But even the Present "PERFECT" doesn't really mean the action in question is absolutely in "COMPLETION".
I agree. The Present Perfect refers to the action up to NOW. Other information in the sentence/s gives additional information about the action/event.
"I have lived here for 10 years. It's so sad, leaving such happy memories behind." - the action is not continuing beyond NOW
"I have been living here for 10 years. I don't care how much money the developer is offering to buy me out, I'm staying." The action is seen as continuing past the moment of speaking, the NOW.
Firstly, whilst it is 'Present Perfect Continuous', undo what you have picked up from earlier in this thread: there is no PPS, no Present Perfect Simple!!!
And note that PP could mean Past OR Present Perfect. Better to spell it out, unless it is quite clear that that is the tense under discussion, as in this thread.)
Then, could we say PPC places its emphasis on the "CONTINUITY" of an action, while PPS on a 'STATE' of event?
Let's go back and compare, from a speaker's perspective, when and why he would say:
"I negotiated a deal with..." -Simple Past tense form of the verb
"I have negotiated a deal with..." -Present Perfect tense form of the verb
"I have been negotiating a deal..." - Present Perfect Continuous
The most important thing to understand in using one tense or another, is that the speaker is viewing the situation from his perspective, how he views this in ‘time’ – and I don’t mean time by the clock or calendar, but ‘psychological time’.
The Past Tense, "I negotiated a deal with..." indicates to the listener that the speaker perceives the action as over, complete, with no (direct) relevance to his current life. It is like all the information about the meetings that were had, the discussions, the documents exchange, and the final contract, have been bundled up as a totality into a file, and put in the archives, as opposed to the files on his desk of deals he is currently working on.
We might visualize this as:
.........|Done Deal|.........<......my present life........NOW|......... the future
When the speaker expresses this in the Present Perfect tense, "I have negotiated a deal with IBM", it implies that the deal is done, complete...but that to the speaker, the whole process of negotiating that deal is still an emotional, conscious experience for him. He is looking back, from the moment he speaks (NOW), to when the idea of making a deal with IBM was first mooted/raised, and remembering the period of time between, with all its to-and-fro of business discussions. We could depict this visually as:
where S is the start, when the idea first arose.
With the Past tense, it is a cold, remote fact - something that was done in the past. With the Present Perfect, he is looking back on all it took to bring off the deal, and feeling smug?/triumphant?/exhausted? It is still an emotionally relevant experience for him.
Present Perfect Continuous:
"I have been negotiating a deal...(I hope to have it signed, sealed, and delivered by the end of the week.")
The extra sentence further illustrates the perspective of the speaker: that the negotiations are still ongoing, in progress. The speaker's perspective is both retrospective (looking back from when negotiations started) and ahead, to some time in the immediate future when the negotiations should conclude. Visually:
|<S........................................NOW.... ..........>Done Deal
He speaks NOW, as if 'in the middle of' the whole ongoing process.
Hope that helps, Albertino.
Last edited by David L.; 23-Feb-2009 at 10:18.
Sorry David mate, I have to disagree with a few things there.
1) Firstly OF COURSE there is a present Perfect "simple" tense.
There is one, this one. It's what its called as opposed to the continuous form. We use the term to differentiate it from the continuous form.
Check a grammar reference book.
2) When comparing the two tenses; It is true to say that it emphasises that the action is complete.
i.e: "I've repaired the car"
"I've met Jane"
"I've been to Mexico"
Are you telling me that these actions are not completed??? The actions are continued up until now???
No, I went to Mexico in 2004!!!
By your reasoning I should be using Past Simple to do this.
Although, it is true that I can use the past simple here. I chose to use the Present Perfect to emphasise that although the action is complete the "time" is still open; today, this week, in my life etc....
(AND I probably dont need to do them again)
Be careful, Don't get confused.
With Past simple ----> The action is completed AND the time can be finished (yesterday,last week)
ie; "I repaired the car yesterday"
"I washed my hair today"
With Present Perfect--> The action is unfinished (unless you use for or since) BUT the time period is definitley open. That's why it's relevant to now!!!
"I've smoked 2 cigarettes today" ---> action is completed, times is open and I could possibly smoke more!!
THE PPS does suggest that the action is completed.
"I've done my homework"
"I've seen that film"
However by adding the words; "FOR" or "SINCE" we can make the action unfinished/continued.
You NEED to add these words to do so, IF NOT the ACTION IS FINISHED.
ie; "Ive smoked FOR 5 years"
However, if we want to emphasize the continuing/unfinished action we prefer to use the continuous form for this.
We can use PPS but PPC is particullarly suited to this.
Bear in mind I was talking about the differences between PPS and PPC.
That is most definitley one of them...
It is misleading to say that present perfect simple refers to an action until now.
No the time is until now, the action is completed (unless you use for or since)
"I've been to Mexico" (actually it was ten years ago, but I'm talking about the context of my life, so the ime is still open and I could even go again)
Last edited by Luizao; 23-Feb-2009 at 14:38.
