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  1. #131
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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    Though people have openly agreed that tense is used to express Time, they unknowinglyviolate the agreement. For example, they argue Simple Present expresses Meanings like Habit/Habitual Action.

    I keep to the agreement and explain tense with Time alone.

  2. #132
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    Go to yahoo now and you will see today's main news points:

    Simple Present also suggests "a particular incident", rather than "a habitual occurrence". Its indication is simply "the present time", if we know what is the definition of the present time.

    This clearly illustrates your confusion, Shun. You have confused a special use of the present simple tense in these "news points". In the vast vast majority of uses in ENGLISH, the simple present DOES NOT suggest a particular incident.

    Provide some examples if you want where English speakers use the present simple to describe particular incidents.

  3. #133
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    Go to yahoo now and you will see today's main news points:

    Simple Present also suggests "a particular incident", rather than "a habitual occurrence". Its indication is simply "the present time", if we know what is the definition of the present time.

    As Riverkid has mentioned, this is "headline English", which is a very different thing from ordinary English. (Note the lack of definite and indefinite articles.)

    For instance, no one would say "Afghanistan mulls herbicide in drug war" in conversation. You'd say "Afghanistan is considering using herbicide in the war on drugs".

    And for "Israel completes pullout from Lebanon", you'd say "Israel has completed its pullout (or withdrawal) from Lebanon".

    MrP

  4. #134
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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    As Riverkid has mentioned, this is "headline English", which is a very different thing from ordinary English. (Note the lack of definite and indefinite articles.)
    My reply: If you are correct, in newspapers, other than headlines, they don't use Simple Present anymore. Do you believe it yourself?

    In the past I have collected Simple Present examples from news for discussion. Here are some of them, which are not news headlines. Please understand some Simple Present should be in Simple Past for today, but they are correct Simple Present for "the present time" of those days.

    Ex1: Several groups, including the National Abortion Federation and the Center for Reproductive Rights, plan to challenge the measure in court as soon as it is signed into law.
    Ex2: The reality remains that Tung will be at the helm until and unless Beijing leaders think otherwise.
    Ex3: The 30 new candidates come from around the world, from Australia to Zagreb, Vietnam to Venice, and on the whole follow John Paul's conservative bent.
    Ex4: The Israeli government says it needs the new buildings because of the "natural growth" of the settlements. However, the "road map" does not take that into account in its blanket building freeze.
    Ex5: A final vote in the U.S. Senate B remains before Congress sends the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (S. 3) to President Bush for his signature. The bill represents the first direct national restriction on any method of abortion since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand in 1973.
    Ex6: Nevertheless, some Democratic senators who oppose the bill, including Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), prevented the vote from occurring before the Senate began a 10-day recess on October 3. This means that the necessary Senate vote cannot occur earlier than mid-October.
    Ex7: Seventy percent of Americans support a ban on partial-birth abortion.
    Ex8: Italy's U.N. Ambassador Marcello Spatafora, whose country holds the EU presidency, moved between the two groups, sometimes with the British or French ambassadors alongside......
    Ex9: The U.S.-backed "road map" plan requires a freeze on construction in the roughly 150 Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians hope to establish an independent state in the two territories, which Israel captured during the 1967 Middle East war.
    Ex10: It warns that "a new boom and bust is in the making and will likely start to show up at the end of next year or the beginning of 2005".

  5. #135
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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    This clearly illustrates your confusion, Shun. You have confused a special use of the present simple tense in these "news points". In the vast vast majority of uses in ENGLISH, the simple present DOES NOT suggest a particular incident.
    My reply: A new term again: special use. I have never expected special use can be an explanation at all. You have supported my belief: If we don't know how to define the present time, we need to keep on creating endless terms to meet endless Simple Present sentences.

    Really, do you agree or not that tense is used to express time? Which one tense is used to express time, in your belief? How to prove it? I will use your method to prove Simple Present says present time.

    --------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Provide some examples if you want where English speakers use the present simple to describe particular incidents.
    My reply: So you may call it "particular use" of present simple tense?

    Nevertheless, here are some examples:
    Ex: You do as I say.
    Ex: Please pass me the salt.
    Ex: Go in and take a look.
    Ex: I now put the chicken into the oven.

    Examples are endless. For instance, Armstrong's landing on the moon is a particular incident. But please think about this: During the whole landing, would they use Simple Present at all to communicate? I think they do. What is the use of Simple Present, if not for "the present time" of that incident.

