinese for six years before going off to China! I hope I have the chance to meet him.

    Just a side issue: Dalian is one of the cleanest and most beautiful of Chinese cities, I'm told. It's in the northeast, on the southern coast of Liaoning province in the old Manchuria. I have yet to visit the place (supposed to have gone early this month). I just think that TDOL (whose students include Chinese), Ronbee, Red5, yourself....... should one day visit China. :)
    Er...I've just popped my head round the door to see what's going on. Don't mind me! This conversation is far too complicated for me to comprehend!

    Anyways, if any of you plan to come to Dalian, let me know, and I'll be waiting with a cold beer. :D

    </closes door quietly on the way out>

  8. #48
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea

    Dalian sounds wonderfully peaceful, not to mention eye staging gorgeous. I'm considering a trip soon. Japan ain't that far away from China. :D I had Chinese speaking students in Canada. They taught me a few words--I just can't seem to get around the dialects, though. When I greet someone in Mandarin, for example, they reply in Cantonese Ni haw ma? Shei shei lee How'dya like my Chinese

    Cas :D
    Hey, nice Chinese Cas! I have a friend over there in Japan, he moved there with his Japanese bride last month. He's also studying Japanese. Studying Asian languages is very hard, isn't it? Nowadays I don't write much, I prefer to type Chinese characters instead. I know - I'm lazy. :P

    Feel free to come to Dalian and have a look around; you won't regret it! Oh, and you might want to have a look at my website. I updated it, and there are lots of newer pictures on there now! :D

  9. #49
    jwschang Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    You are just too cute for words, jws.
    Whisper: Between me, you, and the fence post, them there words below are not mine. :D
    Cas :D
    Through my fault, through my most grevious fault.

    I just saw Shane's post. As he says, you won't regret visiting Dalian. From the photos on his site, he must be having a satisfying time there. Perhaps, after you've finished with what you're doing in Japan, you might want to teach in China. The people are generally friendly and courteous to foreigners. Even if you don't speak Chinese, you'll probably get lots of help. I guess it's the same in Japan.

    Are we turning this into a chat room, on non-English issues!! :wink:

  10. #50
    jwschang Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by shane
    Feel free to come to Dalian and have a look around; you won't regret it! Oh, and you might want to have a look at my website. I updated it, and there are lots of newer pictures on there now! :D
    Hi Shane. Read about you in the members' intro and just saw the photos on your site. They look great! I may be visiting Dalian in spring. I live in Singapore and have just joined this site, and am a @@@@ accountant who likes to teach English to Chinese-speakers! I visit China fairly regularly and hope you find it a nice place and its people too.
    Cheers!

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