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  1. #11
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    Default Re: A strange use of tense

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    We sometimes use the past perfect WHEN IT IS NEEDED to mark one action as coming before another. Often, when the situation you mentioned comes about, other things in the sentence make it clear and the Past Perfect is not used.


    In the news, it is when we needed to use Past Perfect now, which indicates things happened before a past case.

    -----------------
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Every past action has a consequence, but not all of them have a SIGNIFICANT ENOUGH consequence for any given ENL to choose the present perfect. Also, what one person views as significant, another may not, or even when the past action is viewed as significant, the speaker wishes to downplay it.


    Are you aware such explanation tortures many students? What is "significant enough"? There is not such a standard to judge that. We use tense to express Time, not such Meaning as any "significance". People don't know how to use time to explain Present Perfect, so that they take up a theory of Current Relevance". Can't other tenses express a SIGNIFICANT ENOUGH consequence? Every tense can do so!

    -----------------
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    BUT, AND THIS IS CRUCIAL. Not every sentence uses the present perfect. Often we introduce, highlight, give importance to a story/newspaper article by using the Present Perfect to introduce and thereafter we switch to the simple past.


    Look at most of the news, and you see they contradict you. As they often say the time first, so they use Simple Past and then, much later, Present Perfect.

    ------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Not every sentence uses the present perfect.


    What kind of argument is this? Of course, not every sentence uses Simple Past. And again, not every sentence uses Simple Present. However, do you think that things said in Simple Present or Simple Past have no importance? It is nonsensical.

  2. #12
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: A strange use of tense

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post

    In the news, it is when we needed to use Past Perfect now, which indicates things happened before a past case.

    You will have to provide examples, Shun. In the one example that you gave before, Past Perfect would have been grammatically inappropriate.

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


    Are you aware such explanation tortures many students? What is "significant enough"? There is not such a standard to judge that. We use tense to express Time, not such Meaning as any "significance". People don't know how to use time to explain Present Perfect, so that they take up a theory of Current Relevance". Can't other tenses express a SIGNIFICANT ENOUGH consequence? Every tense can do so!


    I'm well aware that the reasons for language are immensely difficult to grasp and that you, as a native Japanese speaker cannot 'feel' this distinction. But to deny that it exists is silly for that's exactly how ENLs use it all the time. Each speaker unconsciously decides whether to use the PP or the simple past depending on the situation.

    You say/said that we use tense to express Time rather than certain social nuances. That's completely false, Shun. Let me give you some examples.

    We can use past tense FORM to be more polite, more deferential.

    "Did you want something to eat?"

    By using 'did' instead of 'do', it's a softer question.

    "If she were here, I'd tell her that I loved her."

    'were' doesn't refer to any past time.



    +++++++++++++++++++

    The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language - page 145

    "One respect in which a past situation may be connected with now is that it is close in time to now. It is clear ... that it does not have to be recent, but there is nevertheless a significant correlation between the present perfect and recency, whereas the simple preterite [past tense] is quite indifferent to [this difference in time]. The present perfect is therefore the one most frequently used in news announcements.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I'd suggest that you get ahold of a copy of the CGEL and read starting page 139. It's all about the perfect. Then come back and we can talk.


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


    Look at most of the news, and you see they contradict you. As they often say the time first, so they use Simple Past and then, much later, Present Perfect.

    I explained that issue specifically, Shun. Read my posting again and the CGEL and then we can talk.

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


    What kind of argument is this? Of course, not every sentence uses Simple Past. And again, not every sentence uses Simple Present. However, do you think that things said in Simple Present or Simple Past have no importance? It is nonsensical.
    Taken within the context I put it in, it makes perfect sense. We can tell that because it reflects English usage. As I said there are semantc reason for its use and there are semantic reasons that preclude its use.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: A strange use of tense

    In the news I have quoted, why is there Past Perfect used?
    "We ask that European solidarity is expressed as soon as possible about Lebanon," Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy TOLD France Info radio, adding he had asked EU president Finland to call a meeting in Brussels early next week.


