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  1. #61
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    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.
    My reply: I am afraid this is not realistic. As the late grammarian Otto Jespersen pointed out, the earth is rotating around the sun, but we say only "The earth rotates around the sun". He sensed there must be some reason to use Present Progressive. He theorized Present Progressive is used because of a contrast with other tenses. I have accepted this theory and applies it also to all kinds of tenses. I have furthered that tenses are used to tell the time relations between actions. On one-sentence basis such as your example "I go to work by train", you cannot explain any tense.

    As I am living in Hong Kong, I can say I live in Hong Kong, "while in Hong Kong".

    If someone asks you why you are on the train, you may of course tell him "I go to work by train", while on the train.

    -----------------
    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    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.
    My reply: To argue and hold that "I go" in "I go to work by train" has not a past tense inflection, is a disaster. Nothing escapes from time, and every action or habit also has its past, thus taking past tense inflection.

    We have often heard that there are continuous aspect and perfective aspect, but when have they started to claim Simple Present to be an aspect? Can you quote any sources on the web that claim Simple Present is "aspect"?
    As for English tense, aspect is a special word and "habitual" is not an aspect.

    Don't we use also Simple Past or other tenses to say so-called habitual aspect, as in the following?
    Ex: When I lived in UK, I went to work by train every day.
    Ex: When I go to university next year, I will get up early every day.

    Why will you repeatedly stay on "used to" alone? One habit must have its details and it is foolish to claim we can always use one sentence to encompass any habit. If a writer uses a few sentences to describe a past habit, will he use "used to" in all the sentences, as in the following?
    Ex: ?"He used to sit in the balcony for the early morning. He used to enjoy the morning sun and take a cup of coffee. He used to read newspapers and listen to the radio music."
    == I don't think one will describe it all the way with "used to".

    Rather, Simple Past has to be used:
    Ex: "He used to sit in the balcony for the early morning. He enjoyed the morning sun and took a cup of coffee. He read newspapers and listen to the radio music."
    Also, is "used to" a past tense or present tense? If you recognize "used to" to be past tense, we still use past tense to say a past habit, don't we?

    Or do you know we only use "used to" to express past habits?

  2. #62
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    I have pointed out three customs:
    Ex1: I walk 3 miles every day.
    Ex2: I am walking 3 miles every day.
    Ex3: I have been walking 3 miles every day.
    == In many other forums, they often asked about the difference between Ex1 and Ex2, and I pointed out there is Ex3 that is also confused with them.

    As for Ex1 ("I walk 3 miles every day"), you wrote:
    <<Ex1: This is a neutral statement of a regular or habitual occurrence.>>

    My reply: Please be reminded that, since all three of them are now done every day, they are neutral statement of a regular or habitual occurrence.

    Now as you have found out "habitual" is not enough, you instantly usher "neutral' for help. Of course, you may choose many other Meanings for other tenses that express "habit", because you know there are many synonyms for "habit". As I say, people use Meanings to explain tenses; they don't think of time anymore.

    We will surprise people to a high degree if we remind them we have an agreement that tense is used to express time. Are you aware of the agreement at all? Are you aware that Simple Present can express other meanings such as "love"? If you can deny "love" for Simple Present, I can deny "habit".

    -----------------
    As for Ex2 ("I am walking 3 miles every day"), you wrote:
    <<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). >>

    My reply: What a confusion it is! If it is not a routine or habit, how can we draw attention to the routine or habit? Or do you mean Habit is not Routine at all? Are we using tenses to tell such a nuance between routine and habit? I can't believe my eyes even I have seen your words.

    The fact is, as for the three examples, because you have found out "habit" has been occupied by Simple Present, so you use "routine" to help explain Present Progressive. However, as three of them are doing every day, they are all in the nature of a routine or habit.

    Why haven't grammar books stipulated there are many kinds of habits, and some of them are for Simple Present, while some of them are not?

    If according to Time, it is a simple logic that different tenses are used to say different time spans of a habit.

    However, if according to Meanings, you have to say different tenses are used to tell the difference between Habit and Routine. How ridiculous it is!!

    People have always agreed that tense is used to express time, but why have they always violated the agreement without mercy?

    ------------------
    As for Ex3 ("I have been walking 3 miles every day"), You wrote:
    <<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.>>

    My reply: Here you want to link Present Perfect Progressive to Present Perfect, thus relating "has some relation to the present".

