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  1. #51
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Actually, I'd say that's the norm for the present simple; it describes repeated actions that are habits and routines. Would you not agree, Mr P?

    My reply: It is a shame you gentlemen don't even know there are past repeated actions, present repeated actions, and future repeated actions. They entail different tenses.


    Nothing escapes from time. No "meaning" can ever explain tense.

    ------------------------
    To MrPedantic's example
    "2. I get up. I brush my teeth. I have my breakfast. Then the phone rings. It's my stalker, calling from the phone box outside...", Riverkid wrote:
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Absolutely, one of the jobs of the present simple, relating a past story to make it seems more alive, but this still doesn't mean, "I'm doing it right now".

    My reply: Can't you gentlemen see it is from the paragraph that one sees it is anecdote or story?

    Would you see it is anecdote or story just by Simple Present, as in the following ONE sentence?
    Ex: I brush my teeth.
    When you put sentences together, you use tenses correctly. But the bad thing is, you usually don't put them together. This explains why you can write English but cannot explain tense on one-sentence basis. You haven't known exactly where the difficulty is, as you have admitted:
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Language isn't simply cold grammar rules. Those rules are used to give to language differing meanings, often deep nuances.
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    This is why language so baffles us. We know how to produce these nuances, the ones that escape ESLs, but we just don't know how to describe them.
    Language really is rocket science.

  2. #52
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    [QUOTE=shun;111133]
    My reply: It is a shame you gentlemen don't even know there are past repeated actions, present repeated actions, and future repeated actions. They entail different tenses.


    I have to say, Shun, that I'm well aware of this and knowing what a bright fellow Mr P is, I firmly believe he does too. If "I brush my teeth everyday", it's quite apparent that I can readily state, "I brushed my teeth everyday last week".

    As to the future, it's not so, ... cast in stone. The likelihood is that "I'll brush my teeth everyday next week" but even a little thing like death could step in to prevent this from happening.


    Nothing escapes from time. No "meaning" can ever explain tense.

    It's not that "meanings" have to or should explain tense; it's that we explain meanings by showing how we use different tenses to effect a certain meaning.

    ------------------------
    To MrPedantic's example
    "2. I get up. I brush my teeth. I have my breakfast. Then the phone rings. It's my stalker, calling from the phone box outside...", [FONT=Verdana]Riverkid wrote:[COLOR=black]

    My reply: Can't you gentlemen see it is from the paragraph that one sees it is anecdote or story?

    Would you see it is anecdote or story just by Simple Present, as in the following ONE sentence?
    Ex: I brush my teeth.
    When you put sentences together, you use tenses correctly. But the bad thing is, you usually don't put them together. This explains why you can write English but cannot explain tense on one-sentence basis. You haven't known exactly where the difficulty is, as you have admitted:

    Agreed, Shun. It is impossible to state categorically what some isolated sentence means. We can, however, set a particular meaning for an isolated sentence in order to help explain certain things.

  3. #53
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    I have to say, Shun, that I'm well aware of this and knowing what a bright fellow Mr P is, I firmly believe he does too. If "I brush my teeth everyday", it's quite apparent that I can readily state, "I brushed my teeth everyday last week".
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    As to the future, it's not so, ... cast in stone. The likelihood is that "I'll brush my teeth everyday next week" but even a little thing like death could step in to prevent this from happening.
    My reply: You here just repeat what I have said, without the conclusion. Here is the conclusion: Simple Present, Simple Past, and Future Tense can all describe "repeated actions that are habits and routines". What I mean is, repeated actions have nothing to do with tenses.

    Because people cannot define present time, so they don't know how to define the use of Simple Present.

    ---------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    We can, however, set a particular meaning for an isolated sentence in order to help explain certain things.

    My reply: I don't think so. You cannot set thing in an isolated sentence so that there is no confusion with other tense. In many other forums, no one can define any use of tense on one-sentence basis, under my scrutiny.

    Tense is used to tell the time relations between sentences. On one-sentence basis, you cannot define any tense at all, without being confused with other tenses.

