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    #1

    tense shift and aspects

    Hi,

    Could anyone please explain to me why certain tense aspects are used in the news? Here, I underlined some tense aspects.

    Strong winds have caused heavy damage to the coastal village of Kushiro. Several ships were reported lost; the local ferry service has been disrupted.

    So far there is no news from Keiko Kisshomaru's sailing boat, Evening Starr. Keiko is attempting to be the first Japanese woman to sail solo from northern Japan to Manila, traversing the western side of the Pacific Ocean.

    To the north of Kushiro, the passing Italian tanker Fair Vessel lashed mercilessly by the winds developed engine trouble and stalled. Unfortunately, the joints in one of the containers had given way and a considerable amount of crude oil spilled into the sea. Oil slicks were spotted to have already reached the shore.

    Kushiro has been the first place to be hit by the oil slicks. The situation here is serious. A comparison with the Torrey Canyon disaster showed that fortunately one-eighth as much crude oil has been spilled.

    Hundreds of sea birds are trapped by this black tide, the once shimmering sands well-loved by so many holiday-makers are the picture of desolation. The oyster industry has been badly affected. Mr, Mr Yamashita, declared the situation a disaster and announced many men are needed to help in the clean up. He is appealing for volunteers to report to police station immediately.

    This is not my homework. Just a way for me to understand better why certain tense aspects are used or should be used in an essay so I can write better next time. Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: tense shift and aspects

    Do you mean aspects as a grammar term?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: tense shift and aspects

    Quote Originally Posted by sebayanpendam View Post
    Hi,

    Could anyone please explain to me why certain tense aspects are used in the news? Here, I underlined some tense aspects.
    It's very difficult to say why there are all used as they are.
    Perhaps you could point out why you think they should be any different. It might be easier to explain it that way.

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    #4

    Re: tense shift and aspects

    Hi,

    Here's.

    Strong winds have caused heavy damage to the coastal village of Kushiro. Several ships were reported lost; the local ferry service has been disrupted.

    1.Why the present perfect is used in the second sentence when the past tense of verb i.e. ...ships were reported lost.... is used.

    Keiko is attempting to be the first Japanese woman to sail solo from northern Japan to Manila, traversing the western side of the Pacific Ocean.

    2. Why the present continuous tense is used here (..is attempting)? Is it because of ..traversing.. that indicates that it should be in that form?

    Unfortunately, the joints in one of the containers had given way and a considerable amount of crude oil spilled into the sea. Oil slicks were spotted to have already reached the shore.

    3. Why does .... Oil slicks were spotted to have already ..take the past perfect tense while he containers had given way is used?

    Kushiro has been the first place to be hit by the oil slicks. The situation here is serious. A comparison with the Torrey Canyon disaster showed that fortunately one-eighth as much crude oil has been spilled.

    4. the first sentence is in the present perfect tense but why the verb ..showed... is in the past?

    Hundreds of sea birds are trapped by this black tide, the once shimmering sands well-loved by so many holiday-makers are the picture of desolation. The oyster industry has been badly affected.

    5. Why the present perfect is used in the last sentence... has been badly affected...? Shouldn't it be in the simple past tense? And shouldn't Hundreds of sea birds are trapped by this black tide....in the present perfect tense because it happened first before the oyster industry was affected by the oil spill.

    Yamashita, declared the situation a disaster and announced many men are needed to help in the clean up. He is appealing for volunteers to report to police station immediately.

    6. Why 'declared' is in the past tense whereas are needed is a present form of the verb?

    7. Later, the continuous tense is used in the last sentence...is appealing.. May i know why it is used instead of ..has appealed..?

    I hope this is not too much for you. I need this to improve my writing because it is important for my new job.

    Thanks.

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    #5

    Re: tense shift and aspects

    1 The winds and disruption continue but the report and the loss of boats is over- no more boats are at sea.
    2 She's still out there now

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: tense shift and aspects

    Strong winds have caused heavy damage to the coastal village of Kushiro. Several ships were reported lost; the local ferry service has been disrupted.

    1.Why the present perfect is used in the second sentence when the past tense of verb i.e. ...ships were reported lost.... is used.
    Heavy damage and ferry disruption is still ongoing. We use the pres. perf. for that – past things that extend up to the present.
    The loss of the ships was an isolated event in the past.

    Keiko is attempting to be the first Japanese woman to sail solo from northern Japan to Manila, traversing the western side of the Pacific Ocean.

    2. Why the present continuous tense is used here (..is attempting)? Is it because of ..traversing.. that indicates that it should be in that form?


    If she is already sailing, then the use of the progressive is obvious. If she is planning to sail, this is the use of the present progressive with future meaning. “I’m sailing tomorrow.

    Unfortunately, the joints in one of the containers had given way and a considerable amount of crude oil spilled into the sea. Oil slicks were spotted to have already reached the shore.

    3. Why does .... Oil slicks were spotted to have already ..take the past perfect tense while he containers had given way is used?


    ‘Were spotted’ is the passive voice of the simple past, not the past perfect tense.
    “Oil sicks were spotted after the containers had given way.”

    Kushiro has been the first place to be hit by the oil slicks. The situation here is serious. A comparison with the Torrey Canyon disaster showed that fortunately one-eighth as much crude oil has been spilled.

    4. the first sentence is in the present perfect tense but why the verb ..showed... is in the past?


    I would not have used “has been” here. It’s wrong. “Kushiro was the first place to be hit…”

    Hundreds of sea birds are trapped by this black tide, the once shimmering sands well-loved by so many holiday-makers are the picture of desolation. The oyster industry has been badly affected.

    5. Why the present perfect is used in the last sentence... has been badly affected...? Shouldn't it be in the simple past tense? And shouldn't Hundreds of sea birds are trapped by this black tide....in the present perfect tense because it happened first before the oyster industry was affected by the oil spill.


    The oyster industry was badly affected, but since this continues to be an ongoing problem (it is still being affected), the present perfect is correct.
    The relative timing of the sea birds being trapped and the oyster industry being affected would only be pointed to if the past perfect was used. It could also have read, “Hundreds of sea birds have been trapped; the oyster industry has been badly affected”. There’s often a choice of appropriate tenses.

    Yamashita, declared the situation a disaster and announced many men are needed to help in the clean up. He is appealing for volunteers to report to police station immediately.

    6. Why 'declared' is in the past tense whereas are needed is a present form of the verb?


    “Yamashita declared … “ This is very clearly one isolated act which happened in the past. This could have read, “He announced that many men were needed.” This is how I would phrase it – using backformation.

    7. Later, the continuous tense is used in the last sentence...is appealing.. May i know why it is used instead of ..has appealed..?


    One can assume that the appeal is still ongoing, in force, since it says “is appealing.” It could also have been written, “Yamashita declared … and appealed for volunteers.” Or “has appealed”.

    Sometimes there is a choice of 2 or 3 tenses that could be used appropriately.

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