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    #1

    "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Can I say that present perfect simple is a misnomer if I think that simple means there is no aspect, and perfect is an aspect?

    I understand that it's meant to help distinguish this structure from the present perfect continuous/progressive.

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    #2

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    I agree that it is a misnomer.

    I generally speak of the present perfect and the present perfect progressive. If I need to be clear, I refer to the non-progressive form of the present perfect.

    For me there are only two simple forms, present and past.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #3

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    For me there are only two simple forms, present and past.
    Would you agree that forms with modal verbs without an aspect (perfect, progressive) could be called simple forms, but they deserve a third, separate group?

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    #4

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    For me, a simple form is a single-word tensed form. The word 'simple' is not relevant to modal structures.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  5. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    Would you agree that forms with modal verbs without an aspect (perfect, progressive) could be called simple forms, but they deserve a third, separate group?
    I don't think I've understood the question. What are 'modal verbs without an aspect'?

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    #6

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I don't think I've understood the question. What are 'modal verbs without an aspect'?
    The way I like to think of modal verbs is that they are separate from the rest because sentences with them don't follow the usual patterns. For example, if I want to use the perfect aspect with a modal verb, inversion and negation behave differently from normal verbs.

    Normal verbs:
    Affirmative: subject → have → past participle
    Negative: subject → have → not → past participle
    Interrogative: have → subject → past participle
    Modal verbs:
    Affirmative: subject → modal → have → past participle
    Negative: subject → modal → not → past participle
    Interrogative: modal → subject → have → past participle
    There's something that I've noticed in some learners. They learn that, say, the present perfect uses haven't for negation, and they try to do that with modal verbs.

    I could haven't done it ↔ I couldn't have done it
    The analogous happens for some learners when they try to use inversion.

    Have I could done it? ↔ Could I have done it?
    This makes me think that modal verbs should deserve their own, separate group, as in calling "I could have done it" a past perfect construction is confusing for many learners because the construction doesn't follow the pattern learners get familiar with when learning about the past perfect in case of non-modal verbs.

    I believe that constructions with modal verbs are neither present nor past constructions, or at least they shouldn't be called as such because it's confusing for learners; they're their own thing. Can I think of it like that? Can I think of "I could have done it" as a modal perfect construction, rather than a [tense] perfect construction? If so, can I think of a construction with a modal verb but without an aspect as a modal simple construction?
    Last edited by Glizdka; 31-May-2020 at 04:48.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    But we don't call them 'past perfect constructions'. Who says we do?

    We might call them 'perfect modals' or 'past modals'.

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    #8

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    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.

    I have many problems with that line of thinking.

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    #9

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    Can I say that present perfect simple is a misnomer if I think that simple means there is no aspect, and perfect is an aspect?

    I understand that it's meant to help distinguish this structure from the present perfect continuous/progressive.
    Yes, you can, but don't expect everyone to agree with you. Naming verb forms in English is one of the quickest ways to start an online fight.

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    #10

    Re: "Present perfect simple" is a misnomer

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Naming verb forms in English is one of the quickest ways to start an online fight.
    Balderdash!

    Anyone with at least half a brain knows that only the names I use are the correct ones. There is no need to fight those who show their ignorance by disagreeing with me - just delete their posts.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 31-May-2020 at 17:08. Reason: Fixed typo
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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