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    #1

    Tense - so difficult ~~

    (A) Cell phones seem to have achieved the status of having the shortest life cycle of all the electronic consumer products.


    (B) Cell phones have now achieved the status of having the shortest life cycle of all the electronic consumer products.

    Is (A) equal to (B) in terms of tense ? If so, would please explain ?

    In my opinion , (A) is " It seems that Cell phones achieved the the status of having the shortest life cycle of all the electronic consumer products. "

    That is, the word " achieved " is past tense , but " have achieved " is present perfect tense.

    If two sentenses were not the same meaning , I'd like to know the difference between them.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Tense - so difficult ~~

    The difference is that with "they seem to have", it means that it might just be a question of appearance. It might not be true. It might simply look as if it's true.
    With "they have achieved" is a statement of fact with no margin left for doubt.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Tense - so difficult ~~

    Exactly. "Seem to have" is a statement of opinion with some "wiggle room," some allowance for error.

    To say they "have achieved" is a flat declaration of fact.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Tense - so difficult ~~

    Quote Originally Posted by chanhwee View Post
    In my opinion , (A) is " It seems that Cell phones achieved the the status of having the shortest life cycle of all the electronic consumer products. "

    That is, the word " achieved " is past tense , but " have achieved " is present perfect tense.
    No, that's not right. A could mean that, but it doesn't. The context suggests that A means 'now' - it's present perfect.
    But consider:
    (A) "By 2005, cell phones seem to have achieved the status of having the shortest life cycle of all the electronic consumer products." This is not now. Is this still present perfect? It has that structure. If we didn't use "seems", we'd have "By 2005, cell phones had achieved (or achieved) the status ...". We can't say "seems to achieved" or "seems to had achieved".

    You're right that it's a difficult issue about tense. The meanings are all obvious, but I don't know the answer you ask about tense - whether "seems to have achieved" is still present perfect when it obviously refers to something far in the past. Any comments?


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    #5

    Re: Tense - so difficult ~~

    Sentence A might not be true, while sentence B is a statement / fact, so it's true. That's basically the main difference.
    Present Perfect is not used in the sentence A. This is called "perfect infinitive" and it is often used after the verb seem (or appear to) to describe events in the past.

    (A) Cell phones seem to have achieved the status of having the shortest life cycle of all the electronic consumer products.

    or

    I seem to have lost my way.
    They appear to have left.

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    #6

    Re: Tense - so difficult ~~

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, that's not right. A could mean that, but it doesn't. The context suggests that A means 'now' - it's present perfect.
    But consider:
    (A) "By 2005, cell phones seem to have achieved the status of having the shortest life cycle of all the electronic consumer products." This is not now. Is this still present perfect? It has that structure. If we didn't use "seems", we'd have "By 2005, cell phones had achieved (or achieved) the status ...". We can't say "seems to achieved" or "seems to had achieved".

    You're right that it's a difficult issue about tense. The meanings are all obvious, but I don't know the answer you ask about tense - whether "seems to have achieved" is still present perfect when it obviously refers to something far in the past. Any comments?

    Thanks for answering my poor questions.

    Firstly, thing that I really want to know is to tell (A) from (B) below.

    (A) Cell phones seem to have achieved the status of having the shortest life cycle of all the electronic consumer products.

    (B) Cell phones seem to achieve the status of having the shortest life cycle of all the electronic consumer products.


    Secondly, I want to know what the difference of meaning between (A) and (B) is .

    I'm sorry to confuse you with ambiguous questions .

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Tense - so difficult ~~

    B is unnatural. That is a very unlikely habitual event which is what is suggested by using the present tense.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #8

    Re: Tense - so difficult ~~

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Exactly. "Seem to have" is a statement of opinion with some "wiggle room," some allowance for error.

    To say they "have achieved" is a flat declaration of fact.
    I think it's a shame that the term 'indicative' seems to have gone out of fashion. This sort of verb '([they]... have achieved') indicates that something has actually happened.

    b

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