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    #41

    Re: I`ve a good knowledge of English. - Have I really?

    Dear Airone, and dear "threaders",

    The matter concerned hasnīt given me any rest. So I have given more thoughts to it. Could it be like that: With the following three example sentences I think the present state of the affair (in parenthesis) is included in the present perfect.

    1) I have lived / have been living here (I live here).
    2) I have been in Hungary now for three years (Iīm still here).
    3) Heīs been my friend (for many years) (and still is).

    But in your case it is different. With you the present verb form came first, with the present perfect following. Although the I know is grammatically implied in the I have known, it is not the other way round. So you do add some extra information by referring also to those who you have known. But you certainly wouldnīt say:
    People I have known and (I) know. Would you?

    Hucky

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    #42

    Re: I`ve a good knowledge of English. - Have I really?

    I think you may not be fully understanding what Airone meant (and I don't think he explained this either): he doesn't currently know all of the people he has ever known. I lived in Ireland for 5 years and knew dozens of people while I was there, I keep in touch with many of them but not all of them. So I can talk about the Irish people I know and the ones I've known.

    We use the present perfect in this case because the implied time period (my life) is unfinished, so I can still meet and know more Irish people. This is similar to "Have you ever..." questions.



    With regard to your last question, I think most native speakers would not say the phrase the way you put it because that would be attaching more importance to the people you have known than the ones you do.

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    #43

    Re: I`ve a good knowledge of English. - Have I really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Ben View Post
    I think you may not be fully understanding what Airone meant (and I don't think he explained this either): he doesn't currently know all of the people he has ever known. I lived in Ireland for 5 years and knew dozens of people while I was there, I keep in touch with many of them but not all of them. So I can talk about the Irish people I know and the ones I've known.

    We use the present perfect in this case because the implied time period (my life) is unfinished, so I can still meet and know more Irish people. This is similar to "Have you ever..." questions.



    With regard to your last question, I think most native speakers would not say the phrase the way you put it because that would be attaching more importance to the people you have known than the ones you do.

    Dear Mr Ben,

    As no ordinary mortal is ever immune to the possibility of misunderstanding, I`m so grateful that there are people like you who endeavour to point out what that misunderstanding might be due to. In order to rule out any further misunderstanding from the outset, let me state hat I absolutely do see your point both in your first para except for the last sentence, and in your second para. Thus, we don`t need to come back to that anymore.

    The problem is, however, as it seems to me, that we tend to have different ideas of what the denotation (i.e. the semantic meaning) of the verb "to know" is. I can`t see why you insinuate not to know people you once met in Ireland, but with whom you are no more in touch. Despite the interrupted contacts with them you still do know them. And that very state (states per se are lasting (not everlasting), comp. the verb character of stative verbs) will last until they will fall in oblivion by way of a defective memory or death. The first line of your second para goes: "We use the present perfect (pp) in this case because the implied time period (my life) is unfinished ..." That`s it exactly! We are talking about a life time experience. So, it does not matter at all whether we are still in touch with them. It doesn`t change the fact that you know them. As part of your personal experience (meeting them) they are, so to speak, perpetuated in your memory, consciousness, mind. This fact is confirmed by your second statement, second para. It is really similar to a question of that pattern: "Have you ever been to Ireland?" The question makes sense only if at the moment of asking you are no more there. But your former stay there, everything you saw and learned is still there inside you, although the details may fade away in the course of time. In either case the result is still present: 1) You met somebody - you know him/her. 2) You were there - you know what it is like.
    And there is something else I`d like to draw your attention to. If as in Airone`s wording "I know or have known" the latter group refers to the ones he does no more know, why doesn`t he apply the past simple for them? And if the pp refers to that group, what does the past simple refer to then?

    Hucky

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    #44

    Re: I`ve a good knowledge of English. - Have I really?

    If as in Airone`s wording "I know or have known" the latter group refers to the ones he does no more know, why doesn`t he apply the past simple for them?
    His knowing of them is part of his life experience. He is not restricting the experience. He could have chosen to say 'I used to know', establishing that he no longer knows them; he could have said 'I knew (when I worked with them)'; but he chose to say 'I have known'.

    'Grammar as choice' is one of the features of English that can prove fascinating to some people and irritating to others. It differs from 'Grammar as fact' (the plural of 'child' is 'children', not 'childs; the third person singular form of the present simple of lexical verbs ends in -()es, etc ). Many of the 'rules' about tense usage presented in course books and elementary grammars are merely guidelines - they show how most native speakers have been observed to use the rules most of the time.

