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  1. #1
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    Conjugation in English

    Hello everybody !
    - I'm posting this topic to know the difference between some conjugating times :
    - I've already heard that the difference between the preterit & the past participe is a "link" with the present :
    (This is from a book,the sentences between parentheses have been traducted from french) :
    - Have you heard the news this morning? (PP : It's still the morning)
    - Did you heard the news this morning? (P : it's the afternoon/evening now)

    - He has just arrived (He's here now)
    - He arrived a moment ago (accent of the moment in past)

    - Mrs Smith has died (She's dead now)
    - Mrs Smith died a rich woman (The moment when she died, she was rich)

    - I didn't really understand this, I'm still confused about using the right time. So all what I'm asking about is a little explanation about this.

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    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: Conjugation in English

    Quote Originally Posted by damas17 View Post
    Hello everybody !
    - I'm posting this topic to know the difference between some conjugating times :
    - I've already heard that the difference between the preterit & the past participe is a "link" with the present :
    (This is from a book,the sentences between parentheses have been traducted from french) :
    - Have you heard the news this morning? (PP : It's still the morning)Time perod not finished
    - Did you heard hear the news this morning? (P : it's the afternoon/evening now) this morning becomes past in the afternoon.

    - He has just arrived (He's here now) just means at this perticular moment,
    - He arrived a moment ago (accent of the moment in past) ago is a definite time indicating past.

    - Mrs Smith has died (She's dead now)
    - Mrs Smith died a rich woman (The moment when she died, she was rich)
    Here both tense forms can be used as no time expression is used.

    - I didn't really understand this, I'm still confused about using the right time. So all what I'm asking about is a little explanation about this.
    Both the tense forms(Present perfect and past simple) are used to express completed action at the time of telling. We describe an action in the simple past where a definite time expression in the past is used. If no specific time is given/required, present perfect is used. However present perfect can be used with time period which is not finished.
    Last edited by sarat_106; 12-Aug-2008 at 07:04.

  3. #3
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    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: Conjugation in English

    Quote Originally Posted by damas17 View Post
    Hello everybody !
    - I'm posting this topic to know the difference between some conjugating times :
    - I've already heard that the difference between the preterit & the past participe is a "link" with the present :
    (This is from a book,the sentences between parentheses have been traducted from french) :
    - Have you heard the news this morning? (PP : It's still the morning)
    - Did you heard the news this morning? (P : it's the afternoon/evening now)
    You normally use the present perfect to refer to something that happens during a period of time going on; that's why you say Have you heard the news this morning? if the morning is still going on, or Have you had a good day at work? if you and the person you are speaking to are still at work.
    Otherwise you would say Did you hear the news this morning?, or Did you have a good day at work?

    Quote Originally Posted by damas17 View Post
    - He has just arrived (He's here now)
    - He arrived a moment ago (accent of the moment in past)
    When you use such adverbials as ago, you are supposed to use the past simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by damas17 View Post
    - Mrs Smith has died (She's dead now)
    - Mrs Smith died a rich woman (The moment when she died, she was rich)
    In either case the person in question is dead; however, with the present perfect used, the message is more emphatic.


  4. #4
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Conjugation in English

    Quote Originally Posted by damas17 View Post
    ...
    (This is from a book,the sentences between parentheses have been traducted from french) :
    - Have you heard the news this morning? (PP : It's still the morning)
    - Did you heard* the news this morning? (P : it's the afternoon/evening now)
    - but the lapse between the time of talking and the time of doing doesn't have to be a matter of hours. I could say, to someone who I know has a 5 minute journey to work, "Did you hear the news before you left home?" So the difference between the two tenses is not a matter of time.

    - He has just arrived (He's here now)
    - He arrived a moment ago (accent of the moment in past) It's a strange choice of words, but you're right - although he's still 'here now' - the stress is on the 'pastness' of the event.

    - Mrs Smith has died (She's dead now)
    - Mrs Smith died a rich woman (At the moment when she died, she was rich)...
    'The moment she died' would refer to a moment when something else happened: "The moment she died, her long-lost son came home from India to claim his inheritance." (There's no "when" after this sort of "moment".)

    I imagine 'traducted' was what my old prof used to call a 'faute d'inattention'! I've added a few notes to your translation.

    b

    PS * I missed this in my first reply; it should be "Did you hear...?"
    Last edited by BobK; 10-Aug-2008 at 16:48. Reason: PS Added

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    Re: Conjugation in English

    - Have you heard the news this morning? (PP : It's still the morning)
    Something happened, say at 9 a.m. I ask your question above at, say, 12 noon. I am using the Present Perfect tense, because I am asking, during the time period from 9.a.m. when it happened, up to this very moment, right now, at 12 noon, whether he has heard from someone/radio about what happened at 9.a.m.


    - Did you hear the news this morning? (P : it's the afternoon/evening now)
    You are interested in a simple yes/no answer - the time when, or how long since he heard, does not interest you. Did you hear the news or not?

    - He has just arrived (He's here now)
    Yes, he is here; but he may have arrived an hour, a day, a week ago. The Present Perfect indicates that something that happened in the (recent) past
    and is still current - the effect of what happened continues. So, from that moment when he actually 'arrived', from then on, one can say \he has arrived' because he arrived, and is still here.

    He arrived a moment ago
    A single event in the past, a completed action - He arrived. The added time phrase of 'a moment ago' merely tells us how far back in the past it happened.

