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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck with the course then, Tina, and if you have any further questions, don't be afraid to ask. (But obviously, still try your best to answer 'em yourself first!). Keep us posted about how you do and where you're headed post-CELTA (I'm sure you'll pass!). Wink Smile
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tina20



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[edited]

Last edited by tina20 on Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:53 pm; edited 2 times in total
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12853
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear tina20,
My corrections are in caps.

This is a bit confusing:

Verb phrases

1. Tense past or present? They give or They gave
2. Modal yes or no? They give or They can give
3. Perfect aspect yes or no? They give or They have given
4. Progressive aspect yes or no? They give or They are giving
5. Voice active or passive? They give or They are given

If they mean to put the examples in the order given, the only one that has the examples in the right order is 5.

Identify the different elements (past, present, modal, perfect, progressive, passive) underlined in the following verb phrases.

1. I was hoping to see you.

Answer: past tense, modal-no, perfect aspect-no, progressive aspect YES (past progressive), active voice

2. They might have got home by now.

Answer: present tense, modal yes (use of might), perfect aspect-yes, progressive aspect-no, active voice

3. We have tried to help.

Answer: present tense, modal-no, perfect aspect-yes, progressive aspect-no, active voice

4. They were being questioned at length.

Answer: past tense, modal-no, perfect aspect-no, progressive aspect-yes, PASSIVE voice

5. I saw it coming.

Answer: past tense, modal-no, perfect aspect-no, progressive aspect-no, active voice

6. This time next week you will be lying on a beach.

Answer: future tense, modal-YES (will), perfect aspect-no, progressive aspect-YES (future progressive), ACTIVE voice

Regards,
John
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seeing as 'future' isn't one of the listed elements of verb phrases, you may need to be wary of calling 6 a 'future tense'.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12853
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear fluffyhamster,

True - although many grammar books do call it the "future tense."

"In all of these, action within a future range of time is contemplated. However, in all cases, the sentences are actually voiced in the present tense, since there is no proper future tense in English. It is the implication of futurity that makes these present tense auxiliary constructions amount to a compound future quasi-tense."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_tense

Regards,
John
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John, just want to make clear that what I meant of course is that "'future' isn't listed by the task writers themselves as one of the(ir) elements of verb phrases". Personally I don't object much to the use of 'future tenses' to describe verb phrases beginning with 'will', but the task writers/course tutors might see it as an "unmissable" opportunity to "educate" Tina somewhat and demonstrate their superiority etc etc, which is why I intimated that 6 perhaps be stated just in purely constructional terms (modal + ...) to avoid giving them that pleasure LOL. But if anyone's really up for reading more, in addition to Wiki there's also this:
http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/viewtopic.php?t=4131

And although the CELTA almost certainly won't touch (need to touch?) on it, now might not be a bad time (Tina!) to briefly consider how to label verb phrases that have two instances of forms of BE! Twisted Evil Wink Smile
http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?p=847915#847915
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
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Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear fluffyhamster,

Tina20 should probably change number 6 to this:

Answer: present tense, modal-YES (will), perfect aspect-no, progressive aspect-YES, ACTIVE voice

Regards,
John
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I myself might be more comfortable with 'will' being called 'future tense' than 'present tense', but I guess Tina's trainers will make clear soon enough what it should be called (or at least, what they think it should be called!). Perhaps the best thing in the long run would be to "simply" call modals 'finite' forms rather than necessarily tensed?
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tina20



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear tina20,
This is a bit confusing:

If they mean to put the examples in the order given, the only one that has the examples in the right order is 5.

Regards,
John


I don't think they require that the examples be put in the given order. I think one just needs to identify whether the 5 elements are present in each given sentence or not.

About the future tense in sentence 6; I was confused about it. Future seemed to fit best as far as my (limited) knowledge goes, but as fluffyhamster said the biggest hint is in the instructions where the future tense is not a given choice. Ah, well.

fluffyhamster wrote:
But if anyone's really up for reading more, in addition to Wiki there's also this:
http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/viewtopic.php?t=4131

And although the CELTA almost certainly won't touch (need to touch?) on it, now might not be a bad time (Tina!) to briefly consider how to label verb phrases that have two instances of forms of BE! Twisted Evil Wink Smile
http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?p=847915#847915

Thanks for the links! Reading more never hurt anyone! Wink

Thanks again John and fluffyhamster for your inputs.
I daresay I might continue to pop in now and then for your insights. Smile


Last edited by tina20 on Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, you're welcome, Tina, and good luck with the course!

John is right by the way that number 6 would, by the (ordering of the) given criteria/5 elements, most logically be answered 'present tense, modal-YES (will), perfect aspect-no, progressive aspect-YES, ACTIVE voice', but the potential problem still with thinking of modals as having tense per se is IMHO that you can start saying things (perhaps in answer to student queries) like "The 'would' in 'Would you like a cup of tea' is 'past tense'".

Now the modal there could I suppose form-wise loosely (and rather "obviously") be called 'past tense', but functionally it is clearly not (its purpose is to express politeness or somesuch), and writers such as Michael Lewis (and before him, Huddleston, and Joos (etc?)) have actively used or at least discussed the concept of 'remoteness' as an umbrella term to cover such non-temporal uses of 'past' forms in addition to their temporal (and with the 'past' forms of modals, the non-temporal remoteness is probably the more frequent use than the temporal remoteness, which is the exact reverse of the situation with lexical verbs, where a past form usually is related to temporal remoteness i.e. the actual past, and any non-temporal meanings usually clearly signalled by counterfactual preluding words such as 'If...'. [Note how modals appear primarily in the main clause of conditional sentences rather than in the if-clause; then, there are subjunctive forms* to consider, though these are regarded by most modern grammarians, including Lewis, as linguistic fossils that are no longer worth analyzing as a very productive part of the modern language]).
http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/viewtopic.php?p=11111#11111

But like I say, probably the simplest thing is to view the first element in a verb phrase as being just 'finite', and reserve the notion of 'tense proper' mainly for those short/non-complex (i.e. non compound-tense) verb phrases that consist of a single, lexical verb (e.g. Birds fly; John Sinclair wasn't very happy with such examples): http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/viewtopic.php?p=14794#14794 . Doing so can help one understand not only modals, but also why anything other than the two tenses (Simple present, Simple past) are regarded more as aspects (perfect and/or progressive) than tenses by most modern grammarians (though the CambridgeGEL by Huddleston & Pullum has IIRC dissented away from that mainstream consensus and now considers Present Perfect a tense it would seem! Rolling Eyes Smile ).

