Verb: Perfective and Imperfective Aspect – Part 3 →  June 26, 2012

Verb: Perfective and Imperfective Aspect – Part 1 Verb: Perfective and Imperfective Aspect – Part 2 Definitions of progressiveness found in some traditional grammars, along the lines of describing a situation in progress, often fail to bring out the difference between progressiveness and imperfectivity. So, in what does progressiveness differ from imperfectivity? Firstly, imperfectivity includes […]

Verb: Perfective and Imperfective Aspect – Part 4 →  June 26, 2012

Verb: Perfective and Imperfective Aspect – Part 1 Verb: Perfective and Imperfective Aspect – Part 2 Verb: Perfective and Imperfective Aspect – Part 3 In addition to this, the Progressive in English has a number of other specific uses that do not seem to fit under the general definition of progres­siveness, for instance in I’ve […]

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

The Perfect in English is rather different from the aspects, since it tells us nothing directly about the situation in itself, but rather relates some state to a preceding situation. As a preliminary illustration of this, we may con­trast the English sentences I have lost (Perfect) my gloves and I lost (non-Perfect) my gloves. One […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

Future In terms of the analysis of tense presented so far, it might seem straight­forward to define future tense as locating a situation at a time Subsequent to the present moment. One would then be able to elaborate on this, in particu­lar demonstrating that any deduction that the situation in question does not hold at […]