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Thread: tenses

  1. #1
    zahari is offline Junior Member
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    Default tenses

    hi there!

    Have a look at the foolowing sentence:

    Either some dogs or a fox_________ the farmer's chickens.

    a.is attacking
    b.has attacked

    The teacher's book gives a. is attacking as the correct answer but I feel I can't explain why. And what is wrong with answer b? I can't find anything that might imply the use either of present progressive or the present perfect tense.

    Thank you in advance!!!

  2. #2
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by zahari View Post
    hi there!

    Have a look at the foolowing sentence:

    Either some dogs or a fox_________ the farmer's chickens.

    a.is attacking
    b.has attacked

    The teacher's book gives a. is attacking as the correct answer but I feel I can't explain why. And what is wrong with answer b? I can't find anything that might imply the use either of present progressive or the present perfect tense.

    Thank you in advance!!!
    I agree with you. Either verb form will work in the appropriate context.

  3. #3
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by zahari View Post
    hi there!
    Have a look at the foolowing sentence:
    Either some dogs or a fox_________ the farmer's chickens.
    a.is attacking
    b.has attacked
    The teacher's book gives a. is attacking as the correct answer but I feel I can't explain why. And what is wrong with answer b? I can't find anything that might imply the use either of present progressive or the present perfect tense.
    Thank you in advance!!!
    The sentence "either a dog or... " might suggest the speaker is referring to a situation happening at the moment of speaking. Perhaps the speaker heard a noise so he/she thought it must be the dog or the fox.

    Present perfect is only likely if you see the result of what happened.

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    The sentence "either a dog or... " might suggest the speaker is referring to a situation happening at the moment of speaking. Perhaps the speaker heard a noise so he/she thought it must be the dog or the fox.

    Present perfect is only likely if you see the result of what happened.
    The speaker may already know that wild dogs and foxes have been attacking chickens in the area. The speaker may have found fur at the scene that looked like dog or fox fur. There are many ways to pick up clues without being an actual witness.

    Even If the speaker/writer were a witness to the attack, his use of the continuous form would stop at the end of the attack. After that point, the present perfect would be very logical.
    Last edited by MikeNewYork; 23-Nov-2006 at 01:11.

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