Is there any relation between time and tense in English???
tdol said:aseel said:
There differing views of the tense system in English and Mike and I disagree about this issue. However, there is some relation. I favour the view that there are only two tenses, the present and the past and that they can be, under different circumstances, be used for past, present and future time. Given that these different views generally arrive at the same conclusion, I am not saying that one is better than the other; it's a question of choice and preference.
The present tense is used for past time to make narratives more lively, for real present time and for the planned, immediate, close or likely future. (will is a present in this view)
The past tense is used for things that are seen as more distant, so it is the natural choice for past time, used for imaginary presents and unlikely or imaginary futures. It also shows social distance (politeness).
Mike and I, and many others, have debated this point for years and not arrived at any conclusion, other than that we see things differently; I believe that there is no future tense, which he disagrees with. However, you will notice that both recognise that there is a relation with time, but it is not absolute. The main point of disagreemnt is about the future.;-)