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  1. #1
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    Smile Is Yesterday a past time?

    Is Yesterday a past time?

    If yes, I don't know how to define past. Please tell us how to recognize a time as past. As I know, many tenses are explained based on the definition of past. If we cannot define what is past, then some few tenses can be questionable, I guess.

    When we were a child and could not analyze anything, we were taught that
    Yesterday is a definite past time adverb (so we use Simple Past, instead of Present Perfect). But as now we have some common sense, we may ask, how to define a time as past? As long as we have Today, there is Yesterday. Since Today will not be ended and disappear, so will not Yesterday. You may say it is a relative past, but hardly a definite past. But as we shall see below, it is not even past at all.

    To be fair, however, we admit there is past time. We agree 25April2003 is a past, because we don't have another 25April2003 again. It has gone and never comes back anew, so it is past. We actually understand what is past. Nevertheless, we will forever have a new
    Yesterday!! If we regard 25April2003 as Yesterday, on the next day, we will call 26April2003 as Yesterday. On another day, we still have another Yesterday: 27April2003. Even today, we still have Yesterday. Deductive reasoning and common sense tell us that tomorrow we may still have another new Yesterday, so will next week. However, if in the future we still have another new Yesterday, which has not yet come by now, how can we say it is past? It is not even a past at all.

    If
    Yesterday is forever here and never gone, how comes they say Yesterday is a past time? Even worse, how can they conclude Yesterday is a definite past?

    Yesterday is just an example I use to bring up the basic question: what is the standard to define a time as past, even a definite past? The same question applies to Last Week, Last Year, etc.


    Your opinion is welcome.


    Shun

    Last edited by shun; 01-Nov-2004 at 02:45.

  2. #2
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    Question Re: Is Yesterday a past time?

    Quote Originally Posted by shun

    Deductive reasoning and common sense tell us that tomorrow we may still have another new Yesterday, so will next week. However, if in the future we still have another new Yesterday, which has not yet come by now, how can we say it is past?
    Your post is dated "yesterday", and in accordance with your deductive reasoning and common sense, yesterday 'has not yet come by now', so how then is anyone supposed to be able to answer your post if it doesn't exist yet?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is Yesterday a past time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea

    Your post is dated "yesterday", and in accordance with your deductive reasoning and common sense, yesterday 'has not yet come by now', so how then is anyone supposed to be able to answer your post if it doesn't exist yet?

    Sorry, I was talking about a future Yesterday. Besides the Yesterday you talked about, I still have another Yesterday in the future.

    Deductive reasoning and common sense tell me I will have another new Yesterday next week, next year, or even next decade. On one Yesterday next year, for example, are you sure I shall not post the question again if it cannot be solved this year? Of course I can again, perhaps in this forum, perhaps in other forums. Then may I ask, can anyone today try to answer my question posted on one Yesterday next year? I haven't posted it yet!

    What I am asking is, for Yesterday is endless in the future, shall we regard it as a past time? Or even a definite past time?

    Last edited by shun; 01-Nov-2004 at 18:01.

  4. #4
    Neurotica Guest

    Default Re: Is Yesterday a past time?

    Hi there...

    That would be both, unless you precise with a specific date!

    Regards,

    Neurotica

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is Yesterday a past time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neurotica
    Hi there...

    That would be both, unless you precise with a specific date!

    Regards,

    Neurotica
    In any coming Yesterday, there will be also 16:26 PM.

    Yesterday cannot be defined as past time.

    Let's put it this way: if without Yesterday, can you define what is past?

    We can't. Right. Yesterday is used to point out this confusion to you.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is Yesterday a past time?

    The past refers to the time which has passed.
    Yesterday has passed.
    So it belongs to the past time.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is Yesterday a past time?

    But next week we still have another new Yesterday, new Today, so they are not past time. That is to say, your definition cannot explain Yesterday as past.

  8. #8
    JDcap is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is Yesterday a past time?

    Dear friend.

    In linguistic, time is not the same thing as tense. Time is an element of our experince of reality yet tense is a purely grammatical idea. According to our normal perception, time is divided into Past, Present and Future. We refer to the exact moment of speaking as "the point NOW" and the past time is time before NOW. In real time there is no such thing as 'a present period"- by definition a period must extend in time, and therefore cannot be wholly 'in" present time.

    From the point of view of the language we use, it is clearly the psychological time, then way we precive the action, which is important, not what 'objectively happened" .

    In teaching a language, recently the idea of a national/ functional approach has been much popular and this may be suit to the need to cater the diffrent preception of people toward some expreinces which deal with "time' and this has be pointed out by Shun.

    Overall, what i can say, all of the riddles that play in ur mind might be expressed diffently with others due to pyschological time and time is not a technical term compared to tense. If ur case, the notion of "yesterday' is regard as past time if you are refering to the past events yet if you are talking about the next yesterday's" so, i would rather to ask you to see where do u stand for?i mean do ask weather u are talking about real, objective time or what we might perhaps call psychological time. Obhectively speaking any object even which happens takes acertain length of time.Besides, we cannot analyse the language a person uses independently of that person's perception of ehat happened ( as you are debating and questioning the exact status of 'yesterday" by considering the aspect of 'past time".

    I hope those experts and linguists may split out thier ideas and do correct me if i were wrong. Till then, have a nice day people.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is Yesterday a past time?

    Well, this thread was started over three years ago. Is it a past thread, do you suppose, or a future thread that's already happened? Or something even more metaphysical?

  10. #10
    JJM Ballantyne is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Is Yesterday a past time?

    You hit the nail on the head nicely.

    The grammatical term tense is not synonymous with time.

    Thus yesterday always refers to past time.

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