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    Re: How would you define the future time?

    Nevertheless, here are some examples:
    Ex: You do as I say.
    Ex: Please pass me the salt.
    Ex: Go in and take a look.
    Ex: I now put the chicken into the oven.

    You then wrote: Can you explain the differences between these examples?

    My reply: Why shall I explain the difference? I am pointing out the sameness in them, their characteristic. These Simple Present examples are not habitual actions, aren't they? Every day we would make countless Simple Present statements like these. They prove Simple Present doesn't relate habitual actions.
    Hello Shun

    The first three sentences are examples of imperatives. The last example is a special usage we have already covered, somewhere in the preceding 14 pages: commentary on actions of the moment, e.g. during football matches, cookery programmes, and demonstrations of one kind and another.


    Since I last posted on this thread, I've read some of your posts in other forums, on similar themes. I appreciate that this is a subject which you've considered for many years; I sense that you also find it frustrating that native posters generally disagree with your findings.

    Now I can't speak for other posters; but for myself, I find it quite difficult to access the thought behind your posts. Are you able to explain it in very small steps, to make it easier to understand? Or to point me to a thread where you have already done so?


  1. #142

    Re: How would you define the future time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowboss
    I haven't read the entire thread (14 pages!), but...
    Generally speaking, the news is about what is happening now. We're not talking about the philosophical notion of an infinitesimally small amount of time, we're talking of a definition of "now" which is useful to human beings in everyday life.
    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.

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rowboss
    This is indeed not the usual formulation ("are planning" would be expected), but the use of the present simple here emphasises the fact that it is a long process.
    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?

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rowboss
    Again, this is a state of affairs. "Come" is always used in the present simple when used to indicate someone's origins: I come from England, but I live in Germany.
    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.

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rowboss
    When "say" carries the meaning of "be of the opinion of", it is used in the present simple.
    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!!

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rowboss
    Pushing a bill through takes a lot of time and effort. During this whole process -- and, if the bill is passed, for ever afterwards -- some senators may oppose it. If the present progressive were used here, it would mean that they are opposing it now, but they might not have been opposing it on October 3rd.
    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!

    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?

  2. #143

    Re: How would you define the future time?

    In the following news, what is the difference between Simple Past opposed and Simple Present oppose?
    What is the difference between Present Perfect has already imposed and Past Perfecthad initially hoped?
    Sanctions related to North Korea nuclear case cannot be regarded as "long process" or habitual action, so why Simple Present is used? The news comes from:
    == News link may only be valid for one or two days.

    What I want to point out is, the tenses will trouble those who are seldom aware of tense in newspapers. As I have pointed out before, people just look at the news, without noticing the use of tense. As news cannot be habitual actions, Simple Present in news destroys the false theory of expressing habitual action.

    Russia, China oppose N. Korea sanctions

    UNITED NATIONS - Russia and China on Thursday opposed tough sanctions the U.S. wants to impose against North Korea this week for its claimed nuclear test, saying they want more time to work out a more moderate response to Pyongyang's nuclear brinkmanship.

    The United States and Japan, which has already imposed tough unilateral sanctions on the North to protest the reported test Monday, had initially hoped for a U.N. Security Council vote on Thursday. But if Washington wants to get China and Russia the two council nations closest to Pyongyang on board, a vote could be delayed until early next week.

    China, the North's closest ally, opposes any mention of the U.N. Charter's Chapter 7, which authorizes punishments including economic sanctions, naval blockades and military actions. China and Russia want to see sanctions focus primarily on reining in North Korea's nuclear and weapons programs.

    Beijing and Moscow also object to the wide scope of financial sanctions and a provision authorizing the inspection of cargo going in and out of North Korea, council diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks are private. There is concern among some diplomats that boarding North Korean ships could lead to a military response from the North.

    The U.S. circulated a revised draft resolution late Wednesday, formally introduced it in the Security Council on Thursday and said it would be put in a final form that can be put to a vote on Friday. Britain, France, Japan and Slovakia signed on as co-sponsors.

  3. #144

    Re: How would you define the future time?

    P.S. After I typed up the text above and posted it, I notice the news have already updated and changed a little bit. There is no contrast between Present Perfect has already imposed and Past Perfect had initially hoped anymore. But the contrast between Simple Past opposed and Simple Present oppose is still there.

    I didn't expect the news will be updated so soon. The tenses were exactly as I quoted and posted above.

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