Page 2 of 3 First 1 2 3 Last
Results 11 to 20 of 22
  1. Moderator
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 18,340
    #11

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Balderdash!
    I'm upset about this, too — but of course, you're both wrong.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 16,656
    #12

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Before we really do have a fight, I'll get back to the topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    I found a high school English teacher in Poland who teaches their students that could is the past simple form of can, and could have past participle is the past perfect simple form of can.
    As could can sometimes function as the past-tense form of can, the first claim is not catastrophic, though it does tend to make learners think that I could go yesterday evening is the past-time form of I can go this evening.

    The claim that could have + past participle is the past perfect of can is just wrong. No serious writer or teacher would accept that. Perfect-aspect forms in English are constructed with auxiliary HAVE and the past participle of the full verb, as you know. Thus, in I could have worked, have worked is a perfect (infinitive) form of the verb WORK. There may not be general agreement on a name for such forms as could have worked (I go for modal perfect), but that does not matter. If it were a past perfect of can, it would be constructed from had followed by the past participle of can (which does not exist).
    I have many problems with that line of thinking.
    You'll just have to try to ignore them.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 31-May-2020 at 19:22. Reason: Fix typos.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 70,109
    #13

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Balderdash!
    Quite right, sir- squabbling about aitch and haitch comes before any discussion of whether there is a future tense in English. And you are quite right about your being quite right about everything. My apologies.

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 70,109
    #14

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    I found a high school English teacher in Poland who teaches their students that could is the past simple form of can, and could have past participle is the past perfect simple form of can.
    Do they unlink tense from time in English- you can use could for present and future time.

  5. Senior Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Apr 2019
    • Posts: 1,119
    #15

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Do they unlink tense from time in English- you can use could for present and future time.
    It's complicated. The grammatical term for tense in Polish is the same as the word for time. Many students confuse the two, especially that most English teachers in Poland teach English using the Polish language, including the one Polish word for both time and tense.

    English teachers in Poland seem to prefer the approach that each combination of tense and aspect is a separate structure that has nothing to do with other combinations of the two. I don't know if it's meant to make the appearance that the English language is absurdly complicated and has a ridiculous number of tenses, discouraging learners from learning it, and making it seem alien, but that's the effect they achieve by doing so.

    Most learners when asked what they struggle with say that it's the tenses. When asked how many tenses there are in the English language, students typically say either 12 or 16 because that's how they were taught. At the same time, when asked how many tenses there are in the Polish language, they almost uniformly say 3 (which is bollocks; Polish has an aspect almost equivalent to the continuous/progressive aspect). It's not uncommon to meet with the opinion along the lines of "Why the bad word does this language have so many tenses? Polish has just 3 and it's enough."

    I don't know if the fact that people aren't taught squat about how even their native language works at all has anything to do with it, but I believe it does contribute to the confusion quite a lot.

    Language education in Poland is a mess, and by all means, this mess is about as effective in helping people learn a foreign language as a fork is effective in letting you eat soup.

    I'm done with my rant for a moment.
    Last edited by Glizdka; 01-Jun-2020 at 14:51.

  6. Moderator
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 18,340
    #16

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    Language education in Poland is a mess, and by all means, this mess is about as effective in helping people learn a foreign language as a fork is effective in letting you eat soup.
    I wonder how much it's changed over the years. My maternal grandmother learned French as a schoolgirl in Łodz over a hundred years ago and became fluent enough to have no problems with the language when she lived in Paris and then Montreal after WWII. My mother always said she had a terrible accent, though, and attributed it to Polish teaching practices which she said paid no attention at all to the spoken language.

    Institutions move very slowly, but one can hope Polish teachers have learned at least a little in more than a century.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. Senior Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Apr 2019
    • Posts: 1,119
    #17

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    English, as a school subject in Poland, doesn't even come close to teaching anything about pronunciation.

    My favorite example of how bad our school system is at teaching pronunciation is that majority of English teachers in Poland pronounce the word continuous (which, for obvious reasons, they use on a daily basis, in front of their students) the way you would expect them to pronounce the word continues. Some time ago, I wrote a post on this forum because an English teacher in Poland mocked me for pronouncing the word correctly.