    Further, your isolated setting will again lead to more misuse of one isolated sentence. And the students will see the same thing as you do:
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Language isn't simply cold grammar rules. Those rules are used to give to language differing meanings, often deep nuances.
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    This is why language so baffles us. We know how to produce these nuances, the ones that escape ESLs, but we just don't know how to describe them.
    Language really is rocket science.

  4. #54
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    My reply: You here just repeat what I have said, without the conclusion. Here is the conclusion: Simple Present, Simple Past, and Future Tense can all describe "repeated actions that are habits and routines". What I mean is, repeated actions have nothing to do with tenses.

    Because people cannot define present time, so they don't know how to define the use of Simple Present.

    The very great danger in someone studying whales is that they are never sure if the behavior they are describing is truly whale-like until they ask the whales.

    Such is the case here, Shun. You are so far off in your analysis of how English works for the very simple reason that you don't understand, can't understand because of your preconceived notions and seemingly won't, because you refuse to try to understand.

    I'm not going to waste my time typing out examples and proof for you from numerous sources but I will direct you to those sources. Start with the CGEL, on "The present tense" which starts on page 127. If you are connected with a university, then I'm sure that you can find a copy in the library.

    The first two pages will illustrate to you, very clearly, that you have a badly skewed sense of how the tense system works in English.

    9999999999999999
    Last edited by riverkid; 25-Aug-2006 at 14:28.

  5. #55
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Hello Shun

    It is a shame you gentlemen don't even know there are past repeated actions, present repeated actions, and future repeated actions. They entail different tenses.
    Over the last couple of centuries, the progressive present tense has gradually replaced the simple present tense, in the expression of present actions.

    Thus now we say "I'm going" where Shakespeare might have said "I go".

    This means that the default meaning of the simple present tense is that of a repeated action, for most native speakers. If I say (for instance):

    1. I go to Harrod's to buy my artichokes.

    a native speaker does not interpret it as meaning "I am now going to Harrod's to buy artichokes". Rather, the sentence suggests "my custom is to go to Harrod's to buy artichokes".

    Verbs such as "think", "expect", and "believe", on the other hand, have retained a stronger sense of "presentness", in the simple present tense. If you say:

    2. I think you're right.

    you mean "at this moment, it is my opinion that you are right".

    It is of course possible to express a repeated action in the past or future, e.g.

    3. I used to buy my artichokes at Harrod's.
    4. I will be buying my artichokes at Harrod's.

    But the simple present has a different function: if I say

    5. I go to work by train.

    it means I have habitually gone to work by train in the past, and I expect to go to work by train in future. (The one place you would not expect to say it is on the train, on the way to work.)

    (I'm sorry if this doesn't answer your question; I may have misunderstood your earlier post.)

    All the best,

    MrP

  6. #56
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Verbs such as "think", "expect", and "believe", on the other hand, have retained a stronger sense of "presentness", in the simple present tense. If you say:
    2. I think you're right.
    you mean "at this moment, it is my opinion that you are right".
    Excellent summary, Mr P.

    If I might add a few comments. Please feel free to critique. Anyone, anyone at all.

    I think that the verbs like "think", "expect", and "believe", what we call stative verbs, act the way they do, ie. use the present simple form because once we get to that stage of thinking or believing or understanding or any "stative-verbnessing", it has become part of our routine, our common habit.

    Certain stative type verbs used in a progressive manner [ing], often seem, IMHO, more tentative in nature.

    There are other areas of English that work in the same manner. As soon as something becomes scheduled, it seems to form part of our "routine".

    So,

    I'm going to London tomorrow and then I'm leaving London for Madrid on Tuesday. = [as far as potential usage goes] I go to London tomorrow and then I leave London for Madrid on Tuesday.

    There is another yet use that I believe illustrates this same distinction. I noticed it once, some years ago, operating in an internet cartoon. If I had the cartoon, it would go some ways towards helping me explain what it is I want to explain. I think I'll hold off for a bit and try to locate it.

