TS wrote:John76 wrote:examples:
"In the past three months I worked at GC."
I am afraid that here Simple Past worked is a wrong tense. Can anyone around here help?
Ben wrote:"In the past three months" to me describes..... So it is past time, and I would most commonly use the past simple to talk about things I did in that time: "I worked at GC, I went to New York City, I met my girlfriend, and I moved here."
Ben wrote: The present perfect describes past experiences which you still "have" with you in the present
Ben wrote: I am still a bit confused myself, you're right: they didn't teach me this in my TEFL training!
TS wrote:If it is true as you say, grammars will not hide the pattern of "in the past three months" at all, will they? They will list numerous their examples, in Simple Past, to illustrate and support the 'golden rule' that Simple Past can, and Present Perfect cannot, stay with past time adverbials. However, what does the fact tell you? They hide the Past Family (the pattern of "in the past three months"), every one of them, because they cannot explain them, obviously.
Before internet epoch, I have no way whatsoever in proving the suitable tense for "in the past three months". Now if you google for it, you may see Present Perfect is the suitable tense for this pattern. If a few exceptional examples are in Simple Past, they come from such learners as you and John76.
Google wrote:As fighting in Afghanistan has intensified over the past three months, the US military has conducted 340 airstrikes there, more than twice the 160 carried ...
Livermore has experienced two significant mercury spills in the past three months.
In the past three months, at least three columnists were fired because of their dissenting opinions and President Bush warned this country that many things ...
In the past three months I have had twelve interviews and only one resulted in an offer
Iraqi And American Forces Have Received More Tips In The Past Three Months Than During Any Three-Month Period On Record.
Books -- How many have you bought in the past three months? Videotapes -- How many have you bought in the past three months?
In the past three months, three journalists in Canada have resigned after critical columns were spiked.
different times in the PAST THREE MONTHS were you injured or. poisoned seriously enough to seek medical advice or treatment?
This Cloquet, Minnesota web design service featured listing has received 375 unique visitors in the past three months.
TS wrote:Why the pattern "in the past three months"?
Ultimately, there will be something starting in a past time like 2000 or Yesterday, and it is not yet finished by now. English prefers to use pattern like "Since 2000" or "in the past day" to describe such unfinished actions. In these cases, the time is past, but the action isn't finished. The fact that time is different from action is pointed out in the following page:
However, as the old grammars depend on one sentence and one tense, it is a long tradition for them to confuse tense with action as one and the same. The sentence-tense confusion is the first lesson you must learn in English tense, see more in "2.1 The beginning of confusion":
People with such confusion will not see the idea that the time is past, but the action isn't finished, so they hide the Past Family.
If this year is 2007, then "in the past seven years" is another way to say "since 2007". This explains the two patterns prefer the same tense. I hope you see the hint here to define "in the past three months", and why it demands Present Perfect.
face2face Intermediate Chapter 3A 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.
We use the present perfect simple for something that started in the past and continues at the present.
TS wrote:As I mention at the front page of my humble website (englishtense.com), Present Perfect cannot be explained on one-sentence basis. However, in order to say something to Present Perfect, old grammars have to first shift Simple Present to meaning like habitual action, and then steal its time definition to describe Present Perfect in something like yours in the quote. If so, what you say to Present Perfect can be word for word said again to Simple Present, and it is still 100 percent correct. For example, if there is a Simple Present habitual action "I sometimes go to swim in the beach", isn't it as you say 'past experiences which you still "have" with you in the present'?
TS wrote:Ben wrote: I am still a bit confused myself, you're right: they didn't teach me this in my TEFL training!
It is because they can't teach. As I have proven in this thread, grammars first hide the pattern of "in the past three month" (the Past Family), and then also hide the patter of "since 2000". As I say, grammars cope with students more than they with tense. If they really want to teach, they don't need to hide, do they?
TS wrote:Actually, the old approach fails at any tenses. If you still don't believe me, try to define one tense you are most sure of, and I will point out the absurdity in it.
On the other hand, I am not just questioning the old approach. I have also pointed out a simplicity in using English tense:
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.
You are invited to challenge such a simplicity. Why were the explanations in the old approach so complicated? It is because they were trying to explain the meanings of the sentences. On one-sentence basis, they could not escape from the omnipresent sentence-tense confusion — everything is the sentence. Is it easy to define all the meanings of sentences by way of English tense?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Ben quoted from face2face and wrote:We use the present perfect simple for something that started in the past and continues at the present.
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.
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?
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!"
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.
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?
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