    Airone's sentence was completely natural.

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    #45

    Re: I`ve a good knowledge of English. - Have I really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    The problem is, however, as it seems to me, that we tend to have different ideas of what the denotation (i.e. the semantic meaning) of the verb "to know" is. I can`t see why you insinuate not to know people you once met in Ireland, but with whom you are no more in touch. Despite the interrupted contacts with them you still do know them.
    Do I really know them or do I just know them? What about the kids I went to school with from age 5-10? I don't know anything about them now; I've moved around a lot since then. Even high school was a long time ago, and it would take quite a bit of getting to know each other again before I didn't feel like an acquaintance from that era was more than a stranger.

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    #46

    Re: I`ve a good knowledge of English. - Have I really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Ben View Post
    Do I really know them or do I just know them? What about the kids I went to school with from age 5-10? I don't know anything about them now; I've moved around a lot since then. Even high school was a long time ago, and it would take quite a bit of getting to know each other again before I didn't feel like an acquaintance from that era was more than a stranger.
    Dear Mr_Ben,

    You are right, of course, that there are different degrees of knowledge. It goes without saying that knowing an object can never mean knowing everything about it down to the tiniest element of it. This is for obvious epistemological reasons impossible for a limited subject to realize every possible aspect of a principally infinite world. Moreover, what seems to be firm knowledge at one time may turn out to be incomplete or even deceptive. Although it is an ontological fact that we know in part only, we rightly use the notion of knowledge to be applied to real objects of the outside world. This being said, no one would ever expect someone to know everything down to the very secret corners of a personīs heart, if the former stated to know somebody. This way you donīt even know your most intimate family members or closest friends, not even yourself! So, in everyday terms we use the verb to know when we mean to say that we identify a person as the one he or she really is. Applying this to the example of the guys you once knew in Ireland, you could still identify them as the ones they are, at least as imprinted in your memory. So, the latter are the ones you know by virtue of their vivid images in your mind as opposed to those you are still in touch with. But you know them all. Both groups are the ones you have known, arenīt they? If sooner or later the imprint in your mind is next to deleted, wouldnīt you refer this case to the past by saying: I once knew a very strange crank, I canīt remember his name, nor his looks, but he used to have a very special spleen being a self-opinionated know-all. This is true of your primary schoolmates, whom you might not even realize in the street. So, you once knew them, but in a way you still know them as the ones they used to be, as the ones they live on in your memory in connection with numerous events and common experiences.

    Again, in concrete terms, what difference would it make to you to say:
    1) The people I have known and know.
    2) The people I (once) knew and (still) know.

    Hucky

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    #47

    Re: I`ve a good knowledge of English. - Have I really?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    His knowing of them is part of his life experience. He is not restricting the experience. He could have chosen to say 'I used to know', establishing that he no longer knows them; he could have said 'I knew (when I worked with them)'; but he chose to say 'I have known'.

    'Grammar as choice' is one of the features of English that can prove fascinating to some people and irritating to others. It differs from 'Grammar as fact' (the plural of 'child' is 'children', not 'childs; the third person singular form of the present simple of lexical verbs ends in -()es, etc ). Many of the 'rules' about tense usage presented in course books and elementary grammars are merely guidelines - they show how most native speakers have been observed to use the rules most of the time.

    Airone's sentence was completely natural.
    Closer reading should have revealed to you that what you write in your opening line does not deviate in the least from the position I hold. What you go on writing is a commonplace. Again, if you mean to reply to someone – I am still inclined to suppose you intend to do so selectively – it would be recommendable to familiarize with the given issue first. This would have prevented you from overlooking that I am well aware of alternative tenses to be used here. Quote fivejedjon: “… but he chose to say 'I have known'.” - You donīt say! What Iīm aiming at, however, is not that he chose to do so, which is as clear as day, but why he did so in contrast to other options! Once more, even your last statement is out of the question here, it is none of our subjects. As to your main passage, which is not worth enlarging upon, not even in comparable terms, let me just assure you that I do not receive it as impertinence. Reasoning has made available more adequate categories to subsume it under. Once you are given to argue against a proposition, you prefer to argue with the one who holds it instead. You refer to your age when it comes to reply to a query in a factual manner, but you are not too old to run down the person who dares question your position. And what is that: a native speaker – let alone his age – who prides himself on his superiority over a non-native speaker – isnīt that simply childish? Therefore, I was, properly, not going to do so, but as you go on that way, Iīm afraid I have to remind you please to stick to the promise you have given several times.

