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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Oct 2008
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    how many aspects in English

    Hi there: linguistic terminology confuses me a lot. i cannot tell the difference between present perfective and present perfect. i was told perfective aspect marks completeness, while imperfective part, and in English we use simple tenses to convey perfective aspect, and ing form to mark imperfective aspect; so, there should be two aspects in english. am i correct? for example:
    i read Hamlet last night (perfective aspect OR simple aspect)
    i'm reading Hamlet (imprefective aspect OR progressive aspect)
    i've read Hamlet (it's often called present perfective, is this a kind of aspect?)

    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 966

    Re: how many aspects in English

    There are six major kinds of variation in the structure of verb phrases. Aspect is one of them. It has four types:

    • unmarked or simple aspect
    • perfect aspect
    • progressive aspect
    • perfect progressive aspect

    The perfect aspect most often describes events or states taking place during a preceding period of time. The progressive aspect desribes an event or state of affairs in progress. Verb phrases can be marked for perfect and progressive aspects at the same time. On such and rare occasions they refer to a past situation or activity that was in progres for a period of time.
    Perfect and progressive aspects can be combined with present or past tense.

    Please tell me if you need more info.

  1. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Re: how many aspects in English


    I am glad that you are there to answer questions like that.

    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 966

    Re: how many aspects in English

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post

    I am glad that you are there to answer questions like that.
    Thanks! What makes you happy about that?

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