Sorry for the long post (it's more than the CELTA will require or demand), but I wanted to be thorough, and I was feeling a little bit bored! Embarassed Cool Very Happy


*Trask has the following to say about the subjunctive in his Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar: "The distinctive subjunctive forms are now confined to the verb 'be' and to the third-singular forms of other verbs; they are still common in American English, while in British English they are confined to very formal styles. A subjunctive normally only follows a verb like 'suggest', 'propose', 'demand' or 'insist'. Examples, in which the subjunctive verb-forms are bracketed: I suggest that she [refuse] the offer; They are demanding that she [reveal] her sources; I insist that they [be] freed. These subjunctive forms contrast with the corresponding indicative (ordinary) forms - in my examples, refuses, reveals and are, respectively. Informal and moderately formal British English in fact uses the indicative forms in most cases. British English therefore loses the distinction, still always made in American English, between 'I insisted that they were locked up' (=I asserted vigorously that they were already in jail) and 'I insisted that they be locked up' (=I demanded that they should be put in jail). To avoid this ambiguity, British (and other) speakers sometimes insert the modal 'should': I insisted that they should be locked up. As a result, some grammarians extend the label 'subjunctive' to sequences like 'should be locked up', but not everyone would accept this extended usage." See also http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?p=859928#859928 .


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:05 pm; edited 3 times in total
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12853
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear fluffyhamster,

Well, the way I teach modals (and I hope I'm not passing along bad info) is that "Present Modals" can tell about present time (now, not usual, and usual) and future time while "Perfect Modals" tell about past time.

I think there's really only one "pure" past tense modal: had to

Of course "could" and "might" CAN tell about past time past, but only in certain contexts, whereas "had to" has to (couldn't resist that) tell ONLY about past time.

Please correct any misconceptions you might see in the above.

Regards,
John
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you give some examples of what you mean by 'Present' versus 'Perfect' modals, John? (I'm not familiar with quite this distinction, unfortunately).

I'm assuming that (your?) 'Perfect' ones are followed by have + past participle, while 'Present' ones are followed by the base form of the verb.

If so (and sorry if this sounds like flip-flopping from my previous banging on about the non-temporal uses of 'would' etc) you then still have to account for why e.g. 'We would/could discuss things at great length(...)' might not be 'Present' but in fact about the past, a problem that the temporally-non-committal 'remote' could help circumvent (though I'll admit that its potential modification into 'temporal' versus 'non-temporal' remoteness - though I can't quite remember if those are my terms or Lewis's exactly - is a bit of a cheat and perhaps not so different ultimately to 'Present' and 'Perfect' or whatever other terms one might use).

Meaning I suppose that with 'remoteness' (especially if just of a general umbrella rather than modified temporal/non-temporal kind) "the burden of...interpretation...will fall elsewhere, on other linguistic elements in the sentence or on pragmatics" (to reuse Huddleston's words).

Anyway, I think that explanations that involve 'Present', 'Past' and/or 'Perfect' need to be used with caution, if only because of the meaning especially the first two of those words have in the language generally.

"BONUS": The following thread is fun, especially when JTT goes on to compare the 'Rules, and Inevitable Exceptions' style of teaching to tight-lipped "need-to-know" French Resistance-style wartime movies, or to zombie films ("Oh, that's an exceptional use of the past form. So's that. That's another. That's another. They're all over the place. Aaarrgh"):
http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/viewtopic.php?p=39407#39407
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12853
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear fluffyhamster,

"'I'm assuming that (your?) 'Perfect' ones are followed by have + past participle, while 'Present' ones are followed by the base form of the verb."

You've assumed correctly.

But this puzzles me:

"'We would/could discuss things at great length(...)' might not be 'Present' but in fact about the past."

I'm unable to imagine a context in which that could be talking about the past - unless, as I mentioned, it's in reported speech:*****

Before the meeting yesterday, he told me we could discuss things at great length.

If it's in an unreal conditional (Present Unreal) - If we had the time, we could discuss things at great length - it'd be talking about present time.

What am I missing?

Regards,
John

**** Sorry - of course, they could talk about past time:

When I was young, I would/could discuss things at great length.

But that's what I meant when I said there's only one "pure" past modal, one that can talk ONLY about past time: had to

The BIG problem with modals is multiplicity of meaning - especially with "could" which is all over the place with regard to meanings and times.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, 'would' can be used in a way similar to 'used to' (though discoursally-functionally they are distinguishable, in that typically a single 'used to' precedes chains of multiple 'would's), to describe things that one often did, was "in the habit" of doing, whilst 'could' can be about the past generally. Obviously the decontextualization, the divorcing from a wider context, makes (has made) the forms harder to interpret, but some students can zero in on certain forms and forget about context even when it's there and supplied! Surprised Smile

Edit: Ah, OK John, I see you realized what I was blathering on about! Very Happy
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tina20



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDITED

Last edited by tina20 on Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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