  4. #14
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    Default Re: A strange use of tense

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language - page 145
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    "One respect in which a past situation may be connected with now is that it is close in time to now. It is clear ... that it does not have to be recent, but there is nevertheless a significant correlation between the present perfect and recency, whereas the simple preterite [past tense] is quite indifferent to [this difference in time]. The present perfect is therefore the one most frequently used in news announcements.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I'd suggest that you get ahold of a copy of the CGEL and read starting page 139. It's all about the perfect. Then come back and we can talk.
    My reply: It is no more than repeating the old stupid theory of "current relevance", which has tortured many students. Visit the following web page and see how a teacher's teacher has admitted failure to explain the tense:
    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; and everything we talk about that's happened in the past must be retrospective - or else we wouldn't know about it!'


    If an earthquake in your neighborhood yesterday happened to claim thousands of lives, it is indifferent to the present time because we use Simple Past to say it!! But the fact that a person has hurt himself in your neighborhood in the past, is "significant enough" to take Present Perfect!! It doesn't make any sense.


  5. #15
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: A strange use of tense

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    My reply: It is no more than repeating the old stupid theory of "current relevance", which has tortured many students. Visit the following web page and see how a teacher's teacher has admitted failure to explain the tense:


    Interesting theory, Shun. I'll have a more in depth look later.

    If an earthquake in your neighborhood yesterday happened to claim thousands of lives, it is indifferent to the present time because we use Simple Past to say it!! But the fact that a person has hurt himself in your neighborhood in the past, is "significant enough" to take Present Perfect!! It doesn't make any sense.



    What you're doing is injecting your personal feelings onto others. How people view events is a truly personal matter. Language structures exist to say certain things. I showed you how you were mistaken when you suggested that tense is meant solely to establish time.

    Let's say I died. Some exalting that fact [glad of it] could say, "Riverkid has died. Hooray hooray!" Others, greatly saddened by it, could say "Riverkid has died."

    How does it make sense for feelings that are opposite to each other to use the same structure. Because this structure has presented the feelings of both groups, the haters and the lovers of riverkid, as important to them. This action of dying is important enough to them to use the present perfect.

    Someone more detached from riverkid could well use, "Riverkid died." or that same person, with no particular feelings for riverkid, might use the PP to relate the event to someone who they care about who they know cares about riverkid.

    Life creates myriad reasons for choosing the structures we do.

    Have you read the CGEL section that I suggested?

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    Last edited by riverkid; 22-Aug-2006 at 22:14.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: A strange use of tense

    Nothing Escapes From Time
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    How does it make sense for feelings that are opposite to each other to use the same structure. Because this structure has presented the feelings of both groups, the haters and the lovers of riverkid, as important to them. This action of dying is important enough to them to use the present perfect.

    My reply: You must think that English tense is used to express feelings. It isn't. Feelings have no objective standard, but tense does. By the way, Sentences express feelings.

    Tense is used to express Time. But people have failed to handle so many tenses with merely Time (past, present and future) alone, so they use Meanings to help explain tenses. Feelings are only a kind of Meaning. As nothing escapes from time, we have past feelings, present feelings, and future feelings. So, please don't just murmur "feelings". What time of feelings did you want to say really?

    ------------------------
    A Nameless Time Span
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Someone more detached from riverkid could well use, "Riverkid died." or that same person, with no particular feelings for riverkid, might use the PP to realtet the event to someone who they care about who they know cares about riverkid.

    My reply: Again, feelings are your answer. Anyway, whose feeling it is -- that of the speaker or the listener? If two persons are in conflict with each other, would they use Present Perfect all the way, to emphasize the feelings?

    Few can explain Present Perfect because people have missed a kind of nameless time: the time between the past and the present. It is neither past or present. For example, if Last Week is past and Today (Wednesday) is present, there is a time span between past and present. English has Present Perfect designed to express this kind of time.

    -----------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Life creates myriad reasons for choosing the structures we do.

