My reply: Then you should have read it. In these 14 pages we have been trying to define what is "now" but failed to do so. What exactly is its definition? Just because it is as you say "useful to human beings in everyday life", we have to define exactly what it is, instead of keeping a everyday murmur. Please be reminded that you repeated to us the importance of defining "now", but are not defining it.Originally Posted by Rowboss
You wrote about this example:
Ex1: Several groups, including the National Abortion Federation and the Center for Reproductive Rights, plan to challenge the measure in court as soon as it is signed into law.
My reply: Be cautious of time when you explain tense. When the long process is not the case anymore, will you still use Simple Present to say it? In 14 pages I have pointed out that Simple Present expresses only present habitual action. How can we be still so loose on explaining tense? Will you use Simple Present to emphasize a past long process?Originally Posted by Rowboss
I am afraid you are arguing against the fact here. The undeniable fact is, Simple Present is used and it is perfectly alright. As I have pointed out, Present Progressive is much less used than Simple Present. Do you know the reason why?
Did you see the news I had recently quoted here? Think again if all the Simple Present structures would have used Present Progressive instead -- is it reasonable at all? It is illogical for one to put the emphasis of progression in so many sentences. As I have rationalized before, if you put emphasis on every sentence, then you nearly haven't put any emphasis on anything at all. For a context to look logical, one cannot use too many progressive tenses in it.
Look into the tenses in the newspapers beside you. Speaking of present time, Simple Present is far more frequent than Present Progressive. If Present Progressive should be ever used, the news will contain no more than one or two progressive tenses. It follows that the progression at the present time has to be expressed by Simple Present, obviously.
Ex3: The 30 new candidates come from around the world, from Australia to Zagreb, Vietnam to Venice, and on the whole follow John Paul's conservative bent.
My reply: I am afraid you are still arguing against fact. Try to search "is coming" and there are 54,500,000 exact matches. I haven't included "are coming" and 'have been coming'. What I mean is, people do use "are coming" and it is NOT "always used in the present simple". But as I say, we will not overuse the emphasis of progression -- this is the exact reason we use Simple Present.Originally Posted by Rowboss
Also, here "come" doesn't indicate someone's origin, as you have wrongly suggested. It means movement only. The fact the candidates come and go doesn't mean their origins have changed from time to time, does it?
Ex4: The Israeli government says it needs the new buildings because of the "natural growth" of the settlements. However, the "road map" does not take that into account in its blanket building freeze.
My reply: I can hardly believe that. We all know what "say" means and have to use Simple Past if we refer to yesterday's speech. Do you mean Simple Past is used in this way because the reporter judges the speaker no longer "be of the opinion of" what he said? How can a reporter do that? A reporter can never judge that, nor judge that by using Simple Past alone!!Originally Posted by Rowboss
Ex6: Nevertheless, some Democratic senators who oppose the bill, including Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), prevented the vote from occurring before the Senate began a 10-day recess on October 3. This means that the necessary Senate vote cannot occur earlier than mid-October.
My reply: They are opposing it now and the author uses Simple Present. See also the reasoning of using progression for emphasis above. I am afraid you are not aware of how frequently we use emphasis. Try to look into real newspapers!Originally Posted by Rowboss
Actually, Simple Present expresses present time. If you don't know how to define "the present time", you will still need a lot of such outrageous twists.
Many learners claim that there is no Future Tense, for they don't know how to define future time. Do you how to define future time?
Also, do you know how to define past time? Since next weekend we will still have a Yesterday that has not started yet, how can Yesterday be a past time?