The correct tense for reporting verbs in reported speechThese two perplexing grammar questions were raised sometime ago in the forum: “Are there any prescribed rules for when to use present-tense reporting verbs over past-tense reporting verbs? Also, can’t we just use past-tense reporting verbs at all times so that whatever is being reported can just be construed as an event in the past?” Admittedly, it took me quite a while to answer these questions of forum member Michael Galario with adequate instructive precision. I really wasn’t aware of any definitive prescriptions for using present-tense reporting verbs instead of past-tense reporting verbs. To my mind that would entirely depend on the expository or narrative style used, the medium or mode of communication, and personal choice. What was clear to me was that English grammar uses reported speech or indirect speech for recounting what somebody has said or written, but not using his or her exact words. … [Read more...] about The correct tense for reporting verbs in reported speech
Paragraf simple future tense
How English deals with the past imperfect tenseSeveral languages closely related to English have a well-developed imperfect tense, a tense that shows a past action or condition as incomplete, continuous or coincident with another action. This is true with Spanish, Italian and French; in contrast, English doesn’t inflect its verbs for the imperfect, in much the same way that it doesn’t for its future tense. The farthest English has gone to formally capture the essence of the imperfect — the past imperfect in particular — is the past progressive. The English past progressive, of course, either shows an action in progress at a specific time in the past, or one that was in progress in the past when another action happened or interrupted it. To better understand how English evokes the imperfect tense, let’s distinguish first between the “imperfect” and “perfect” in traditional grammar. Recall that verbs, apart from indicating the time … [Read more...] about How English deals with the past imperfect tense
The six ways that English evokes the futureMany of us might find it strange that despite the overwhelming richness and diversity of the English language, its verbs can’t inflect or change in form for the future tense. By some quirk in the development of its grammar structures, English verbs can inflect only for the past, present and perfect tenses. To compensate for this grammatical handicap, however, English came up with no less than six ways of denoting the future. It does the job by appending to the main verb particular combinations of auxiliary verbs in different tenses, and the choice among these future-tense forms primarily depends on which part of the future is important to us or to those telling us about it. Here now are the six ways that English evokes the future: (2) The future perfect tense, which uses the so-called temporal indicators to situate actions and events in various times in the future, as in the use of the future perfect “will have taken” in … [Read more...] about The six ways that English evokes the future
By Melanie Burton and Fransiska Nangoy NUSADUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – After riding China’s demand train for nearly two decades, Asia’s coal industry is looking to a future of smaller markets and slimmer pickings, as buying declines in the world’s second-biggest economy and climate change concerns blunt demand. By far the biggest user of coal-fired power, China is buying less thermal coal from global markets, said delegates to Asia’s premier coal conference last month in Bali, both as renewables gain market share and as it digs up more of its own supply. A backlash against coal is also growing in the West. Last week, investors managing nearly half the world’s invested capital demanded ahead of a Group of 20 summit in Tokyo that governments take urgent action on climate change. Delegates to Coaltrans in Bali, Indonesia, however, said that while coal’s glory days are done, reports of its imminent demise have been greatly exaggerated. … [Read more...] about Future tense
Precisely when do we use the past progressive tense?Take a moment to ponder whether these two questions are correctly using the simple past tense in their main clause: “Were you not there when the check was presented to the receiving bank?” “Did you not see what was handed to Mr. de Guzman at that time?” In a recent posting in the forum, member Justine Aragones felt that they should have used the past progressive tense instead. Right off, I told Justine that those two questions are both grammatically, semantically and structurally airtight without need for the past progressive te nse. The first question is an interrogative complex sentence with the simple past-tense main clause (“the check was presented to the receiving bank”) linked to the interrogative clause (“were you not there?”) by the conjunction “when.” The second question is likewise an interrogative complex sentence with the main clause (“what was handed to Mr. … [Read more...] about Precisely when do we use the past progressive tense?