    Many movies are demonstrating particular incidents. Do you notice they use Simple Present also?

    I am surprised if you really need examples at all. Really, do you agree or not that tense is used to express time? Which one tense is used to express time, in your belief? How to prove a tense, any tense at all, expresses time?

  6. #136
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    My reply: A new term again: special use. I have never expected special use can be an explanation at all. You have supported my belief: If we don't know how to define the present time, we need to keep on creating endless terms to meet endless Simple Present sentences.

    Really, do you agree or not that tense is used to express time? Which one tense is used to express time, in your belief? How to prove it? I will use your method to prove Simple Present says present time.

    I'm quite sure that Mr Pedantic pointed out this special use of the present simple tense so there's no need to go into it any further.

    --------------------

    My reply: So you may call it "particular use" of present simple tense?

    Nevertheless, here are some examples:
    Ex: You do as I say.
    Ex: Please pass me the salt.
    Ex: Go in and take a look.
    Ex: I now put the chicken into the oven.

    Can you explain the differences between these examples?

    Examples are endless.

    No one has said that there aren't some special uses for the present simple, Shun. Clearly there are.

    For instance, Armstrong's landing on the moon is a particular incident. But please think about this: During the whole landing, would they HAVE used Simple Present at all to communicate? I think they do. What is the use of Simple Present, if not for "the present time" of that incident.

    [COLOR="red[/COLOR]Don't just tell us that they would HAVE used it, give us some examples, Shun.

    Many movies are demonstrating particular incidents. Do you notice they use Simple Present also?

    I am surprised if you really need examples at all. Really, do you agree or not that tense is used to express time? Which one tense is used to express time, in your belief? How to prove a tense, any tense at all, expresses time?
    Again, give us some examples from the movies you have in mind. Tense is sometimes used to express time. But English also uses tense to express other emotive aspects of language.

  7. #137
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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    For instance, no one would say "Afghanistan mulls herbicide in drug war" in conversation. You'd say "Afghanistan is considering using herbicide in the war on drugs".
    My reply: Please be informed that Present Progressive is seldom used in news, if compared with Simple Present. Below is present-day news from:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5410066.stm
    Russians 'in N Korea test talks'

    Russia says it is in direct contact with North Korea to try to prevent it from carrying out its plan to test a nuclear weapon.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was talking to the North Korean leadership in an attempt to dissuade it from conducting a test.

    It comes two days after North Korea said it would test a nuclear weapon.

    The announcement drew warnings from the international community to North Korea not to take such a step.

    The secretive communist regime says it possesses nuclear weapons, but this has not been independently verified.

    Pyongyang has been involved in on-off six-party talks with Russia, the US, China, Japan and South Korea to resolve the crisis over its nuclear programme.

    Aid deal
    Earlier this week, US nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill said a nuclear test by North Korea would be regarded as a provocative act.

    Speaking to reporters while on a visit to Warsaw, Poland, Mr Lavrov said that in the interests of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and security on the Korean peninsular, it was important that North Korea returned to the six-party negotiations.

    Mr Lavrov said he believed there were possibilities to get North Korea back to the negotiating table.

    The most recent round of talks ended in September 2005, with a deal which promised economic aid in return for Pyongyang scrapping its nuclear ambitions.

    That agreement, however, appears to have fallen apart over disagreements on its implementation.
    Please noted that says and said are used in the same context. Why, if not for indicating time?

  8. #138
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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    I asked: Really, do you agree or not that tense is used to express time? Which one tense is used to express time, in your belief? How to prove it? I will use your method to prove Simple Present says present time.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    I'm quite sure that Mr Pedantic pointed out this special use of the present simple tense so there's no need to go into it any further.
    My reply: I am afraid you have skipped a lot of important questions. Did Mr Pedantic say what you will agree or not? Did Mr Pedantic mention how you will prove it at all? I have listed a lot of Simple Present examples from newspapers. We have to go into these examples further, because you asked me to provide such examples.

    ----------------------
    You challenged me to "Provide some examples if you want where English speakers use the present simple to describe particular incidents." Therefore I provided some Simple Present examples:
    Nevertheless, here are some examples:
    Ex: You do as I say.
    Ex: Please pass me the salt.
    Ex: Go in and take a look.
    Ex: I now put the chicken into the oven.
    You then wrote: Can you explain the differences between these examples?

