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  1. #11
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: is there future tense in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I have yet to see any proof. As usual, I see nothing but opinion.

    This will be just another subject about which we will not likely agree.
    Tell us then, Mike, which one is the future tense or are all of them the future tense? Feel free to quote some prescriptive sources on this issue.

  2. #12
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: is there future tense in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Tell us then, Mike, which one is the future tense or are all of them the future tense? Feel free to quote some prescriptive sources on this issue.
    The will and shall form of course. I really don't need a source for this one. Grammar books, dictionaries, and English teaching sites are full of references to this tense that you say doesn't exist.
    Last edited by MikeNewYork; 27-Nov-2006 at 18:02.

  3. #13
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: is there future tense in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    The will and shall form of course. I really don't need a source for this one. Grmmar books, dictionaries, and English teaching sites are full of references to this tense that you say doesn't exist.
    You don't need a source for anything. You seem to have memorized your high school grammar really well.

  4. #14
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: is there future tense in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    The tense of a verb is a form that (usually) defines whether you are describing an action of the past, the present or the future.

    The reason English does not "have" a future tense is that there is no future form of the verb itself that would describe the future (as it is in, e.g. French: I will go>>J'irai)

    In English, in order to give information regarding the future, we mostly use the modal will, but not always.

    Consider:
    I will go the market tomorrow
    I'm going to the market tomorrow
    The market opens at 9:00
    I'm going to open the box
    (i.e. I will open the box)

    All of the above examples describe the future.
    Yes, you are right. This is called a lexical tense in opposition to an inflectional one as in French. Although the inflectional tense is only an ending ie a suffix. Anyway the French also use the lexical one: nous allons allez.

  5. #15
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: is there future tense in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    You don't need a source for anything. You seem to have memorized your high school grammar really well.
    Thank you. I can fill in the blanks for you if you have forgotten any of yours.

  6. #16
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: is there future tense in English?

    HOW GRAMMARS OF ENGLISH HAVE MISSED THE BOAT

    THERE'S BEEN MORE FLUMMOXING THAN MEETS THE EYE

    Charles-James N. Bailey

    Consider the possibility that English grammar has been misanalysed for centuries because of grammariansí accepting fundamentally flawed assumptions about grammar and, not least, because of a flawed view of the history of English; and that these failings have resulted in a huge disconnect between English grammars and the genius of the English that really exists among educated native-speakers.

    The development of the information age and of English as a world language means that such lapses have even greater negative import than formerly. But what is available on the shelves has fallen into sufficient discredit for grammar to have forfeited its place in the curriculum, unrespected and little heeded by the brighter students.

    =======================
    [added emphasis is mine]
    Last edited by riverkid; 27-Nov-2006 at 22:20.

  7. #17
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: is there future tense in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    HOW GRAMMARS OF ENGLISH HAVE MISSED THE BOAT

    THERE'S BEEN MORE FLUMMOXING THAN MEETS THE EYE

    Charles-James N. Bailey

    Consider the possibility that English grammar has been misanalysed for centuries because of grammariansí accepting fundamentally flawed assumptions about grammar and, not least, because of a flawed view of the history of English; and that these failings have resulted in a huge disconnect between English grammars and the genius of the English that really exists among educated native-speakers.

    The development of the information age and of English as a world language means that such lapses have even greater negative import than formerly. But what is available on the shelves has fallen into sufficient discredit for grammar to have forfeited its place in the curriculum, unrespected and little heeded by the brighter students.

    =======================
    [added emphasis is mine]
    More quotes. How enlightening.

  8. #18
    HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
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    Default Re: is there future tense in English?

    The debate seems to be really heating up, and given that the definition of 'tense' is limited to a set of "verb inflection forms" that indicates time, I guess English really does not have a future "tense" per se. But is English not able to express future events? The fact that English verbs don't have future inflection doesn't really mean English is incapable of expressing future. To me any language capable of expressing future possibility have future tense; perhaps I should choose or invent another word for my definition, since the word 'tense' is already taken.

  9. #19
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: is there future tense in English?

    I believe that there are only two tenses in English, and also that time is only one element of the function of tense in English, and that simply believing that tense = time gives an inaccurate picture. All languages, including those without any tenses, can express time- they just do it in different ways. I think that we use present tense forms to talk about the future in English, but others see things differently, and I can't get that heated up about people talking about the future tense.

    If I can digress, in Khmer, which I am trying to learn at the moment, they use 'nung' in the way that we use 'will', when they want to mark the future, though, they often just use the present and a time expression. They don't distinguish between the first and second conditionals, and this is a literal translation of how I was taught to do the third:
    If I went, I will speak to him.
    The past shows that it's a third conditional and their 'will' functions as 'would have'. Interesting to try to classify 'nung'- a futurity marker, for both past and present time. They express things in a very different way, but it works perfectly.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: is there future tense in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by HaraKiriBlade View Post
    The debate seems to be really heating up, and given that the definition of 'tense' is limited to a set of "verb inflection forms" that indicates time, I guess English really does not have a future "tense" per se. But is English not able to express future events?
    Of course English can express future events. I have already given many examples of how it does. We simply don't have a special tense for doing that -- we use a different system.

    riverkid and Mike are arguing here because they are using different definitions of "tense". Mike is using the definition used for the purposes of teaching English to non-native speakers; riverkid is using the narrower, linguistic definition. They'll never agree until they can first agree on which definition of "tense" they're using.

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