    My reply: No, we don't freely choose tense. Tense is used to express time. With Yesterday you use Simple Past, while with Since, Present Perfect.

    ----------------
    The Past Family
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Have you read the CGEL section that I suggested?

    My reply: I would only read the book that explains Present Perfect correctly. It isn't there, however. All grammar books want to propagandize that "Simple Past can, but Present Perfect cannot, work with past time adverbials":
    Ex: They worked here yesterday.
    Ex: *They have worked here yesterday.
    They have therefore hidden the past time adverbials for Present Perfect, such as those which I called the Past Family: in the past, in the past three years, within the past four weeks, during the past few months, for the past century, etc. Since CGEL is an usual grammar, also hiding the Past Family, I would not read a book that is misleading students.

  7. #17
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: A strange use of tense

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    Nothing Escapes From Time

    My reply: You must think that English tense is used to express feelings. It isn't. Feelings have no objective standard, but tense does. By the way, Sentences express feelings.

    Shun, if we are to have a reasonable discussion on these issue then you're going to have to get your thinking and your stories straight.

    Here, from the thread, "Newspaper Time", we can see that you've contradicted yourself [important] // you contradicted yourself. [less so]


    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by riverkid
    There. I've just reported this to everyone here at Using English. I had my choice of 'said' or 'says'. Using present simple gives the listener the feeling that this is something that Shun still believes, that Shun is quite adamant about what he says, that Shun is likely to say the same thing if someone else asks him.


    My reply: Yes, "feeling" is a good explanation.


    shun
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  8. #18
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: A strange use of tense

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    ----------------
    The Past Family

    My reply: I would only read the book that explains Present Perfect correctly. It isn't there, however. All grammar books want to propagandize that "Simple Past can, but Present Perfect cannot, work with past time adverbials":

    Actually, you're mistaken again. Prescriptive grammars are the ones that have given these misleading impressions about a number of language issues.

    Ex: They worked here yesterday.
    Ex: *They have worked here yesterday.
    [FONT=Verdana]They have therefore hidden the past time adverbials for Present Perfect, such as those which I called the Past Family: in the past, in the past three years, within the past four weeks, during the past few months, for the past century, etc.

    Yes, there are even some grammars that have screwed this up. But any decent descriptive grammar points up these prescriptive mistakes and rectifies them. Both the CGEL and Michael Swan's book do this. [Those are the only two that come to mind where I'm certain that's it's specifically addressed. I'm certain that others do so.]

    Since CGEL is an usual grammar, also hiding the Past Family, I would not read a book that is misleading students.

    Again, you're mistaken, Shun and I suspect it's because you're confused about how the PP works.

    *They have worked here yesterday.

    Both the CGEL and Michael Swan deal specifically with this issue. Yes, prescriptive grammars have often stated that such a collocation, above, marked as ungrammatical by Shun, is not possible, but actually these are possible and grammatical in certain limited situations.

    Both note that it is uncommon and Swan notes specifically that ESLs should avoid such uses because they will not understand how to use it.


    They have therefore hidden the past time adverbials for Present Perfect, such as those which I called the Past Family: [I][I]in the past, in the past three years, within the past four weeks, during the past few months, for the past century

    These adverbials fit quite nicely with some functions of the present perfect, Shun, most notably the experential PP. Any decent grammar recognizes this and states it clearly. Maybe it's time to do a bit of house cleaning. Clear your shelves of the old prescriptive grammars.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Shun's confusion and obvious anger is something that I predicted, long ago, would happen. I'm surprised that there aren't more really angry ESL students and ESL non-native teachers/professors. They have been so badly misled, for so long, by so many people that it seems some can't trust anyone anymore.

    Shun, and other ESLs, please let me assure you that descriptive grammar has done and is doing all it can to rectify the nonsense "rules' that have long been perpetuated by unthinking prescriptivists.

    Can descriptivists make mistakes? Most assuredly they can and there will be disputes for language is indeed, tough stuff.


