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Had you been waiting Options
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 3:14:07 PM
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How long had you been waiting to get the bus?
https://ieltsband7.com/ielts-vocabulary/grammar/past-perfect-continuous-grammar-for-ielts /
In the given context, would it not make sense to use- how long have you been waiting to get the bus?
Does that mean the waiting is over and he actually got on the bus?
Thanks
thar
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 4:23:45 PM

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No. These are two different tenses, two different timings. They are not interchangeable.

The present perfect describes a situation that lasts up to the present.

You are waiting.
How long have you been waiting?
You ask this question at the bus stop.

The past perfect places one event before another event in the past.
So, what is the other event in the past, that stopped your wait? The bus came.
So, the bus came, and you got on the bus.
Before the bus came, how long had you been waiting?
You ask this question when you are on the bus.

The tense used in the sentence gives information about the timing of events that may not be explicitly given in the sentence, but will always be there in the context.


The important thing to remember is that a past perfect event can never exist on its own. It only exists in relation to some other event that occurred after it in the past.

If that event is not explicitly given in the sentence, like in your example, you have to think of what other event in the past happened after the past perfect event. Maybe caused the end of that action. Something happened to stop you waiting.
Maybe the bus came. Maybe you gave up waiting and walked instead. But there was some other event after your past perfect event.
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 4:32:40 PM
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Thank you, thar!
Helenej
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 5:30:20 PM

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thar wrote:
Before the bus came, how long had you been waiting?
You ask this question when you are on the bus.

Suppose, I’m getting on the bus, see a friend and sit down next to her. Can’t she ask me, “How long have you been waiting for the bus?”
thar
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 6:04:15 PM

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Only if she is just getting on - ie her 'present' is the end of her waiting.

If she is already there, then she has not been waiting. She waited, in the past, until the bus came. She got on.
She had been waiting, before she got on.

The present perfect is something that is 'still true or relevant'.
It can be something in the past that affects the present - such as "have you been in prison?" (relevant for the rest of your life), "have you had breakfast?" (relevant for most of the morning) but "have you been waiting long for the bus?" is only relevant up to the point the bus arrives.
NKM
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 6:12:44 PM

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Thar, I think you missed something.

The question was set up as follows: "Suppose, I’m getting on the bus, see a friend and sit down next to her."

She is already there, but I've just got on. Surely she can ask me, “How long have you been waiting for the bus?”

coag
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 6:33:20 PM

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Thanks NKM. I didn't understand thar's comments on the question.

In the scene that Helenej described, which of the following questions are grammatically not correct?

1. How long have you waited for the bus?
2. How long did you wait for the bus?
3. How long were you waiting for the bus?
4. How long have you been waiting for the bus? (correct, as NKM said)

What question is grammatically the most appropriate?
thar
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 6:37:09 PM

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Oh, yeah - if it is that way round, the 'present' is the end of the waiting. There is no other 'past event' if you are just getting on now.


Not relevant to Helenej but a general point - There are often question on the forum about the past perfect and people wanting to use it for events in the past (sounds logical) and especially for events in the past before something else (which is what it is for)!) - but the fact is you rarely use it. It is a bit unwieldy and unnecessary in most cases. Mostly you can use the simple past; for multiple events you just put one simple past in front of the other.

So most people probably wouldn't say 'had you been waiting long?' It would be simpler ' were you waiting long? Did you have to wait a long time?'


The present perfect is much more common. Especially since the 'present tense' isn't about the present at all.
A lot of things that have just happened, or happened at some point in the past, are still true or relevant. That is why you are choosing to talk about them! Whistle

So ' have you been waiting long?' is a natural thing to say as they get on.
Helenej
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 7:04:40 PM

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thar wrote:
if it is that way round, the 'present' is the end of the waiting.

Not exactly. Technically, the end of my waiting can be a couple of minutes prior to her asking me about my waiting. I get on the bus with my bags, take a seat, then notice my friend, walk to her, sit down and say hello. In this case, сould her question still be “How long have you been waiting for the bus”?
FounDit
Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 7:26:43 PM

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Helenej wrote:
thar wrote:
if it is that way round, the 'present' is the end of the waiting.

Not exactly. Technically, the end of my waiting can be a couple of minutes prior to her asking me about my waiting. I get on the bus with my bags, take a seat, then notice my friend, walk to her, sit down and say hello. In this case, сould her question still be “How long have you been waiting for the bus”?


No, because using "have" would indicate you are still waiting. Your wait ended the moment the bus arrived. Even if you did not get on, your wait ended when it arrived. So your friend should ask "How long had you been waiting for the bus (before your wait ended at its arrival - the second event)?"


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Helenej
Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2018 8:41:02 AM

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FounDit wrote:
No, because using "have" would indicate you are still waiting.

