Verb: Meaning of Present Perfect form – Part 2 →  June 25, 2012

Verb: Meaning of Present Perfect form – Part 1 Perfect of result In the Perfect of result, a present state is referred to as being the result of some past situation: this is one of the clearest manifestations of the present relevance of a past situation. Thus, one of the possible differences between John has […]

Verb: Aspect and Tense correlation →  June 25, 2012

All verbal forms – both finite and non-finite – are characterized by as­pectual meanings (cf. to have written, having written), but finite forms are impossible without temporal parameters and meanings. In correlation be­tween tense and aspect in finite forms, aspect is a permanent characteristic of a class, whereas tense is obligatory but variable (Present Progressive […]

Verb aspect: Definition →  June 23, 2012

Aspect is quite different from tense. The difference in English between he was reading and he read is’ not one of tense, since in both cases we have absolute past tense. It is in this sense that we speak of aspect as being dis­tinct from tense, and insist on such an opposition as that between […]

Verb aspect: Definition – Part 2 →  June 23, 2012

Verb aspect: Definition – Part 1 All theoretical works on the category of aspect in Germanic languages may be easily divided into two types. The first shows a purely semantic ap­proach that describes actions without paying any attention to the way they are expressed. As a result, aspect is seen not as an element of […]

Pronoun: Grammatical meaning →  June 23, 2012

Pronouns are characterized by an extremely generalizing meaning: they point out objects, entities, abstract notions and their qualities without nam­ing them. This generalizing part of speech is actualized contextually, and is deprived of any meaning outside a particular context. In other words, pro­nouns never name an object or its quality, pronouns only point them out […]

Sequence of tenses: Indirect speech →  June 18, 2012

In English, there is a clear distinction between direct and indirect speech. In direct speech, the original speaker’s exact words are reproduced, without any change whatsoever, as in John said yesterday, ‘I’ll send you the data tomorrow‘. Note in particular that in this example the pronoun / refers to the original speaker, i.e. John; the […]

Verb: Basic and secondary meanings of tenses →  June 18, 2012

It is acknowledged that a given grammatical category may have more than one meaning (for example, it is believed that the auxiliary will might have both temporal and modal meanings). In other words, a grammatical category may have a basic meaning and a number of peripheral meanings or uses. An analysis of tense often encounters […]

Verb: Paradoxical use of tenses →  June 18, 2012

Worthy of note, however, are utterances where the meaning of the past tense stands in contrast with the meaning of some adverbial phrase refer­ring the event to the present moment: Today again I spoke to Mr Jones. The seeming linguistic paradox of such cases consists in the fact that their two types of time indication, […]

Verb: Absolute, relative and absolute-relative tenses →  June 17, 2012

As it has been mentioned above, the notion “moment of speech” is ex­tremely important for the tense category because it provides a reference point with objective time. However, only Simple/Indefinite forms (Present, Past, and Future) use the moment of speech in this way. Forms that relate events with the speaking moment are called absolute. Use […]

Verb Time and Tense Correlation – Past →  June 17, 2012

Past  The meaning of the past tense is location in time prior to the present moment, and any further deductions about temporal location that are made on the basis of individual sentences in the past tense are the result of factors other than simply the choice of tense. On other words, the past tense sim­ply […]