Luizao:One way I think about it when I compare Present Perfect Simple and the Continuous form is the following.
My source: "Traditional terminology talks about the past simple and the present simple; it does not talk about, for example, the Present Perfect Simple. Because there is an aspect involved - perfection - the term 'simple' is not applied."
Can you provide a direct quote to the contrary?
Luizao: (referring to the Present Perfect) It is true to say that it emphasises that the action is complete.
That's the job of Past tense -
"I have lived here most of my life, and I' fully intend to live the rest of it here!"
Where's the "emphasis on completed action" when the action here is NOT complete?
Luizao:Are you telling me that these actions are not completed??? The actions are continued up until now???
No, I went to Mexico in 2004!!!
By your reasoning I should be using Past Simple to do this.
Re-read what I wrote on the difference, from the speaker's perspective, of the difference between Past and Present Perfect. You'll see that Present Perfect looks back over a period of time (compare Past tense) and brings the action up to date as of NOW. The context may then allow one to infer whether the action has now been completed or not. But: the tense does not emphasize this - that is not its function!
Luizao:It is misleading to say that present perfect simple refers to an action until now.
No the time is until now,.
Your tripping over your own semantics. I clearly stated that it refers to action over a period of time, retrospectively, from the perspective of the speaker, from the NOW moment as he speaks.
NOW - I HAVE RESPONDED. YOU ARE FREE TO CONTINUE, BUT I'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE AND AM NOT GETTING INTO ANY SPARING MATCH!
Last edited by David L.; 23-Feb-2009 at 16:01.
Whoever M. Lewis is, he talks a bit of a rubbish. Take any book on English grammar and see that the term Present Perfect Simple has been in use for years.
Always ready to learn. I looked up four of my grammar books still on the shelves, not stored away...and no reference to Present Perfect Simple.
Could you please quote the book you are using so that I can buy and read up?
Thanks. I wait with bated curiosity.
So what are you telling me?
1)That there is no such thing as a Present Perfect Simple??
It seems like it to me. If thats not what you're saying please put it in different terms?
Can I find a source that says so? Try looking at ANY english course book, or SWAN's guide or alternatively just search it online.
2) What you say about the PPS tense as a tense that looks back restrospectively I do not argue with. That is clear enough.
All I was trying to get a across to you is that when we compare the
two tenses PPS and PPC that is one of the marked differences.
The PPS tends to fucus on the completion of an action. (Check my sources below compadre) whereas the PPC doesnt.
(NOTE I SAID TEND TO) ... OF course if you add words like "for" "since" the function changes Please re-read my own post to see thats what I said.
Check; "Grammar for English Language Teachers" by Martin Parrott
"We use the present perfect simple to refer to completed events, states or actions in the past which took place within a period of time which is unfinished. Sometimes we use expressions like today or this year to specify this unfinished period of time.
ie; "Ive had two accidents this week"
The action is completed right??? the time is open right???
"Often it is just implied";
"Ive never been outside Europe. (The period of the person's life ia an implied unfinished period of time" Page 187
Once again David my boy, Ill insist to you THAT THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE ACTION IS ALWAYS COMPLETED, for example by adding for or since or as in the example you provided.
"I have lived here most of my life, and I fully intend to live the rest of it here!"
Here you need to assume that "for my whole life" is meant
or "since I was born"
The example you provided doesnt mean that the action is always continued when you use the PPS. Thats just simply not true.
I can also say "I have lived in Spain but now I live in London" This says the action is finished. Only by adding words like "for" or "since" can you change that.
and remember!! I said that if the period of time is particularly long we prefer the PPS to the PPC (RE-read my post buddy)
Well I hope Ive provided you with some sources you can check yourself;
---Any coursebook will show you the use of the term PPS (ie; Cutting Edge Pre int page 114-- Present Perfect SIMPLE vs PPC or Cutting Edge Int Page 36)
---Check Grammar for English Language Teachers Page 186-192
...It may enlighten you.
I was initially trying to point out that these are two very useful tenses in English and have many uses and facets to them which is what makes them particularly difficult for learners to grasp. It's not as black and white as you appear to make it out to be.
Its great that you've "been here before and don't wish to get involved in a sparring match", That was never the case mate and it comes across quite arrogant of yourself to suggest such a thing. Obviously by saying what you have demands a response.
Im sure I could help you out with regards to it, furthermore I doubt that theres much that I stated previously that you could contest.
I could provide you with more quotations and sources to back it up if thats what you're really after. Alternatively search out the sources I quoted you.
I'd be happy to discuss this further if you having difficulty grasping it.
Also NOTE I AM NOT CONTESTING THE FUNCTIONS OR USAGE of this tense that you put forward. I agree with most of what you say.
Simply that you are missing some of the points amigo, and be sure Im not tripping over anyones semantics.
Good day to you and God bless.
Last edited by Luizao; 23-Feb-2009 at 20:00.
I said "grammar book", not a blog site set up by Joe Blogs on Yahoo.Answers.
I can learn nothing further here.