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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Using tenses in Slang.

    Hi,
    My question is about using tenses in slang language. I've seen videos demonstrating how to use the correct tense.
    But I see people talking in slang and do not use it the same way or, maybe I am missing something. I've seen videos talking about using "Past Simple" and "Present Perfect" tenses and I think it conflicts with how people speak. For example, in the following context,
    "I am a writer. Writing books is my profession but it's more than that, of course. It is also my great lifelong love and fascination. And I don't expect that that's ever going to change. But, that said, something kind of peculiar has happened recently in my life and in my career, which has caused me to have to recalibrate my whole relationship with this work. And the peculiar thing is that I recently wrote this book,".

    - As you can see, Past simple and Present Perfect are both used in an alike situation with "Recently" word used, and with no specified time in the past.

    - Two questions come to my mind,...
    1- Do people use tenses grammatically correct?
    2- Are there other rules in slang?
    3- Are there no specified rule in slang, and I can say whatever I want?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Using tenses in Slang.

    "Two questions come to my mind"

    Well, I'll answer the three you've given. Maybe the third will come to your mind from my answers.
    1. Not always. The writer is not using slang however. He's just speaking very casually. His grammar is not incorrect.
    2. Apart from what?
    3. You can say whatever you want as long as you don't care about whether you are understood or not.

    There are conventions related to the use of slang. They generally would not be called rules by those who use them though. It is unfortunate that he used "recently" for both the peculiar thing that happened and for writing his book, because we don't know which came first. He could have used different tenses to make that more clear.

  3. Junior Member
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    #3

    Re: Using tenses in Slang.

    Thanks for the reply, but unfortunately I still do not get it. Let me rephrase it.
    - Would native speakers misunderstand me or look at me in a strange way when I, for example, use Past Simple tense instead of Present Perfect or Past Perfect tenses?
    - Do they use tenses in a particular way which all native speakers agree upon it?

  4. Moderator
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    #4

    Re: Using tenses in Slang.

    Non-native speakers often have trouble mastering English tenses. People will usually figure out what you mean from context, but some errors will take more effort to understand than others. It's a similar process to that of understanding a foreign accent.

    Native speakers don't always choose the same tense for a given situation, and some dialects form certain tenses a bit differently from the standard way you've been taught. In particular, some dialects have different sets of irregular past tense forms and past participles. I mentioned in another recent thread that many people in my region use come instead of came as the simple past form. It's also common to hear the reverse: came instead of come for the past participle.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Junior Member
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    #5

    Re: Using tenses in Slang.

    But, for example, if a thousand American or residents of a specific region trying to describe a specific situation in the past, will not there be at least 900 of them describe it the same way? For example, the 900 would use present perfect instead of past simple?

    - How should I learn to use the tenses to be able to use it as native speakers do? Should I just try to notic how they use them while reading or listening to them or should I learn it grammatically?

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Using tenses in Slang.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eslam Elbyaly View Post
    Do they use tenses in a particular way which all native speakers agree upon it?
    Not all but a consenting majority, the language of which these days we describe as 'standard'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eslam Elbyaly View Post
    How should I learn to use the tenses to be able to use it as native speakers do? Should I just try to notic how they use them while reading or listening to them or should I learn it grammatically?
    I don't think there's an easy answer, but if there was an easy answer, it might be: both.

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