    Ciao.

  7. #57
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    The very great danger in someone studying whales is that they are never sure if the behavior they are describing is truly whale-like until they ask the whales.


    My reply: Having ushered such irrelevant example, you have to suggest I have never seen or used English tense. It is a very good similitude.

  8. #58
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    1. I go to Harrod's to buy my artichokes.

    a native speaker does not interpret it as meaning "I am now going to Harrod's to buy artichokes". Rather, the sentence suggests "my custom is to go to Harrod's to buy artichokes".
    As I have pointed out, "custom" is only a meaning, and it has past custom, present custom, and future custom. Therefore, custom cannot explain tense. I am afraid you should have specified what time of custom if you explain Simple Present. I don't know if you agree or not?

    Past custom of course will be expressed by Simple Past:
    Ex: When I lived in UK, I went to Harrod's to buy my artichokes.

    ----------------
    Furthermore, if according to customs, my I ask what is the difference between the three customs below?
    Ex1: I walk 3 miles every day.
    Ex2: I am walking 3 miles every day.
    Ex3: I have been walking 3 miles every day.


  9. #59
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Hello Shun

    First of all, I should qualify point 5 in my last post: you might not expect to say "I go to work by train" while on the train, but you might say "I go to work by train every day" during a discussion with a fellow traveller. So I had better withdraw that part of it.

    As I have pointed out, "custom" is only a meaning, and it has past custom, present custom, and future custom. Therefore, custom cannot explain tense.
    Again, I'm sorry if I've misinterpreted your comment; but I would say that although we label e.g. "I go" in "I go to work by train" as "present tense" (i.e. it does not have a past tense inflection), its aspect is "habitual", i.e. it expresses a composite past-present-future context. If the speaker wanted to limit the context in some way, he would have to choose another form, e.g.

    1. I used to go to work by train.
    2. From now on, I'll be going to work by train.

    Furthermore, if according to customs, my I ask what is the difference between the three customs below?

    Ex1: I walk 3 miles every day.
    Ex2: I am walking 3 miles every day.
    Ex3: I have been walking 3 miles every day.
    I would call the difference here one of focus:

    Ex1: This is a neutral statement of a regular or habitual occurrence.

    Ex2: This draws attention to the nature of the routine.

    The present progressive conveys an action in progress; it does not in itself suggest habit (unless habit is part of the verb's meaning). Thus (to borrow Riverkid's distinction) when the present progressive is used for a regular or habitual action, it expresses "provisional routine" or "the possibility of change".

    So your Ex2 might occur in this context, for instance:

    3. I'm walking three miles every day at the moment; but when my knee gets better, I hope to do ten.

    Ex3: The present perfect progressive conveys a action in progress, which began in the past, and has some relation to the present. Again, it does not in itself suggest habit.

    When used in the context of a regular action, it therefore again imports a sense of "provisional routine" or "possible change". You might use it in this context, for instance:

    4. I've been walking three miles every day, but my doctor says it's making my knee worse. So I may have to stop.

    (I should add that the present tense and perfect/progressive aspect operate in many different ways. The uses I mention here do not exclude other uses.)

    MrP

  10. #60
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    whitemoon is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    How would you define the future time?
    When we see the week, last week is past time, present week is present time and next week is future time.
    When we see the day, yesterday is past time,today is present time and tomorrow is future time.
    When we see the hour or the watch, last second is past time, a present second is present time and next second is future time.
    When we see the year, last year is past time, present year is present time and next year is future time.
    When we see the century, last century is past time, present century is present time and next century is future time.
    And so on.
    Don't compare the week with the day, the hour, the year, the century and so on.
    Don't compare the day with the week, the hour, the year, the century and so on.
    When you compare the hour with the day, you will be complicated because you are sure to see that tomorrow is future time and next second is future time and you say "What is future time?". Therefore don't compare one with another. They are not the same in quality or situation.
    I have not read all pages of this topic.

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