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What kind of time is Since 2000?

Questions from teachers about English grammar and usage

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Unread postby odyssey » Thu May 24, 2007 7:28 pm

Or put another way, if you have to ask these questions, why are you the host of englishtense.com?

And yes, any example with Tony Bliar is likely to cloud the issue so best avoided.
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Unread postby TS » Fri May 25, 2007 6:36 am

odyssey wrote:If you are the host of englishtense.com, why do you have to ask these questions?


What questions? Do you mean we should not ask simple questions here in the discussion forum? Any time before now is past. Even the past minute or the past second is past time, so "the past three months" must be a past time. It is as simple as can be.

On the other hand, your question strikes me odd. Please tell me, are there some kinds of questions we are not allowed to discuss here?
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Unread postby TS » Fri May 25, 2007 7:34 am

odyssey wrote:Or put another way, if you have to ask these questions, why are you the host of englishtense.com?


Didn't you see my reason at the beginning?
"I am studying the nomenclature of Since." As people agree that tense is used to express time, I am trying to learn more about how to call a time past, present, or future.

On the other hand, may you explain why I shouldn't ask questions, just because I am the host of englishtense.com?
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Unread postby TS » Sat May 26, 2007 1:43 pm

Any time before now is past. Even the past second or the past minute is past time. Therefore, it is beyond doubt that "the past three months" is a past time. With the adjective 'past', doesn't the time adverbial declare itself clear enough that it is a past time? But the problem is, it can stay with Present Perfect tense:
Ex: He has worked there in the past three months.
If the example is a correct structure, which it is, it must be adding a footnote to the common idea that Present Perfect cannot stay with past time adverbial:
Ex: *He has worked there last month.

As is pointed out in the following web page:
http://www.englishtense.com/newapproach/3_1.htm#3_1_10
though past time cannot come up and mix with present time, a past action can. The chance is always there that an action starting in a certain past time may not end by now. In this case, we use the pattern of Since 2000 or in the past three months to say it:
Ex: He has worked there since 2000/in the past three months.
In this case, it may be said that Present Perfect is also compatible with past time adverbials.
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Unread postby TS » Thu May 31, 2007 9:57 am

In the old way of explaining tense, since people have been clinching on one-sentence basis (using one sentence and one tense in illustrating the use of a tense), they have long confused tense and sentence as one and the same. They can no longer separate action from time. Now as they see the time is a past, they reason the action must be also past:
Ex: He has worked there in the past three months.
== However, this time, the action is not a past action.
Grammarians are deeply puzzled. Believe it or not, they hide the pattern of in the past three months away from their books. The concealment has now become a must, as is pointed out in the following page:
http://www.englishtense.com/newapproach/2_4.htm
== I call the pattern of in the past three months the Past Family.
I have talked about these past time adverbials for decades, informing numerous readers and webmasters, and yet today there is still not a grammar book or web page that mentions about them.

As time goes by, grammarians further rationalize that, since they have hidden the pattern in the past three months, and there is little objection from teachers and students, why don't they hide also since 2000, and make a simple explanation of Present Perfect? They do, and call it Aspect Theory. In many web pages that talk about Aspect, you can't even find examples for the pattern of since 2000:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_tense
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_aspect
http://www.answers.com/topic/grammatical-aspect
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/verbs/tense.htm
http://www.iei.uiuc.edu/structure/Structure1/tenses.html
http://faculty.washington.edu/ogihara/papers/Ogihara_deliv90.pdf
== You search for the word 'since' in the pages and you know.

What has happened here? The patterns of in the past three months and since 2000 are used with Present Perfect, rather than Simple Past. They play an important role in rendering Present Perfect. But they disappear when they should have been there. Now you may see what I mean when I say at the front page of my website that old grammars fail to explain the Present Perfect tense. Can we explain a tense by avoiding the difficult yet important part of the tense?

I am not really showing a difficulty here. On the contrary, if we put sentences and different tenses together, we will easily see a time sequence of past-perfect-present, with the Perfect Time in between past and present. And the sole function of Present Perfect is to express the Perfect Time. Therefore, if we will, we can replace huge difficulties and atrocious concealments with an absolute simplicity.

In my humble website, our new approach to the three tenses has arrived at a simplicity:
-- Simple Past expresses past time
-- Present Perfect expresses perfect time
-- Simple Present expresses present time

"One more word to it is a mistake" — this is my promise.
We can defend such simplicity because our new approach preaches that let the sentence be the sentence, and let the tense be the tense. Once the sentence-tense confusion has cleared up, the tense is a simplicity.
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Unread postby John76 » Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:45 pm

"since 2000" is both past and present tense.

"in the past three months" is past tense.
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Unread postby Mr.Libyan » Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:52 am

I have worked here since 2000.
I have bought this car since 2000.

could you tell me what is the tence in each sentence?
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Unread postby TS » Sat Jun 09, 2007 7:00 am

John76 wrote:"since 2000" is both past and present tense.
"in the past three months" is past tense.


Examples?
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Unread postby Weibing » Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:09 am

To TS

1.Since:
adv.
prep. Continouosly from Intermittently from, eg, 'since 2000'
conj.

2.'Since 2000' refers to a period of time - past time. But 'since 2000' seems different from 'in 2000'.

3.Please note the difference between BrE and AmE.

BrE: I took a shower. (tend to use 'simple past')
AmE: I have taken a shower. (tend to use 'present perfect')

FYI only!
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Unread postby TS » Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:34 pm

Weibing wrote:2.'Since 2000' refers to a period of time - past time.


Then why do we use Present Perfect with past time as follows?
Ex: He has worked in the company since January.
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