    "But always, under the descriptive appraoch, claims about grammar will depend upon evidence." [CGEL - page 11]

    Such cannot be said for prescriptive grammar based as it is upon opinion, improper analogies and ill thought out comparisons to other languages. Ask for proof from a prescriptivist and you'll likely see a new world's record for the 100 meter sprint.
    Last edited by riverkid; 24-Aug-2006 at 22:25.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: A strange use of tense

    Please note that my saying in the following is an irony:
    My reply: Yes, "feeling" is a good explanation.

    What I meant is, it is nonsensical to explain tense depending on feelings. May I ask exactly what tense is to cure a headache?

    In many places, I think I have made myself clear enough: Tense expresses Time only.


    -----------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Yes, there are even some grammars that have screwed this up. But any decent descriptive grammar points up these prescriptive mistakes and rectifies them. Both the CGEL and Michael Swan's book do this. [Those are the only two that come to mind where I'm certain that's it's specifically addressed. I'm certain that others do so.].....These adverbials fit quite nicely with some functions of the present perfect, Shun, most notably the experential PP. Any decent grammar recognizes this and states it clearly. Maybe it's time to do a bit of house cleaning. Clear your shelves of the old prescriptive grammars.


    My reply: Everywhere I have seen such false promises more than enough. I have asked about the Past Family for decades and people cannot quote any words or examples about the Past Family. Their examples have turned out a joke -- there is no adjective 'past' in it, the adjective for the Past Family. And there is no explanation whatsoever.

    If the books should speak of some time adverbials like "in the past xx years", you have already quoted them to surprise me.

    I even have Michael Swan's book. May I ask in what page of it does he speak of examples of the Past Family? I don't think you have told the truth.


    --------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid
    Clear your shelves of the old prescriptive grammars.
    My reply: Is Michael Swan's book a new grammar book? Shall I drop it also?

    Since on the web there are no examples nor explanations for the Past Family, should I clear the web also?

  10. #20
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: A strange use of tense

    Quote Originally Posted by shun View Post
    Please note that my saying in the following is an irony:

    What I meant is, it is nonsensical to explain tense depending on feelings. May I ask exactly what tense is to cure a headache?

    In many places, I think I have made myself clear enough: Tense expresses Time only.

    Then how do you explain these examples that I asked you about a few postings back?

    You say/said that we use tense to express Time rather than certain social nuances. That's completely false, Shun. Let me give you some examples.

    We can use past tense FORM to be more polite, more deferential.

    "Did you want something to eat?"

    By using 'did' instead of 'do', it's a softer question but the reference isn't past time. It's asking now about a near future.

    "If she were here, I'd tell her that I loved her."

    'were' doesn't refer to any past time. It's discussing a theoretical now.

    If she were to come tomorrow, I'd tell her that I love her.

    'were' doesn't refer to any past time. It's discussing a theoretical future.







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


    My reply: Everywhere I have seen such false promises more than enough. I have asked about the Past Family for decades and people cannot quote any words or examples about the Past Family. Their examples have turned out a joke -- there is no adjective 'past' in it, the adjective for the Past Family. And there is no explanation whatsoever.

    I just gave you some examples that refute what you have just stated here. OR I've just given you some examples that have refuted what you have just stated here. Please address this.

    If the books should speak of some time adverbials like "in the past xx years", you have already quoted them to surprise me.

    I even have Michael Swan's book. May I ask in what page of it does he speak of examples of the Past Family? I don't think you have told the truth.

    I'll try to check on this. It's surprising that you can't locate it yourself. I'm still puzzled as to what you mean by the "Past Family".


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


    My reply: Is Michael Swan's book a new grammar book? Shall I drop it also?

    It depends on what edition you have, Shun.

    Since on the web there are no examples nor explanations for the Past Family, should I clear the web also?

    By and large, Shun, the internet sites that deal with grammar are full of only prescriptive nonsense. Many people have rushed to get their websites going but they've just copied the rubbish they were taught in school. This isn't surprising because most of the stuff taught in schools consists of the same old prescriptions that have been taught for generations.
    6666666666666666

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