    If my frustration reaches the sufficient levels, and I organize my thoughts to something more readable than a rant, I might write a post about "Why I think language education in Poland is fruitless". The best evidence of it is how absolutely terrified most students are when I just want to casually talk to them in this language (deer in the headlights).

  8. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 70,109
    #18

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    It's complicated. The grammatical term for tense in Polish is the same as the word for time. Many students confuse the two, especially that most English teachers in Poland teach English using the Polish language, including the one Polish word for both time and tense.
    That's a common problem and affects our understanding of English verbs badly.

  9. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 16,656
    #19

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer


    In my opinion, many of the problems learners encounter with the English tense system are cause by the long-held belief, (erroneous in my view) that there is a close relationship between tense and time. This is simply not true. Glizdka may be interested in some notes I wrote a few years ago about the way grammarians over the centuries have expressed their thoughts on tense and time.Some problems with the meanings of the word tense and time


    The large number of (near-) synonyms in English and the reason for this have been noted by many writers, for example: “The richness of English in synonyms is largely due to the happy mingling of Latin, French and native elements,” (Baugh and Cable (1935/1993.182) Thus time, from the old English tima, and tense, from the Old French tens/temps (= time) have coexisted at least since the first use (1315) of tense recorded by the OED


    Originally both words were used in the temporal sense, though the OED now notes that the use of tense in this sense is obsolete or archaic, the last convincing citation (apart from one from James Joyce in 1922) being from 1509. The use of time in the grammatical sense is labelled obsolete by the OED. It was first recorded in 1530, and was still being used by Cobbett in 1819 (p 43). In the form tens, tense is recorded as being first used in the grammatical sense in 1388. Some early writers on grammar used only time, some only tense, and some both, often in some form such as “There are five Tenʃes, or Times” (Ash, 1763/1785.39). Despite some early dislike for tense - “[...] ſeveral Times, which our Engliʃh Grammarians have by a barborous Word call’d Tenʃes)” (Gildon and Brightland (1711/1746.104)) – tense is now the word almost universally used in English.


    It seems clear from these early grammars that the writers understood a difference in meaning between tense/time in the grammatical sense, and time in the temporal sense. The fact that they could have more than three tenses/times for the three temporal categories of past, present and future, (see Ash's words, above) is itself evidence for this. Similarly, writers in languages that do not have separate words for tense and time appear to separate the two concept effectively.


    As early writers on English grammar were heavily influenced by earlier English and Roman writers on Latin grammar, themselves influenced by Classical Greek grammarians, often using the same grammatical terminology, albeit translated, it seems likely that the words time and tense were used because the Roman writers used tempus, the Latin translation of the Greek χρόνος. Exactly why the first Greek grammarian chose this word for inflected forms of the verb, is not clear, given that “In Greek, however, although time does bear upon the meaning of tense, the primary consideration of the tense of the verb is not time, but rather the 'kind of action' that the verb portrays. “The most important element in Greek tense is kind of action; time is regarded as a secondary element.” (http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/verbs1.htm#TENSE )




    Why some reference books claim that tense is in some way or other “grammaticalised expression of location in time”(Comrie (1984.9))


    A correlation of tense and time has been a feature of English dictionaries and other works of reference from Samuel Johnson onwards:


    TENSE. [In grammar.] Tenʃe, inſtrict ſpeaking, is only a variation of the verb to ſignify time. (Johnson, S (1755))


    GRAMMAR [...] a change may be produced in the time [of the verb], as in theʃe examples: I do write, SCRIBO; I did write, SCRIPSI, I ʃhall write, SCRIBAM, &c. The variations produced from this cauʃe have been called TENSES. (Encyclopædia Britannica (1771.729))


    TENSE = In grammar, time, or a particular form of a verb, or a combination of words, used to express the time of action, or of that which is affirmed; or tense is an inflection of verbs by which they are made to signify or distinguish the time of actions or events. (Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (1828))