    Are you aware that, as I have pointed out to Mr Riverkid, the standard of "has some relation to the present", being used to explain Present Perfect, makes many students wailing?
    As the following would-be teacher has pointed out, everything we say now of course "has some relation to the present":
    Several years ago I received a call from a friend. She was hoping for a place on a TEFL Certificate course, and she had a problem. 'Help me' she said. 'I can't get my head round the present perfect.' Easy, I thought. I was wrong. 'But everything has current relevance' she protested. 'Otherwise we wouldn't bother saying it...
    == http://www.developingteachers.com/ar...g/pp4_sarn.htm
    My three habits in three tenses above are used to point out that people have no idea of defining either present time or habit. More precisely, it is "every day" that expresses habit or routine. Habit or routine has nothing to do with tenses.

    Any tense can express Habit, and Simple Present can express any meanings like Love. Can you see something here? The tense has nothing to do with any meanings.

    Please understand that "I have been walking 3 miles every day" can be conversed in a restaurant to a friend who claims "I walk 3 miles every day". That is to say, their actions are NOT necessarily in progress. All three examples can be said while in the walking or not.

    Please be reminded that all three habits "began in the past, and has some relation to the present". It is absurd to claim that the habit in Simple Present and the one in Present Progressive have no relation to the present. This reasoning is obviously illogical and not true.

    Again, what is the term for the habit in Present Perfect Progressive? Why did you avoid it? If something in Perfect Progressive is done every day and "began in the past, and has some relation to the present", is it a routine or aspect that is "habitual"? You didn't speak out clearly. Or do you think it is neither a habit nor routine? How will you call Ex3, if it is not a habit nor a routine?

    In a nutshell, I am afraid that, by way of Meanings like habit or routine, you have totally failed to tell the nuances between the three tenses.

    -------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    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.
    My reply: Are you telling me that in this example we might not use Simple Present or Present Progressive? Or what is the point of the example?

    ------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    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.
    My reply: Do you mean we might not use Simple Present or Present Progressive here instead? If all three tenses are allowed here, as they are, what is the point of the example showing only one of them? Any difference between the three tenses in the three examples?

  3. #63
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitemoon
    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?"
    My reply: This is to say, if I compare them, you cannot explain it, because you will be complicated by them.
    This is to say, you can see by yourself clearly the fault of your explanation, even though it is the best you can define.
    This is to say, you cannot tell the difference between the three of them correctly the past, the present, and the future.

    Why don't you suggest we should not explain time, because doing so will complicate us?
    Why don't you suggest we should not open the forum, because it will allow us to ask questions and thus complicate English?

    I cannot follow you and I will compare Week with Day as in the following.

    ------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Whitemoon
    When we see the week, last week is past time, present week is present time and next week is future time.
    My reply: Within the present week, there is Yesterday and Tomorrow, so the present time includes the past time and future time.

    If you can explain time correctly and tell the difference, present time doesn't contain past time, and past time doesn't include future time, etc.

    -------------------
    If you fail to define present time, you cannot explain Simple Present, and you will have to use Meanings like "habit" to explain Simple Present. As any tense can express "habit", however, you cannot explain either Simple Present or "habit". Actually, you may claim Simple Present expresses other meanings like "love". It doesn't matter, as no one can deny it.

    You cannot explain "habit" to the degree that we don't have past habit and future habit. Will you use Simple Present to say a past habit? No, certainly not. Even "used to" is a past tense. Then you will understand grammars have always made fool of you. Actually, as I have pointed out, Simple Present expresses only PRESENT habit.

    Simple Present can express any kinds of meaning. Do you know of any meaning that cannot be expressed by Simple Present?

  4. #64
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    [quote=shun;112880]
    Your topic is "How would you define the future time?"
    You told me Simple present, habit , past tense....and so I don't know exactly and clearly what you want to know.
    Actually we have only "present time", which is "NOW" and we don't have past time and future time, which are "imaginative things or romatic things or abstract things".
    FUTURE is thing which will become PRESENT and
    PAST is thing which has become PRESENT.
    WE HAVE ONLY PRESENT,WHICH IS NOW.
    Last edited by whitemoon; 04-Sep-2006 at 07:40.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    [quote=shun;103314]


    Dad: Aunt Lee visits us today.
    Son: No, she says she visit us in the future.
    Dad: No, she said "today".
    Son: No, she said "two o'clock this afternoon", so it is future.
    Dad: Where did you learn this? Two o'clock this afternoon is within today, so it is today, OK?