    My reply: Why shall I explain the difference? I am pointing out the sameness in them, their characteristic. These Simple Present examples are not habitual actions, aren't they? Every day we would make countless Simple Present statements like these. They prove Simple Present doesn't relate habitual actions.

    -------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Again, give us some examples from the movies you have in mind. Tense is sometimes used to express time. But English also uses tense to express modality.
    My reply: Examples are like what I have said above. I guess you want to say you haven't seen any Simple Present use at all in movies, so you can't think of any by yourself.

    We talk about Simple Present actions like these:
    Ex: You do as I say.
    Ex: Please pass me the salt.
    Ex: Go in and take a look.
    Ex: I now put the chicken into the oven.
    == They are also said in movies!!!

    Newspapers do use Simple Present, actually much more often than Present Progressive:
    Ex1: Several groups, including the National Abortion Federation and the Center for Reproductive Rights, plan to challenge the measure in court as soon as it is signed into law.
    Ex2: The reality remains that Tung will be at the helm until and unless Beijing leaders think otherwise.
    Ex3: The 30 new candidates come from around the world, from Australia to Zagreb, Vietnam to Venice, and on the whole follow John Paul's conservative bent.
    Ex4: The Israeli government says it needs the new buildings because of the "natural growth" of the settlements. However, the "road map" does not take that into account in its blanket building freeze.
    Ex5: A final vote in the U.S. Senate B remains before Congress sends the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (S. 3) to President Bush for his signature. The bill represents the first direct national restriction on any method of abortion since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand in 1973.
    Ex6: Nevertheless, some Democratic senators who oppose the bill, including Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), prevented the vote from occurring before the Senate began a 10-day recess on October 3. This means that the necessary Senate vote cannot occur earlier than mid-October.
    Ex7: Seventy percent of Americans support a ban on partial-birth abortion.
    Ex8: Italy's U.N. Ambassador Marcello Spatafora, whose country holds the EU presidency, moved between the two groups, sometimes with the British or French ambassadors alongside......
    Ex9: The U.S.-backed "road map" plan requires a freeze on construction in the roughly 150 Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians hope to establish an independent state in the two territories, which Israel captured during the 1967 Middle East war.
    Ex10: It warns that "a new boom and bust is in the making and will likely start to show up at the end of next year or the beginning of 2005".

    I don't understand why you keep asking me to provide examples to you. After I have provided some, you say "there's no need to go into it any further", and then ask me to provide more. This confuses me.

  9. #139
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post

    ----------------------
    You challenged me to "Provide some examples if you want where English speakers use the present simple to describe particular incidents." Therefore I provided some Simple Present examples:


    You then wrote: Can you explain the differences between these examples?

    My reply: Why shall I explain the difference? I am pointing out the sameness in them, their characteristic. These Simple Present examples are not habitual actions, aren't they? Every day we would make countless Simple Present statements like these. They prove Simple Present doesn't relate habitual actions.

    -------------------


    That you aren't able to perceive the differences tells me that you have a very superficial understanding of English and how it works, Shun.


    My reply: Examples are like what I have said above. I guess you want to say you haven't seen any Simple Present use at all in movies, so you can't think of any by yourself.

    We talk about Simple Present actions like these:
    Ex: You do as I say.
    Ex: Please pass me the salt.
    Ex: Go in and take a look.
    Ex: I now put the chicken into the oven.
    == They are also said in movies!!!

    You have missed both the wider meaning and the nuances that are available to speakers of English.

    Newspapers do use Simple Present, actually much more often than Present Progressive:

    Newspapers are NOT English speakers. The difference is not one that you'll be able to discern for yourself, caught up as you are with this nonsensical theory.
    #
    Last edited by riverkid; 06-Oct-2006 at 21:03.

  10. #140
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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    I haven't read the entire thread (14 pages!), but...

    Generally speaking, the news is about what is happening now. We're not talking about the philosophical notion of an infinitesimally small amount of time, we're talking of a definition of "now" which is useful to human beings in everyday life.

    Headline English uses the simple present or incomplete verb phrases because headlines have to convey a lot of information in a very few words.

    In the main article, though, you will find an abundance of present tenses, whether simple, progressive or (very often) perfect.

    I don't know if these have been tackled before, but let's look, shun, at the examples you give:

    Ex1: Several groups, including the National Abortion Federation and the Center for Reproductive Rights, plan to challenge the measure in court as soon as it is signed into law.