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    #48

    Re: I`ve a good knowledge of English. - Have I really?

    Why would I say the following?

    1) The people I know
    • to talk about people I know now


    2) The people I knew
    • to talk about people I knew during a finished time period: at university, when I lived in Ireland


    3) The people I have known
    • to talk about people I knew during an unfinished time period: generally, in my life


    4) The people I know and have known
    • to talk about people I know now and all the people I knew at different times in the past (which I'm now lumping together into the unfinished time, my life)


    5) The people I know and knew
    • doesn't make sense. I can't think of a situation where I would be talking about my life in general but then compartmentalize and separate portions of it in the same utterance. I can imagine a conversation like, "Do you know any professional athletes?" "Well, I have a student who's a professional football player. Oh, and I knew a guy once who went on to be a pro baseball player. So I guess I've known two."


    This exercise would be much easier if you had examples of people using the utterance you are interested in and then we could analyze them together rather than the other way around. Asking people to use specific phrases can lead to inauthentic use and unfounded generalizations based on limited input.

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    #49

    Re: I`ve a good knowledge of English. - Have I really?

    OK, I've found a couple possible scenarios for 5) from above

    • someone on his/her deathbed
    • someone serving a life sentence in prison
    • an astronaut on a crazy suicide mission in space


    In the first example, the person sees their life as being finished. In the second and third, the people have a reason to disconnect their current life from a past part of their lives.

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    #50

    Re: I`ve a good knowledge of English. - Have I really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Ben View Post
    Why would I say the following?

    1) The people I know
    • to talk about people I know now


    2) The people I knew
    • to talk about people I knew during a finished time period: at university, when I lived in Ireland


    3) The people I have known
    • to talk about people I knew during an unfinished time period: generally, in my life


    4) The people I know and have known
    • to talk about people I know now and all the people I knew at different times in the past (which I'm now lumping together into the unfinished time, my life)


    5) The people I know and knew
    • doesn't make sense. I can't think of a situation where I would be talking about my life in general but then compartmentalize and separate portions of it in the same utterance. I can imagine a conversation like, "Do you know any professional athletes?" "Well, I have a student who's a professional football player. Oh, and I knew a guy once who went on to be a pro baseball player. So I guess I've known two."


    This exercise would be much easier if you had examples of people using the utterance you are interested in and then we could analyze them together rather than the other way around. Asking people to use specific phrases can lead to inauthentic use and unfounded generalizations based on limited input.

    Whilst at your nos. 1-3 with just one predicate your supposition is based on one group of people, there are in no. 4 with two predicates also two groups, which is absolutely coherent. Yet, although you have two predicates in no. 5 you seem to assume just one group of people as if the latter was composed of those you know and those you once knew. On this condition it doesnīt make sense, of course not, how could it? Just like in no. 4 we talk about two different groups of people. Otherwise there would be no basis for a comparison between nos. 4 and 5. So in no. 5 we talk about people I know and people I knew, two separate groups. Now the statement itself and the comparison with its counterpart in no. 4 do make sense.

    But there is more. Pay attention to the linguistic means you apply to explain (B) the example sentences (A), in particular to the tenses.

    ref. no. 3) A) The people I have known (present perfect)
    B) to talk about people I knew during an unfinished time period: generally, in my life (past simple)
    ref. no. 4) The people I know and have known (second predicate: present perfect)

    B) to talk about people I know now and all the people I knew at different times in the past (which I'm now lumping together into the unfinished time, my life) (past simple)

    This allows but one conclusion: You consider the present perfect a past tense. And then it is consistent to say: People I know and have known (two groups). But again: What is the difference with: People I know and people I knew (two groups)?

    ref. no 5) Your explanation couldnīt better confirm the point Iīve been making from the outset. Quote: "Well, I have a student who's a professional football player. Oh, and I knew a guy once who went on to be a pro baseball player. So I guess I've known two." (verb tenses – my emphasis)

    In other terms, the present perfect is a tense that comprises a past and a present event / action / state, all under one umbrella. Thatīs the very essence of this tense.

    Thank you for your propositions! Please, correct me if Iīm mistaken.

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