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

    Your logic is good.
    Between Dad and Son there is difference. Dad sees day and so he assumes yesterday is past time, today is present time and tomorrow is future time. Son sees hour or watch and so he assumes last hour is past time, this hour is present time and next hour is future time. They are different in assuming the time and so they are not compatible with each other.But they both are right and they two are in the same present time, which is NOW.
    Last edited by whitemoon; 06-Sep-2006 at 19:24.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitemoon
    Actually we have only "present time", which is "NOW" and we don't have past time and future time, which are "imgaminative things or romatic things or abstract things".
    FUTURE is thing which will become PRESENT and
    PAST is thing which has become PRESENT.
    WE HAVE ONLY PRESENT,WHICH IS NOW.
    Then your words will be final.

  7. #67
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    My reply: I am afraid this is not realistic. As the late grammarian Otto Jespersen pointed out, the earth is rotating around the sun, but we say only "The earth rotates around the sun". He sensed there must be some reason to use Present Progressive. He theorized Present Progressive is used because of a contrast with other tenses. I have accepted this theory and applies it also to all kinds of tenses. I have furthered that tenses are used to tell the time relations between actions. On one-sentence basis such as your example "I go to work by train", you cannot explain any tense.

    As I am living in Hong Kong, I can say I live in Hong Kong, "while in Hong Kong".

    If someone asks you why you are on the train, you may of course tell him "I go to work by train", while on the train.

    -----------------
    I'm afraid you've misunderstood me.

    I said you would not expect to say "I go to work by train" while on the train.

    By this I mean, you would expect to say "I go to work by train" at a party, or when answering a questionnaire; but on the whole, people don't ask you how you get to work when you're sitting on a train.

    (Trust me. I've gone to work by train very nearly since the age of steam. No one has ever asked me such a question.)

    MrP

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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    We have often heard that there are continuous aspect and perfective aspect, but when have they started to claim Simple Present to be an aspect? Can you quote any sources on the web that claim Simple Present is "aspect"?
    As for English tense, aspect is a special word and "habitual" is not an aspect.
    1. I haven't claimed that the simple present is an aspect.
    2. The simple present can indeed have habitual aspect. See:
    http://www.mfi.uni-miskolc.hu/toltessy/aspects.htm
    3. Here is a site which explains habitual aspect:
    http://www.sil.org/linguistics/Gloss...tualAspect.htm
    MrP

  9. #69
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post

    Why will you repeatedly stay on "used to" alone? One habit must have its details and it is foolish to claim we can always use one sentence to encompass any habit. If a writer uses a few sentences to describe a past habit, will he use "used to" in all the sentences, as in the following?

    Ex: ?"He used to sit in the balcony for the early morning. He used to enjoy the morning sun and take a cup of coffee. He used to read newspapers and listen to the radio music."

    == I don't think one will describe it all the way with "used to".
    Various structures are possible, e.g.

    1. "He used to sit on the balcony in the early morning, enjoying the morning sun, drinking a cup of coffee, reading newspapers and listening to the music on the radio."

    2. "He would sit on the balcony in the early morning. He would enjoy the morning sun, drink a cup of coffee, read newspapers and listen to the music on the radio."

    Rather, Simple Past has to be used:
    Ex: "He used to sit in the balcony for the early morning. He enjoyed the morning sun and took a cup of coffee. He read newspapers and listen to the radio music."
    This does not sound entirely idiomatic to me.

    MrP

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    Default Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    As for Ex2 ("I am walking 3 miles every day"), you wrote:
    <<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).

    My reply: What a confusion it is! If it is not a routine or habit, how can we draw attention to the routine or habit? Or do you mean Habit is not Routine at all? Are we using tenses to tell such a nuance between routine and habit? I can't believe my eyes even I have seen your words.
    I'm sorry, Shun, you have mostly misunderstood my meaning in that post. I'm afraid my explanations were insufficiently clear.

    Ex 2 presents a routine/habitual occurrence: the routine/habit is expressed by "every day".

    The "nature of the routine" (or habit) is "walking 3 miles".

    The present progressive does not itself express habit/routine.

    Have a good weekend,

    MrP

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