    Tense: That form or modification of the verb by which time is expressed. (Stormonth (1871.1881))


    tense. One of the forms which a verb takes by inflection or by adding auxiliary words, so as to indicate the time of the action or event signified; the modification which verbs undergo for the indication of time. (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913))


    tense: 1: a distinction of form in a verb to express past, present, or future time or duration of the act or state it denotes. (Websters Third New International (1961/1993))


    tense: Any one of the different forms or modifications (or word-groups) in the conjugation of a verb which indicate the different time (past, present, or future) at which the action or state denoted by iyis viwed as happening or existing, and also (by extension) the different nature of such action or state, as continuing (imperfect) or completed (perfect).(Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1971/1989))

    The fact that ‘tense’ is defined in such ways would suggest that writers on grammar had used the word with this meaning. Note: as will be seen from some of the quotations in the Appendix to thee notes, some writers in this section appear to speak of tenses in general as exclusively related to time.


    Zandvoort(1957.58-61) for example, who apparently considers tenses as something “whose main function is to denote the TIME at which an action takes place” , nonetheless distinguishes between the neutral, iterative and actual uses of the simple present tense, and the continuative, resultative and experience uses of the perfect tense. He also recognise what he calls he modal preterite’ to express “a contrast between reality and desirability or mere supposistion.” He has moved beyond the boundaries of pure time.


    Huddleston and Pullum discuss irrealis and the politeness/diffidence implicature (2002.138), but are clear in their belief that tense is basically concerned with time.


    Writers appear in this section therefore because of the ways that illustrate tense in use rather than by the way they define the word. Indeed, some, e.g.. Aitken (1992), make no attempt to define the word in any way. These writers do not appear in the Appendix



    While writers from 1737 onwards have, in their discussions on the ways in which the tenses are used, not suggested a close connection between the word tense and the three (past, present and future) times, they have frequently, when they have explained the word itself, appeared to suggest that there is a close connection. Lexicographers therefore have some justification for the ways in which they have defined tense in terms of time.

    Typoman - writer of rongs

  10. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 16,656
    #20

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Appendix




    Bullokar (1586.24) appears to be clear:

    Thér be threʾ Týmƺ calʾed Tencʾeƺ. The tým that iƺ Now, calʾed the Preſent-Tencʾ: aƺ, I lou. The tým Paſt, calʾed the Preter-Tencʾ: aƺ, I loued. The tým Too Com, calʾed the Futur-Tencʾ: aƺ, I ſhalʾ or wilʾ lou.



    He may have been clear about the synonymity of the words time and tense, but he was less clear about the number of tenses. He considers that his present and preter tenses had two forms, one with and one without DO, which we would now call an auxiliary verb. He also differentiates between the preter tense (I lived/did love), the preter-perfect tense (I have loved) and the preter-plu-perfect tense (I had loved). To this list of five, he also adds a ‘doubtful future’ (The present tense used for future events). But, however many tenses he thought there were, it is clear from Bullokar’s writing that he considered them as being primarily concerned with time.


    Hume (1617.21):

    Tyme is an affection of the verb noating the differences of tyme, and is either present, past, or to cum.



    Jonson (1640/1816.304):

    Time is the difference of a verb by the present, past and future, or to come. A verb finite therefore hath three only times, and those always imperfect.

    Ash
    (1768/1785.39)

    Theſe Formations of the ſeveral Tenſes ſeem to have Reſpect both to the Time and State of the Action ſignified by the Verb.



    Gildon and Brightland (1711/1746.104):

    But there are but three ʃimple Tenses or Times the preʃent, as amo, I love; the Paʃt, as amavi, I have loved; and the Future, as amabo, I will (or ʃhallʃ) love.

    Greenwood (1737/1763.58):

    As for Tenʃes or Times, the natural or proper number is three. becauſe all Time is either paʃt, preʃent, or to come; [...] If we conſider whether an action be perfect or imperfect, we may make ſix Tenʃes or Times.

    Harris (1751.119-120):

    The TENSES are used to mark Preſent, Paſt, and Future time, either indefinitely without reference to any Beginning, Middle, or End; or elſe definitely in reference to ſuch diſtinctions.


