Results 1 to 5 of 5

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 133
    #1

    tense

    Whenever I met one of them who seemed to me at all clear-sighted,I tried the experiment of showing him my Drawying Number One, which I have always kept. I would try to find out, so , if this was a person of true understanding. But, whoever it was, he, or she, would always say: "That's a hat."
    Then I would never talk to that person about boar constrictor, or primeval forests, or stars. I would bring myself down to his level. I would talk to him about bridge, and gold, and politics, and neckties. And the grown-up would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man. ( from The Little Prince)


    Question 1) The tenses before which I have always kept are all the past tenses. Why is which I have always kept the past perfect?

    Question 2) Why are would's used above? Isn't just the past tense enough?
    What I mean is I tried to find out ~ instead of I would try to find out ~.
    Also, Then I never talked to that person about boar constrictor~ instead of I would never talk ~ .
    I talked to him about bridge ~ instead of I would talk to him about bridge ~.
    And the grown-up was greatly pleased to ~ instead of And the grown-up would be greatly pleased ~ .

    Is there any meaning added when would is used?

    Give me a clear explanation, please~.

  1. Philly's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 620
    #2

    Re: tense

    Hi Siruss
    .
    1.
    "Have always kept" is the present perfect. This is used in order to tell you that the author still has the drawing up to "now" (now = the time at which he is telling the story)
    .
    2.
    The word 'would' is used in this context to talk about things that were done habitually in the past.


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 58
    #3

    Unhappy Re: tense

    1. if you re-arrange "always have kept" then 'always' as an adverb go before 'have kept'. We use past simple when something has already happened, e.g. met (taken place). We use present perfect "have kept' to say about something that has been happening (up to the present), in this case that drawing is still 'being kept'.
    2.'would' is used when you look back on your past and remember things that often happened or when we want something to happen. Often, it is tied in with 'wish' word; e.g. 'I wish.... then I would ..."


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 133
    #4

    Re: tense

    Thank both of you so much for clear explanation.
    The meaning of would is different, though.
    Anyway, your explanations helped a lot.
    Thanks again.

  2. Philly's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 620
    #5

    Re: tense

    You're welcome, Siruss.
    .
    Here is a bit more information about the use of 'would' in your text:
    .
    The author uses 'would' to indicate that this is what he always/normally did or what always/normally happened in the situations he mentions. This idea of always or normally is the "habitual action" that I referred to in my first post.
    .
    One of your sentences even includes the word 'always' with the word 'would':
    "But, whoever it was, he, or she, would always say: "That's a hat."
    .
    In other words, "would always say" = "always said". No matter who it was, the people always said/would say the same thing.

Similar Threads

  1. present perfect tense & present perfect continuous tense
    By *zaizai~love* in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 30-Oct-2008, 23:06
  2. present perfect tense
    By svartnik in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 15-Dec-2006, 13:16
  3. How would you define the future time?
    By shun in forum Linguistics
    Replies: 143
    Last Post: 13-Oct-2006, 01:20
  4. Do we have future tense?
    By shun in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Oct-2003, 17:06

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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