How come? I may look carefully at someone's red eyes and ask, "Why are your eyes red?". And the person will answer, "Oh, I've been crying", even though she was crying an hour ago.
FounDit
Posted: Monday, March 12, 2018 11:05:01 AM

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Helenej wrote:
FounDit wrote:
No, because using "have" would indicate you are still waiting.

How come? I may look carefully at someone's red eyes and ask, "Why are your eyes red?". And the person will answer, "Oh, I've been crying", even though she was crying an hour ago.


Because the effects of the crying are on-going -- her eyes are still red. But in the bus example the waiting had no on-going effect once the bus arrived.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Helenej
Posted: Monday, March 12, 2018 4:05:36 PM

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FounDit wrote:
Because the effects of the crying are on-going -- her eyes are still red. But in the bus example the waiting had no on-going effect once the bus arrived.

The effects of the waiting may be quite visible, too. My clothes may be soaking wet with the rain or splashed with mud from the passing cars. There may be marks on my hands from the continuous holding a heavy bag, which I wasn't able to put in the mud. In addition, I just may look very tired and annoyed.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 12:03:13 PM

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Helenej wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Because the effects of the crying are on-going -- her eyes are still red. But in the bus example the waiting had no on-going effect once the bus arrived.

The effects of the waiting may be quite visible, too. My clothes may be soaking wet with the rain or splashed with mud from the passing cars. There may be marks on my hands from the continuous holding a heavy bag, which I wasn't able to put in the mud. In addition, I just may look very tired and annoyed.


Ummm, not really. All these things were the result of choices you made, not the waiting. It was rain that made you wet, not the waiting. It was the weight you were holding that made the marks on your hands, not the waiting. And your look of annoyance and tiredness would be how you chose to react to all that, not the waiting itself. Any other nits you want to pick?...Whistle


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 6:06:09 PM

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FounDit wrote:
Any other nits you want to pick?...Whistle

No nitpicking. I’m just genuinely trying to learn from a native speaker how to use the tenses correctly. So, let’s keep to the point.

In my first example, the bus arrives and I am fourth in the queue. I get on the bus, see a friend, walk to her, sit down, say, ‘hello’, she responds and asks, “How long have you been waiting for the bus?” The interval between the bus arrival and her question is about fifteen seconds and you agree that the present perfect is used correctly.

On the other side, you say that “using "have" would indicate you are still waiting. Your wait ended the moment the bus arrived.” Am I still waiting for the bus at the moment when my friend, sitting next to me on the bus, asks, “How long have you been waiting?”

FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 5:05:09 PM

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Helenej wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Any other nits you want to pick?...Whistle

No nitpicking. I’m just genuinely trying to learn from a native speaker how to use the tenses correctly. So, let’s keep to the point.
Sorry if I sounded critical, I was simply teasing about nit picking. That's why I used the emoji to indicate that.

In my first example, the bus arrives and I am fourth in the queue. I get on the bus, see a friend, walk to her, sit down, say, ‘hello’, she responds and asks, “How long have you been waiting for the bus?” The interval between the bus arrival and her question is about fifteen seconds and you agree that the present perfect is used correctly.
As thar said, "How long have you been waiting?" is the natural thing most people would say, but to be precise, it should be "How long had you been waiting", because your wait ended when the bus arrived.

On the other side, you say that “using "have" would indicate you are still waiting. Your wait ended the moment the bus arrived.” Am I still waiting for the bus at the moment when my friend, sitting next to me on the bus, asks, “How long have you been waiting?”
No. Once the bus arrived and you entered, you are no longer waiting for it. So if your friend asks how long you "have" been waiting, you would understand what she meant, even though she might use the wrong tense. No need to get too immersed in being perfect with this usage because it is a very common way to ask the question. Understanding both tenses, however, allows you to understand what is meant.



We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
thar
Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 5:52:38 PM

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I see FD has answered this, but it might help to break down the factors
- 1 the nature of the question.
"How long have you...?" means the time from the start point to the present. So it only works if it is still happening now.
Eg
How long have you been crying? Only works while they are crying. Whereas 'have you been crying?' works for a current effect after you have stopped.

The minute you stop crying, get on the bus, or get out of prison, that question 'how long have you...' doesn't work. So in the context of this thread, it has to stop there.

2 the nature of the verb.
Some verbs are just actions. You cry, you go to prison.
But some are inherently presaging another event - you wait for a bus. So the end-point is inherent in the verb. When the bus comes, you have finished waiting.
Unless you are waiting for Godot, there is necessarily some sort of resolution - either
a)the anticipate event happens and the waiting ends
b)You give up waiting and the waiting ends
Or
c)You are still waiting and the bus still hasn't come.
It doesn't just 'happen'.


3 the nature of the current effect.
If you have been crying, your eyes are red. If you have been in prison, you are an ex-convict. But there are no current effects from waiting. As FD said, you have got wet and cold, but those are effects from having been in the rain. The minute the bus arrives the effect of waiting disappears, because the only 'current effect' of waiting for a bus is there being no bus! Whistle

You are all wet! You have been out in the rain? Yes, I was waiting ages for the bus.

