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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 Lynn » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:37 am

I have followed this thread for a few days now, and all I have to say at this point is "Well said, Ben!"
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Unread postby TS » Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:02 pm

Ben wrote:Firstly, words like, "obviously," "proving," and "learners," gives me the feeling that this is less a discussion among professionals and more an argument that you are determined to win.


Is this fair to blame on these common words?

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Ben wrote:I did search for "in the past three months" on Google and yes, present perfect is one suitable tense to use with it. However, there were also two examples of simple past passive--presumably written or edited by native speakers like myself.


This is exactly what I wanted you to know.

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Ben wrote:Other than the first result which describes an ongoing process of change, all of the actions described by the present perfect are COMPLETED past actions.


In a paragraph of sentences, the patterns of since 2000 and in the past three month illustrate the Perfect Time, so Present Perfect is used.

My rule is very simple: if the action happens in the Perfect Time, use Present Perfect tense. Whether the action is COMPLETED or not doesn't change the Perfect Time in any way. It doesn't change the Present Perfect tense in any way. They are not COMPLETED in past time, are they? If so, don't use Simple Past.

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Ben wrote:You will be delighted to know that the new face2face series of books from Cambridge includes "for three years" and "since 2001" in their explanation of the present perfect tense!


Please note that "for three years" is not a member of the Past Family because it hasn't the adjective 'past'. It may even couple with Future Tense:
Ex: I will study abroad for three years.
Or Simple Past:
Ex: I studied the formula for three years.
Using "for three years" to prove or disprove the use of Present Perfect is too weak.

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Ben quoted from face2face and wrote:We use the present perfect simple to talk about experiences in our life up to now, but we don't say when they happened.


It is a shame for you to repeat this, now that we know grammars have hidden the Past Family. Violating face2face, we do use Present Perfect to talk about experiences and we do say when they happened:
Ex1: I have worked at GC in the past three months.
Ex2: I have gone to New York City for three times in the past three years.
Ex3: I have met my girlfriend since you went away.
Ex4: I have moved here since 2000.


Ben quoted from face2face and wrote:We use the present perfect simple for something that started in the past and continues at the present.


As I say, your definition for Present Perfect will fit that of Simple Present 100 percent. Simple Present "I live in Hong Kong" is also something that started in the past and continues at the present.

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Ben wrote:Anyway, you are right that tenses should no longer be explained on a one-sentence basis. The same tense can be used for different purposes and different tenses are sometimes used for similar (but not the same) purposes. Their usages should be compared with other tenses to illuminate the differences. By doing this you will see that "I sometimes go to swim at the beach" and "I have swum at the beach" describe different things ("I sometimes have swum at the beach" is incorrect). The first sentence does not describe past experiences, but past actions.


Now you are arguing with yourself. You know that, on one hand, tenses should no longer be explained on a one-sentence basis. On the other hand, you still differentiate the two sentences on one-sentence basis.

I will make it easier for you: In Simple Present "I sometimes go to swim at the beach", it exposes I have no experience whatsoever in swimming or going to the beach. Do you believe this?

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Ben wrote:This is where I lose my patience. Who are you? The High King of the English Language with sole power to decree the only suitable tenses and instruction methods?


Who am I? I am just one of those who don't need to lose my patience. Only High Kings will lose their patience when one disagrees with them.

Please review the time flow. I only tried to explain why you were disappointed that "I am still a bit confused myself, you're right: they didn't teach me this in my TEFL training!" You lost patience because I showed sympathy? I had better stop talking with High King.

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Lynn around here wrote:I have followed this thread for a few days now, and all I have to say at this point is "Well said, Ben!"


I agree. Anyone who loses patience should be encouraged and meets no further irritations.
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Unread postby Kevin Vosper » Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:01 am

Dear all

I don't know who keeps clicking "post reply" on this thread without then writing anything, but can they stop it.

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Unread postby TS » Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:32 am

Kevin Vosper wrote:Dear all
I don't know who keeps clicking "post reply" on this thread without then writing anything, but can they stop it.
Kevin Vosper


Is this a problem at all? I often use the editor here to edit the message without posting it at once. I have done it this way in any forums without problems. If this is a problem here, I will stop doing this way.
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Unread postby Weibing » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:11 am

Sorry, I can't help but hit the button 'post reply' again. But I'd say Kevin is really a positive role model here and has been very helpful.

Stop arguing so much - I myself also think too much has been said on this topic.

In my opinion, an ideal thread is not supposed to be too long with too many posts. And every post in it should be as concise as possible. Keep one thing in mind that there are handreds or even thousands of others are keeping reading your thread.

What on earth makes a thread too long?! If only one thread there, you have no choice but to keep posting posting. So,if you (whoever you are) have a good idea to share with or a question to ask, just feel free to post it here. Seems to me visitors here are hesitant to take the initiative to start a new thread. 'It's the thought that counts.' - not your English proficiency!
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Unread postby TS » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:31 pm

Whose thought?
Whose proficiency?
To whom you are talking exactly?
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Re:

Unread postby odyssey » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:04 am

TS wrote:
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?

Simply that one might expect the host of a website called "englishtense.com" to be an expert in the matter, or at least to have recourse to his own experts :mrgreen:
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