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  1. #1
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Where are you getting your information from?

    To me: where are you getting your information from? (get in the continuous tense) shows the speaker's impatience and annoyance. Am I right? if not what is the difference if I used the simple tense: where do you get your information from? To me the simple tenses is a straight forward statement ie neutral.
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 16-Jul-2007 at 20:23.

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Where are you getting your information from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    To me: where are you getting your information from? (get in the continuous tense) shows the speaker's impatience and annoyance. Am I right?

    It depends upon the context and the body language and vocal inflection of the speaker. For example, you are at work one December day and disgruntled because rumor has it that the company isn't giving out bonuses at Christmas this year. A co-worker confides to you that he's heard that there will be bonus checks, they'll just be a little late this year.

    "Really?" you ask, intrigued and cautiously excited. "Where are you getting your information from?"

    "My brother-in-law belongs to the same club as the boss. The boss mentioned to him at lunch the other day that the company got that big Acme Widget contract after all, that their original supplier backed out of the deal."

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Where are you getting your information from?

    It could also express a lack of belief in the creditability of the information source.

  4. #4
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Where are you getting your information from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It could also express a lack of belief in the creditability of the information source.
    Good point Richard. This is really fascinating and sth I love about English.You can express your feelings just by switching to the continuous tense. I don't know any other languages which additionally allow you to express your feelings grammatically. As far as I know most of them operate lexically when it comes to emotions:
    He always smokes: neutral
    He is always smoking. Disapproval

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    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Where are you getting your information from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It could also express a lack of belief in the creditability of the information source.
    Hi Tdol

    I understand that "creditability" and "credibility" have different meanings although they are almost similar in form. Which are these [different meanings]?

    Thank you

  6. #6
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Where are you getting your information from?

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Hi Tdol

    I understand that "creditability" and "credibility" have different meanings although they are almost similar in form. Which are these [different meanings]?

    Thank you
    I think Tdol meant credibility (make people believe) not creditability (giving credit to some one) because he said: lack of belief.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Where are you getting your information from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    To me: where are you getting your information from? (get in the continuous tense) shows the speaker's impatience and annoyance.
    More like incredulity. The same holds true for the present simple. Consider,

    With emphasis on do
    Ex: Where do you get your information from?
    Meaning, incredulity
    The semantic difference between simple "get information" and continuous "getting information" is as follows:
    Simple
    Ex: Where do you get your information from?
    The action get information is expressed as repeated or habitual.

    Continuous
    Ex: Where are you getting your information from?
    The action getting information is unfinished at present, still ongoin; i.e., the implication is that the person to whom the question was asked (Click here, post #1, to view "that person"'s thread and the source of the present thread) is at present still living in the past and hasn't moved on in their assumptions; thus: Where are you getting your information from (these days)?


    Hope that helps.



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    It would be helpful, Jamshid, if you could provide the source (i.e., thread link) next time you post a discussion on a topic that comes out of a discussion from another thread. The reason being, context, context, and context is everything. Give the readers the whole picture. Let them determine what they think on their own before going ahead and painting an outline of the picture for them. Science. Yes, there is science in language analysis.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 17-Jul-2007 at 17:58.

  8. #8
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Where are you getting your information from?

    True Casiopea simple is habitual and continuous is ongoing. There is no doubt about it. My point however was simple is more straight forward ie neutral whereas continuous expresses (negative) emotions:
    You are nasty to me (you are always nasty)
    You are being nasty to me (temporary: expresses speaker's emotions at present.

    Question: Does the temporal quality make continuous alone apporpriate for annoyance (since annoyance is usually of short duration)? I mean expressing emotions grammatically not lexically is fascinating. What other tenses behave in the same way? In addition "get" is more often used in the simple ie its stative frequency is higher than its dynamic usage. Dynamically get expresses a process: I am getting tired. Thanks Casiopea I'll give the thread link in future.
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 17-Jul-2007 at 18:42.

  9. #9
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Where are you getting your information from?

    1. Where did you get your information from?
    2. Where were you getting your information from?
    3. Where do you get your information from?
    4. Where are you getting your information from?

    It seems to me that the progression from #1 to #4 signifies "increasing proximity of the speaker to the subject matter".

    Thus in #1, the speaker stands outside the subject matter, as it were (it is "remote"); whereas in #4, he's standing in the middle of it.

    So I would not interpret #4 as expressive of e.g. annoyance, a challenge, etc., but rather of "greater involvedness on the speaker's part" – which could translate into various significances in various contexts.

    MrP

    PS: I take #3 as not necessarily "habitual": the context might be e.g.

    Looking at a spreadsheet:
    "Where do you get these figures from?"
    "Where do you get your information from, for these figures here?"

    PPS: I suppose the two present perfect versions should be added between #2 and #3.

  10. #10
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Where are you getting your information from?

    MrP I really like the idea of being remote or not standing in the middle of sth. Thanks btw for the explanations you gave. This shows there is always sth new to discover. I would now like to give two examples in the past:

    What did you do in my room? (past simple)
    What were you doing in my room? (past continuous).

    The simple form is a gain straight forward whereas the continuous expresses some kind of reproach (emotions). Would you agree wth me? Or maybe the continuous shows more politeness!

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