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    #1

    perfect tense

    In sentences like:
    When a woman has once so far forgotten herself as to make the first advance, she has long ago left behind her all consideration of petty pride.
    or:
    When this sort of clock has run down, it is no more to me than an ingenious piece of mechanism, to be investigated with the bistoury
    - what kinds of reading do these 3 examples of present perfect tense receive? (existential, resultative, continuative)
    I also wonder whether thses 2 sentences do or do not yield generic reference - something like: water boils at 212 °F, so that my examples would read as:
    Every time when it happens that a woman has forgotten herself...or: Whenever a woman has forgotten herself...
    Please could anyone respond to this (do not have to bother using the terminology, just in your own words)
    Thanks
    Last edited by Kudla; 27-Nov-2010 at 11:51.

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    #2

    Re: perfect tense

    Can anyanyone answer my question, please?
    Thank you

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: perfect tense

    "When a woman has once so far forgotten herself as to make the first advance..." Means "When a woman has forgotten herself to the extent that she will dare to make the first advance..."

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    #4

    Re: perfect tense

    Thanks, but Iīm still puzzled by this WHEN - does it express a temporal relation = at the time at which, or does it carry the generic function = whenever this happens...
    Thank you

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    Thanks, but Iīm still puzzled by this WHEN - does it express a temporal relation = at the time at which, or does it carry the generic function = whenever this happens...
    Thank you
    It means "at the time" or "on the occasion" IMO.

  3. Johnson_F's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It means "at the time" or "on the occasion" IMO.
    The use of 'once' supports your opinion.

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    #7

    Re: perfect tense

    it seems reasonable - I take back that remark about generic use although I donīt think that ONCE strictly prevents it, however, would it be more plausible to say that the sentence doesnīt refer to past but is used hypothetically or in a sense of condition? I mean sth like:
    Once you have acquired the basic skills you can operate the machinery (I donīt think this refers to a particular time zone but tells the condition on which one can do sth - so the person in question may as well not do this job at all as he will never be able to fulfill the requirements)
    What do you think?

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    it seems reasonable - I take back that remark about generic use although I donīt think that ONCE strictly prevents it, however, would it be more plausible to say that the sentence doesnīt refer to past but is used hypothetically or in a sense of condition? I mean sth like:
    Once you have acquired the basic skills you can operate the machinery (I donīt think this refers to a particular time zone but tells the condition on which one can do sth - so the person in question may as well not do this job at all as he will never be able to fulfill the requirements)
    What do you think?
    It is, as you suggest, hypothetical. It doesn't refer to the past.

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    #9

    Re: perfect tense

    Thanks a lot!

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