    - Mrs Smith died a rich woman (The moment when she died, she was rich)
    Past tense. It does not necessarily mean that at the moment she died she came into money and so was rich. She may have been struggling for years, then won the lottery, and then died a week later. She was poor most of her life but she died a rich woman.

    - Mrs Smith has died (She's dead now)
    Yes. This is a special use of the Present Perfect. If we say, 'Mrs. Smith is dead' it is a cold hard brutal fact - not alive, but DEAD. We 'soften' this when we refer to someone who died recently by using the Present Perfect tense.

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    Re: Conjugation in English

    Sorry about the traducted (I was going to say translated, hahahaha, don't blame me, blame french !!!) / Did you hear is the correct one (now blame me !) / But "accent of the moment in past"... I didn't even get it in french ?? (accent sur le moment du passť)...mmmh (last sentence's without "the)
    Thank you, it really helps me, not as much as I hoped, but at least I can check the difference. :)

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    Re: Conjugation in English

    I'd just like to add my opinion


    - Have you heard the news this morning? (PP : It's still the morning)[/color]
    Something happened, say at 9 a.m. I ask your question above at, say, 12 noon. I am usiesent Perfect tense, because I am asking, during the time period from 9.a.m. when it happened, up to this very moment, right now, at 12 noon, whether he has heard from someone/radio about what happened at 9.a.m.


    correct - but I could give a simple answer - Yes, I have or No, I haven't



    - Did you hear the news this morning? (P : it's the afternoon/evening now)
    You are interested in a simple yes/no answer - the time when, or how long since he heard, does not interest you. Did you hear the news or not?

    a simple yes / no answer isn't especially connected to this verb form


    - He has just arrived (He's here now)
    Yes, he is here; but he may have arrived an hour, a day, a week ago. The Present Perfect indicates that something that happened in the (recent) past
    and is still current - the effect of what happened continues. So, from that moment when he actually 'arrived', from then on, one can say \he has arrived' because he arrived, and is still here.

    the Present Perfect doesn't necessarily indicate the recent past

    e.g. Sharks have populated the Pacific Ocean for millions of years.

    He arrived a moment ago
    A single event in the past, a completed action - He arrived. The added time phrase of 'a moment ago' merely tells us how far back in the past it happened.

    correct - the past simple is used for a completed action

    - Mrs Smith died a rich woman (The moment when she died, she was rich)
    Past tense. It does not necessarily mean that at the moment she died she came into money and so was rich. She may have been struggling for years, then won the lottery, and then died a week later. She was poor most of her life but she died a rich woman.

    a rich woman is an adjectival phrase used to describe the subject


    - Mrs Smith has died (She's dead now)
    Yes. This is a special use of the Present Perfect. If we say, 'Mrs. Smith is dead' it is a cold hard brutal fact - not alive, but DEAD. We 'soften' this when we refer to someone who died recently by using the Present Perfect
    tense.

    incorrect - we say Mrs Smith has died because we use the Present Perect to give news that someone might not have heard -

    He's had a haircut. The U.S. has invaded Iraq.

    If you think the person knows about it already you wouldn't use this tense.

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    Re: Conjugation in English

    Quote Originally Posted by the concierge View Post
    ....
    - Mrs Smith has died (She's dead now)
    Yes. This is a special use of the Present Perfect. If we say, 'Mrs. Smith is dead' it is a cold hard brutal fact - not alive, but DEAD. We 'soften' this when we refer to someone who died recently by using the Present Perfect
    tense.

    incorrect - we say Mrs Smith has died because we use the Present Perect to give news that someone might not have heard -

    He's had a haircut. The U.S. has invaded Iraq.

    If you think the person knows about it already you wouldn't use this tense.
    Smile when you say that. I'm sure David will defend himself better than I could; not everyone agrees with him all the time, but he's a thoughtful and well-informed teacher. His analysis of the social reasons for using the Present Perfect are interesting, and certainly more impressive to me than regurgitation of A Rule.

    b

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    Re: Conjugation in English

    incorrect - we say Mrs Smith has died because we use the Present Perect to give news that someone might not have heard -

    He's had a haircut. The U.S. has invaded Iraq.

    If you think the person knows about it already you wouldn't use this tense.

    (...and thank you for your encouraging vote of confidence BobK. Or is it a challenge? )

    Then I would ask you, concierge, why people say:
    "Have you heard? Joe Blogs died."
    The speaker is unsure whether the listener has heard the news, but gives the brutal fact in past tense, not Present Perfect.
    "You won't believe this! While he was overseas, he had a haircut and lost his ponytail-look!"
    compare (where the emphasis and meaning has been shifted):
    "Wait till you see him. You won't believe it. He's had a haircut and got rid of that mullet style at last."
    In both examples, the speaker is sure that the listeners do not 'know the news'.

    My understanding of the sentences you quote is that the Present Perfect is used because an event occurred in the (recent) past, and its effect, its action, its existence, continues to be seen/felt in the present.
    Damas17 was looking at the meaning of
    Mrs Smith has died.
    and
    - Mrs Smith died...

    You will note that 'has died' occurred in no context to suggest a particular reason why Present Perfect should be used. Compare:
    Mrs. Smith died.
    Mrs. Smith has died.
    Mrs. Smith has died and they're suspecting foul play.

    I was pointing out to Damas17 that even when the past tense 'died' could be used, we still tend to use the Present Perfect: the 'softening', I suspect, is to imply we are (still) affected by this past action, still feeling and showing respect, rather than regarding her death as, 'she's worm food' - she's dead, buried, and half way to dust.
    Last edited by David L.; 11-Aug-2008 at 15:41.

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