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    #1

    Problems with past time reference and phrases

    Hello everyone,
    1.I've got a problem with defining which elements in the sentence below are NPs:
    'Very few people have visited this neighbourhood in recent years '

    2. Could you also tell me how the past time reference is achieved in both main and subordinate clauses in:
    'John must have chosen the wrong exist when he was leaving the motorway'?

    I will be grateful!

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    #2

    Re: Problems with past time reference and phrases

    Welcome to the forum.

    What are NPs?

    Please ask unrelated questions in separate threads.

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    #3

    Re: Problems with past time reference and phrases

    Thank you and sorry, I didn't know!

    By NP I meant Noun Phrases.

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    #4

    Re: Problems with past time reference and phrases

    What's your problem with the NPs? Surely, the second is the tenses, isn't it? There's nothing else that refers to past time.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Problems with past time reference and phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxygenium View Post
    Hello everyone,
    1.I've got a problem with defining which elements in the sentence below are NPs:
    'Very few people have visited this neighbourhood in recent years '

    2. Could you also tell me how the past time reference is achieved in both main and subordinate clauses in:
    'John must have chosen the wrong exist when he was leaving the motorway'?

    I will be grateful!
    The place to start when looking for noun phrases is identifying nouns. Can you identify the nouns in your first sentence?

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    #6

    Re: Problems with past time reference and phrases

    1.Obviously I can. I'd say that in this sentence there are 3 NPs, but it's not true and I don't know why. I'd say that: very few people, this neighbourhood and recent years are noun phrases, but they're not.

    2. It isn't actually the tense here that makes the past reference, especially in 'must have chosen'. It seems to me it's a perfect aspect which is achieved by the use of base form of have after modal must. But I'm not sure unfortunately.

    I'm sorry I didn't write that, but it's descriptive, not prescriptive grammar, so it's more about the description of English, not the general rules.

    Thanks for all your help!

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Problems with past time reference and phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxygenium View Post
    1.Obviously I can. I'd say that in this sentence there are 3 NPs, but it's not true and I don't know why. I'd say that: very few people, this neighbourhood and recent years are noun phrases, but they're not.

    2. It isn't actually the tense here that makes the past reference, especially in 'must have chosen'. It seems to me it's a perfect aspect which is achieved by the use of base form of have after modal must. But I'm not sure unfortunately.

    I'm sorry I didn't write that, but it's descriptive, not prescriptive grammar, so it's more about the description of English, not the general rules.

    Thanks for all your help!
    Who told you they were not noun phrases?

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    #8

    Re: Problems with past time reference and phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxygenium View Post
    I'd say that in this sentence there are 3 NPs, but it's not true and I don't know why.
    For those who use these terms, "in recent years", being headed by a preposition, is, I think, a preposition phrase.
    Last edited by 5jj; 20-Jan-2014 at 02:10. Reason: typo

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Problems with past time reference and phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    For those who use these trms, "in recent years", being headed by a preposition, is, I think, a preposition phrase.
    Yes, but it can be said that a "noun phrase" is the object of the preposition in that "prepositional phrase". It all depends on how thin one wants to slice it.

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    #10

    Re: Problems with past time reference and phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Yes, but it can be said that a "noun phrase" is the object of the preposition in that "prepositional phrase". It all depends on how thin one wants to slice it.
    I would have said the same thing.

    In recent year - prepositional phrase.
    recent years - noun phrase
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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