Student or Learner
During my high school days, we have been taught that, English has only two actual tenses Present & Past. And future is not a tense. It's a way of expressing time. It does not actually make any change in the verb. So it is not a Tense. Is it true?
This confusion came to my mind when I again heard Future is also a Tense. Can you explain it, whether it's a Tense or Time. And why so....
I agree with Corum that there are only two tenses in English, but there are plenty of grammars and books that say that will + verb is the future tense. I am afraid it's an area where there are disagreements- most linguists argue there are only two tenses, as your high school teacher did, but their views have not been accepted by everyone, and the traditional view that English has more than two tenses is common.
past and the rest.
And the present perfect, past perfect continuous, will form, and the others, are aspects of a verb, then.
The Moon goes around the Earth. goes ~ indefinite aspect
Last edited by e2e4; 28-Nov-2010 at 16:17.
The past is fairly simple, if a thing happened, you can talk about it in past tense terms.
Since nothing happens in a zeroeth of a second, the present tense always includes some future. I run. I stop every five miles for a rest. Both 'run' and 'stop', nominally Present Tense verb forms, extend from the moment of saying this into the future. As I say this, I am probably not in the act of running or stopping. In this sense, the Present Tense verb form is a Future Tense verb form, as it indicates here events that have not yet happened, and at the same time a Past Tense verb form as it indicates my running in the past.
'The present' and 'Present Tense' are not exactly the same time-wise. The problem here lies with what defintion of 'present' you assume, or with the unfortunate wording 'Present Tense' which somehow suggests 'now' to us.
I like that: past and the rest. But I would prefer call your 'indefinite aspect' 'habitual aspect'.
I go simply for unmarked and marked tenses - without the burden of having to define what the marking is for
The problem of renaming tenses, however, is that the traditional names are firmly established in the literature and in peoples's minds, and there is no agreement as to what the new names should be.
So we shall almost certainly have to love with present and past, and accept that a lot of people still consider will + verb to be the future tense.
Yes; distant and remote, among others, have not really taken hold as replacements for past.
I can't see the publishers making the change; it would be like saying they have been wrong for decades.