    Buchanan (1762.127) draws attentions to what we would now call continuous or progressive forms:

    [...] When Continuation of The Action is ſignified”, but does not explicitly include these forms in his list of tenses (p 107): The moſt natural Diviſion of Time is into Preſent, Paſt, and Future,[...]. But the common Number of Times are five, viz. The Preſent, the Preter-imperfect, the Preter-perfect, the Preter-pluperfect, and the Future.

    Lowth (1762.55-56):

    But in diſcourſe we have often occaſion to ſpeak of Time not only as Preſent, Paſt and Future at large and indeterminately, but alſo as ſuch with ſome particular diſtinction and limitation; that is, as paſſing or finiſhed, as imperfect or perfect.



    Murray (1795./1852.60):

    The present, past, and future tenses may be used either definitely or indefinitely, both with respect to time and action.

    Maetzner(1874.22):

    Alle Thätigkeit wird in irgend einer Zeit verwirklicht gedacht; Des Zeitwort drückt in seine einfachen oder zzusammengesetzten Formen zugleich die Beziehung der Thätigkeit und eine in allgemeiner Weise bestimmte Zeit aus. (All activity is thought realised in time The verb, in its simple or compound forms expresses the relation of the activity to a time defined in a general manner.)


    Angus(1870.207):

    ‘Tense’ [...]means time, and the word is used to mark that form of the verb which shows the time in which an action is performed. [...]
    Comparing forms like ‘I wrote’ and ‘I was writing’it is evident that while both express past time they differ in the duration they imply..Hence the distinctions of ‘actual’ time and ‘essential’;The first may be called past indefinite, aorist, or actual; the second is time continuous or essential.


    Sweet (1892/1900.97):

    Tense is primarily the grammatical expression of distinctions of time”. However, he notes (p.105) “[...] we need not be surprised to find tenses sometimes used to express ideas which have no connection at all with distinctions of time”, giving as an example a “preterite [...] expressing hypothesis as opposed to a statement of fact.



    Daniel (1904.75):

    Tense [...] is that form which a verb assumes to indicate 910 the time of the action or state denoted by the verb, and (2) the completeness or incompleteness of the action or state.


    Onions (1904):

    All the tenses ennumerated above have corresponding Continuous forms; these describe an action as going on or a state as existing at some point or during some period, or as having been continued up to some point of time present, past, or future.



    Kruisinga (1911/1931.II.1.129) does not relate tense to time as closely as some other writers of the time.

    The traditional term present tense has been retained here. although its usefulness is very doubtful in English.

    He uses the word ‘preterite’ of the form that includes “
    two entirely unrelated functions of the verbal [ɪd]: (1) as a past tense; (2) as a modal form” (p.22). He appears to be one of the first writers to use the words ‘remote/remoteness’ of this tense.

    [The narrative past tense] is used to express hesitation by making the idea expressed more remote. Thus we say, I thought he was to lecture next week, when something has occurred to make us doubt the correctness of the expression
    The past tense is similarly used if a writer wishes to dissociate himself from stating a fact.
    [...] The past tense of remoteness leads by imperceptible stages to the case when the idea of past time is completely absent. When we say: I called to ask you, if you would join us, the preterite would seem to be more polite or modest [...].”


    To his ‘Preterite of Modesty', Kruisinga adds the use of the preterite to “express what is thought of as contrary to fact: as an irrealis.


    Poutsma (1926.205-284) devotes a great deal of attention to relating the use of tenses to time- spheres (including a pre-anterior past and a post-posterior future). He does mention that, for example, the present tense can be used of past and future situations and that, in conditional sentences, we use “tense-forms which are at variance with the time-sphere of the predication” (p.164), but this does not affect his basic idea of the primary relationship between tense and time.


    Jespersen (1931/1954.1) warns: "It is important to keep the two concepts time and tense strictly apart". While he does consider tense to be “[...] the linguistic expressions of time-relations”, he recognises that “such forms serve not only for time-relations but also for other purposes.” In using the word ‘preterit’ for what is often called the ‘past (simple)’ tense, he explicitly keeps tense and time strictly apart, and regrets that “it is not possible to have such simple forms for the other divisions”.


    Bodmer (1944/1987.103 ):

    In reality the tense forms of a verb have no single clear-cut function
    Typoman - writer of rongs

Page 2 of 3 First 1 2 3 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •