Is Yesterday a past time?

Status
Not open for further replies.

shun

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Is Yesterday a past time? :)

If yes, I don't know how to define past. Please tell us how to recognize a time as past. As I know, many tenses are explained based on the definition of past. If we cannot define what is past, then some few tenses can be questionable, I guess.

When we were a child and could not analyze anything, we were taught that
Yesterday is a definite past time adverb (so we use Simple Past, instead of Present Perfect). But as now we have some common sense, we may ask, how to define a time as past? As long as we have Today, there is Yesterday. Since Today will not be ended and disappear, so will not Yesterday. You may say it is a relative past, but hardly a definite past. But as we shall see below, it is not even past at all.

To be fair, however, we admit there is past time. We agree 25April2003 is a past, because we don't have another 25April2003 again. It has gone and never comes back anew, so it is past. We actually understand what is past. Nevertheless, we will forever have a new
Yesterday!! If we regard 25April2003 as Yesterday, on the next day, we will call 26April2003 as Yesterday. On another day, we still have another Yesterday: 27April2003. Even today, we still have Yesterday. Deductive reasoning and common sense tell us that tomorrow we may still have another new Yesterday, so will next week. However, if in the future we still have another new Yesterday, which has not yet come by now, how can we say it is past? It is not even a past at all. :-D

If
Yesterday is forever here and never gone, how comes they say Yesterday is a past time? Even worse, how can they conclude Yesterday is a definite past?

Yesterday is just an example I use to bring up the basic question: what is the standard to define a time as past, even a definite past? The same question applies to Last Week, Last Year, etc.


Your opinion is welcome.


Shun

 
Last edited:

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
shun said:
Deductive reasoning and common sense tell us that tomorrow we may still have another new Yesterday, so will next week. However, if in the future we still have another new Yesterday, which has not yet come by now, how can we say it is past?
Your post is dated "yesterday", and in accordance with your deductive reasoning and common sense, yesterday 'has not yet come by now', so how then is anyone supposed to be able to answer your post if it doesn't exist yet?
 

shun

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Casiopea said:

Your post is dated "yesterday", and in accordance with your deductive reasoning and common sense, yesterday 'has not yet come by now', so how then is anyone supposed to be able to answer your post if it doesn't exist yet?

Sorry, I was talking about a future Yesterday. Besides the Yesterday you talked about, I still have another Yesterday in the future.:fadein:

Deductive reasoning and common sense tell me I will have another new Yesterday next week, next year, or even next decade. On one Yesterday next year, for example, are you sure I shall not post the question again if it cannot be solved this year? Of course I can again, perhaps in this forum, perhaps in other forums. Then may I ask, can anyone today try to answer my question posted on one Yesterday next year? I haven't posted it yet!

What I am asking is, for Yesterday is endless in the future, shall we regard it as a past time? Or even a definite past time?:-?

 
Last edited:
N

Neurotica

Guest
Hi there...

That would be both, unless you precise with a specific date!

Regards,

Neurotica
 

shun

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Neurotica said:
Hi there...

That would be both, unless you precise with a specific date!

Regards,

Neurotica
In any coming Yesterday, there will be also 16:26 PM.

Yesterday cannot be defined as past time.:cry:

Let's put it this way: if without Yesterday, can you define what is past?

We can't. Right. Yesterday is used to point out this confusion to you.
 

phoenixtree

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
The past refers to the time which has passed.
Yesterday has passed.
So it belongs to the past time.
 

shun

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
But next week we still have another new Yesterday, new Today, so they are not past time. That is to say, your definition cannot explain Yesterday as past.:cool:
 

JDcap

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
Malay
Home Country
Malaysia
Current Location
Malaysia
Dear friend.

In linguistic, time is not the same thing as tense. Time is an element of our experince of reality yet tense is a purely grammatical idea. According to our normal perception, time is divided into Past, Present and Future. We refer to the exact moment of speaking as "the point NOW" and the past time is time before NOW. In real time there is no such thing as 'a present period"- by definition a period must extend in time, and therefore cannot be wholly 'in" present time.

From the point of view of the language we use, it is clearly the psychological time, then way we precive the action, which is important, not what 'objectively happened" .

In teaching a language, recently the idea of a national/ functional approach has been much popular and this may be suit to the need to cater the diffrent preception of people toward some expreinces which deal with "time' and this has be pointed out by Shun.

Overall, what i can say, all of the riddles that play in ur mind might be expressed diffently with others due to pyschological time and time is not a technical term compared to tense. If ur case, the notion of "yesterday' is regard as past time if you are refering to the past events yet if you are talking about the next yesterday's" so, i would rather to ask you to see where do u stand for?i mean do ask weather u are talking about real, objective time or what we might perhaps call psychological time. Obhectively speaking any object even which happens takes acertain length of time.Besides, we cannot analyse the language a person uses independently of that person's perception of ehat happened ( as you are debating and questioning the exact status of 'yesterday" by considering the aspect of 'past time".

I hope those experts and linguists may split out thier ideas and do correct me if i were wrong. Till then, have a nice day people.
 

rewboss

Key Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Well, this thread was started over three years ago. Is it a past thread, do you suppose, or a future thread that's already happened? Or something even more metaphysical?
 

JJM Ballantyne

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
You hit the nail on the head nicely.

The grammatical term tense is not synonymous with time.

Thus yesterday always refers to past time.
 

godfingers

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Member Type
English Teacher
Dear friends
I am really confused why you are all evading the simple question - WHAT IS PAST? :?:
I simply put it this way:
PAST means before now (present/ current time) - before the moment of speaking.
When you say YESTERDAY which is obviously in the past, then you should be really wasting the time to seek a "future yesterday" because "yesterday" is semantically and PRAGMATICALLY in the past (before the moment of speaking). Isn't that sensible? Thus, you cannot even juxtapose YESTERDAY with FUTURE. Now, why you are expecting a "fututre yesterday" I really can't get over. ;-)


Ruholla Kazemi
EFL Teacher
EAP Teacher
English Teacher Trainer
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top