    This is indeed not the usual formulation ("are planning" would be expected), but the use of the present simple here emphasises the fact that it is a long process. They may not actually be sitting together planning the whole thing as you read the report, but generally they do quite a lot of planning. This would be unusual in most domains, but in the domain of journalism, it's quite normal. You will, however, often see this in the present progressive; both forms are possible (and common).

    Ex2: The reality remains that Tung will be at the helm until and unless Beijing leaders think otherwise.

    "Remain" is one of those verbs that is very often used in the simple present where the present progressive would normally be used. It indicates a state of affairs rather than describing an action.

    Ex3: The 30 new candidates come from around the world, from Australia to Zagreb, Vietnam to Venice, and on the whole follow John Paul's conservative bent.

    Again, this is a state of affairs. "Come" is always used in the present simple when used to indicate someone's origins: I come from England, but I live in Germany.

    Ex4: The Israeli government says it needs the new buildings because of the "natural growth" of the settlements. However, the "road map" does not take that into account in its blanket building freeze.

    When "say" carries the meaning of "be of the opinion of", it is used in the present simple. It indicates that whenever you care to ask them why they need the new buildings, they will always say, "Because of the natural growth of the settlements". "Need" is a verb that is only seldom used in the present progressive and again indicates a state of affairs, not an action. "Take into account" is very often used in the present simple, but especially when, as here, the subject is an inanimate object -- it is not performing an action, it is simply there, and whenever you study it you will notice that it doesn't take the blanket building freeze into account.

    Ex5: A final vote in the U.S. Senate B remains before Congress sends the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (S. 3) to President Bush for his signature. The bill represents the first direct national restriction on any method of abortion since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand in 1973.

    We've already dealt with "remain". And with "represent" we have, once again, an inanimate object.

    Ex6: Nevertheless, some Democratic senators who oppose the bill, including Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), prevented the vote from occurring before the Senate began a 10-day recess on October 3. This means that the necessary Senate vote cannot occur earlier than mid-October.

    Pushing a bill through takes a lot of time and effort. During this whole process -- and, if the bill is passed, for ever afterwards -- some senators may oppose it. If the present progressive were used here, it would mean that they are opposing it now, but they might not have been opposing it on October 3rd. The author wishes to make it clear that the opposing was happening on October 3rd, it is still happening now and will continue into the future. "Mean", in its usual sense, is another verb that is seldom used in the present progressive -- we ask "What does this word mean?", not "*What is this word meaning?"

    Ex7: Seventy percent of Americans support a ban on partial-birth abortion.

    See "oppose" above.

    Ex8: Italy's U.N. Ambassador Marcello Spatafora, whose country holds the EU presidency, moved between the two groups, sometimes with the British or French ambassadors alongside......

    This describes a state of affairs, not an action.

    Ex9: The U.S.-backed "road map" plan requires a freeze on construction in the roughly 150 Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians hope to establish an independent state in the two territories, which Israel captured during the 1967 Middle East war.

    With "require", we again have an inanimate object. With "hope" we have a state of mind which is not limited in time; the Palestinians hoped in the past, they are hoping now and they will continue to hope. We only use "hope" in the present progressive when the hope is expected to be short-lived: "I am hoping for rain tomorrow" is OK because, whether or not it rains tomorrow, the hoping will be over the day after tomorrow.

    Ex10: It warns that "a new boom and bust is in the making and will likely start to show up at the end of next year or the beginning of 2005".

    This is quite normal in journalism; it's like "say", in that, for an extended period at least, any time you go to "it" (whatever "it" is), "it" will warn you of a new boom and bust in the making.

    Most of these examples are actually standard formal English in any domain; only a very few appear to break the rules, and they do so with good reason. But if an action is actually taking place at the time and is clearly (or hopefully) of limited duration, the present progressive is often used. Here are some random examples I found:

    "The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany are meeting after the EU said it had failed to convince Iran to stop enriching uranium."

    "They are demanding a complete ban on fishing, arguing that there would be plenty of alternative areas to satisfy fishermen and women."

    "West African leaders are meeting in Nigeria to discuss the crisis in Ivory Coast."

    "The Bolivian government is sending 700 troops to a tin mine as clashes between rival miners enter a second day."

    "The EU is placing a tariff of 16.5% on leather shoes imported from China over the next two years."

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