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13

While technically your statement is true--he remains, and in fact will always be, the first person to reach the South Pole--nevertheless the use of the present tense is not called for unless he is currently at the South Pole at the culmination of his groundbreaking journey, or unless he remains the only person to have made it to the South Pole; in both ...


12

Using the past tense is a way of offering flexibility in an invitation or request. You don't need to feel compelled to accept because it is being phrased as a passing thought. A whim.


12

1 means that the action happened just now. You would typically see it in your e-mail program just after you send an e-mail. Your program might give you this message to let you know that the message you just sent has indeed been sent. 2 refers to something that happened at some time in the past. It could have been an hour ago, a day ago, or even a century ...


11

To get technical about it, present is a tense, but continuous and progressive are grammatical aspects, not tenses. Whereas tenses mark when an action happens, aspects give other temporal information, such as duration, completion, or frequency. English makes no distinction between continuous and progressive, and they are both formed using the present ...


10

News is uncountable and is used with singular verbs. The -s is there because etymologically, it used to be a plural form. Etymonline says: late 14c., plural of new (n.) "new thing," from new (adj.), q.v.; after Fr. nouvelles, used in Bible translations to render M.L. nova (neut. pl.) "news," lit. "new things." Sometimes still regarded as plural, ...


10

If I found a ball in the morning, I might say in the afternoon I found a ball today. The past tense locates an action at a specific time in the past, but today is a sufficiently prolonged period of time to allow the use of the past tense on the same day. I have found a ball today could occur, but only exceptionally, because the perfect construction is not ...


10

Both are grammatical. The first uses the past tense (‘was lost’), which indicates that the connection was lost at a specific time in the past. The second uses the present perfect construction (‘has been lost’), which indicates that the loss of the connection has present relevance. So, if the loss of connection occurred, let us say, last week, but it’s now ...


10

The main verb is are -- the Present Tense Third Person Plural form of be. This is another reduced relative clause, with Whiz-Deletion operating, this time on the be of the Passive, rather than the be of the Progressive, like the question this morning. The original sentence was something like There are several reasons which/that are/were proposed for the ...


10

Were is the plural past tense form of be, used here in a counterfactual conditional idiom construction that is given various names, including "subjunctive", which often apply to other European languages, though not to English. In fact, however, tense is not what you need to know here. Tense only has to do with time -- past and present only in English -- and ...


9

Let's look at a little more context: When the night has come and the land is dark And the moon is the only light we see No, I won't be afraid, oh, I won't be afraid Just as long as you stand, stand by me A perfect construction marks a past action as having brought about a state which is relevant at some later point: the utterance’s ‘Reference ...


8

[I believe this question already exists somewhere else on this website, but I can't for the life of me find it.] In short, though the present tense is also possible, the most natural choice would probably be the past tense: She touched me where my neck met my collarbone. The main clause happened in the past, while the subordinate clause is a ...


8

The best is a variation of the first: Let me know when you arrive. The second two examples are incorrect, as to be isn't used followed by a past participle in this way. An alternate formulation (which means pretty much the exact same thing) is to use the present perfect: Let me know when you've arrived. The difference in meaning between the ...


7

It has been used as the symbol... is correct here. Use Present Perfect when the action referred to started in the past, and either continues (or continues to have relevance) at the time of speaking.


7

Think of the past tense as referring to an event that took place at a particular time in the past. In saying The message was sent, the speaker will normally have in mind something like yesterday or last week. The present perfect is called 'present' for a reason. The speaker is talking about the situation now, a situation in which a past event has some ...


6

It sounds to me like the person you are coaching is a native speaker of English but just uses slightly different patterns. At that point it is really not a matter of -correcting- grammar, just getting the speaker to join you in your dialect. What I am saying is that some kinds of bad grammar are actually good consistent grammar of a slightly different ...


6

If the first part is in the past, then the second part has to be, too. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. I knew you were John’s brother when first I saw you. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer John’s brother. It’s just how these things work.


6

It's probably not easy to answer exactly why this happened (past and present being identical in spelling), because I don't think anyone ever set out to do things this way. Like most standard English words, read was not always spelled this way. The OED lists, for example, rædde, redis, redys, reeds, reids, redds, reed, red, redd, etc. over the course of ...


6

I am gonna have is the informal way of saying I am going to have, where I am going to is used to mean "intend or be likely or intended to be or do something." Have in I have to means "be obliged or find it necessary to do the specified thing"; it's equivalent of I must. In requests, I am going to have is used to make a more polite request.


6

To put it simply, "I have to" means you currently are required to; "I'm gonna have to" means you will be required to at some point in the future. As an example, when describing hypothetical situations, one would say "If he does this, I'm gonna have to do this". By contrast, when describing a past occurrence, one would say "He did this, now I have to do ...


6

They're all just stylistic choices, with no difference in nuance of meaning. The only context where "regular, repeat event" comes into play is when you say something like "The London train leaves at 8 o'clock" - if you don't specify any particular day, the implication is it does so every day (or at least, every week-day - it may leave at a different time, ...


6

In my opinion, both are equally correct. But the second one is a more polite way of saying it.


6

The present perfect continuous is, in most cases, used to describe an action that is ongoing: I have been pumping means: "I have pumped, but I'm not done yet; I'm still pumping." By contrast, the present perfect is used to describe an action that has ended: I have pulled up dandelions all day means: "I've spent all day pulling up dandelions, but ...


6

Q: What are you doing at the moment? A: I'm teaching English at a language school. Does this mean the person is teaching at the moment of speaking. No, it doesn't. We use the present continuous tense to talk about things that are in progress or for actions that are, for the time being, temporary in nature. The fact your friend replied using the present ...


5

"I am having a problem" sounds more like the speaker is talking about a current and recent ongoing process, which is probably why it tends to show up on SO. "I have a problem" also has an idiomatic usage meaning the speaker is objecting to something, which isn't a meaning that occurs with "I am having a problem". It's perfectly valid; it is the present ...


5

In continuation with the surety-prediction advocated in the other responses, you might also argue that we never know with a 100% confidence that the flight actually leaves at 6pm tomorrow. The technically correct usage would be (and because the flight schedule is present) - "The flight is scheduled to leave at 6pm tomorrow." "As per the ...


5

The author probably intends you to understand the first two of the Julio-Claudian autocrats: Gaius Julius Caesar, who was life dictator; and his adoptive son Gaius Octavius Thurinus (who also took the name Gaius Julius Caesar at adoption, and was later known as Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus), the first Emperor. (He probably picks them more because he ...


5

Your two quotes don't actually have the same meaning. "I'm not living there!" is close to "I refuse to live there", while "I'm not going to be living there" is a prediction. Technically, the first is "I will not live there", while the second is "I shall not live there", but I doubt whether many people these days appreciate the difference, particularly with ...



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