Helenej
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2018 5:58:57 PM

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NKM wrote:
Surely she can ask me, “How long have you been waiting for the bus?”

thar wrote:
'Have you been waiting long?' is a natural thing to say as they get on.

FounDit wrote:
As thar said, "How long have you been waiting?" is the natural thing most people would say.

FounDit wrote:
If your friend asks how long you "have" been waiting, you would understand what she meant, even though she might use the wrong tense.

If “How long have you been waiting” is a natural thing to say, why can’t we suggest that it is the “rule” that is wrong rather than people use the wrong tense?

Helenej
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2018 6:13:35 PM

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thar wrote:
The minute you stop crying, get on the bus, or get out of prison, that question 'how long have you...' doesn't work.

thar wrote:
‘Have you been waiting long?' is a natural thing to say as they get on.

These two statements of yours seem to disagree with each other.

thar wrote:
2 the nature of the verb.
Some verbs are just actions. You cry, you go to prison.
But some are inherently presaging another event - you wait for a bus. So the end-point is inherent in the verb. When the bus comes, you have finished waiting.
Unless you are waiting for Godot, there is necessarily some sort of resolution - either
a)the anticipate event happens and the waiting ends
b)You give up waiting and the waiting ends
Or
c)You are still waiting and the bus still hasn't come.
It doesn't just 'happen'.

And what does this prove about whether or not it is correct to ask, “How long have you been waiting”?

thar wrote:
If you have been crying, your eyes are red. If you have been in prison, you are an ex-convict. But there are no current effects from waiting.

You’ve probably never waited on feet for long. If you stand waiting for a bus for an hour, your feet are most likely to ache, your back is likely to hurt and as a result you are slouching and your eyelids start to droop. Can't you really tell a tired person from someone who is not tired?

thar
Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018 5:42:03 AM

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That is not the point. The waiting ends. Side effects may continue, but the waiting has disappeared. It does not exist. It is no longer true.
Eg
I was waiting, and I have got cold and wet.

It is specific to the nature of the verb. That is why I put that in, although maybe I couldn't explain well enough. There are effects, and those remain. But those are not from waiting. They are effects of standing, or being in the cold, or whatever. Those remain true. An intelligent person naturally puts them together, but the way the verb 'to wait' is used in English, it does not continue to be true. It is filed as a past event, erased when the awaited occurrence happens.
Helenej
Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018 6:11:17 PM

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thar wrote:
That is not the point. The waiting ends. Side effects may continue, but the waiting has disappeared. It does not exist. It is no longer true.
Eg
I was waiting, and I have got cold and wet.

It is specific to the nature of the verb. That is why I put that in, although maybe I couldn't explain well enough. There are effects, and those remain. But those are not from waiting. They are effects of standing, or being in the cold, or whatever. Those remain true. An intelligent person naturally puts them together, but the way the verb 'to wait' is used in English, it does not continue to be true. It is filed as a past event, erased when the awaited occurrence happens.

What is not the point?
thar
Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018 7:18:47 PM

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The last bit, about being tired and cold.
The verb 'to wait' contains its own end.
You cry, you stop crying, but later on you can say you have been crying.
But 'waiting for something' is different. Not logically, but the way it is used in the English language.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, March 16, 2018 10:14:11 PM

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Let me try to arbitrate here.

I don't see any of these replies which I could say is "wrong". However most are incomplete - it may take a book to describe all the usages of the perfect and past perfect.

Time is an arbitrary.
Different people have different views on "what is present time" - and the same person may have different views in different circumstances.

A different example:
I moved to London on the nineteenth of June - on the thirtieth of June, I may say to someone "I have just moved house to London" - this uses the perfect tense, because (at the time I say it) I consider 'present time' to mean 'this month compared to all the earlier months of the year'. I consider that the time of moving and the time of speaking are both in the same time period.

However, on the thirtieth of June, I may say "I moved to London a few days ago." - At the time I say it, I consider 'present time' to mean 'today'. The time of moving and the time of speaking are different times.

The GRAMMAR of each is correct.

In the same way, the friend on the bus could 'look at the incident(s)' in different ways.

I get on the bus, stop near a seat then see my friend and go and sit near her.
She may ask "How long have you been waiting for the bus?" - she considers 'present time' to be 'this couple of minutes'. The bus arriving at the stop (the end of the wait) and asking the question are both in the same time-period. It seems all one incident to her, including the end of the wait and sitting down with her.
OR
She may ask "How long had you been waiting for the bus?" - she considers 'present time' to be 'this few seconds'. "Speaking" is in the present, "the bus arriving" is in the past and "waiting" is even further in the past. The end of the wait, the act of finding a seat and the act of asking the question are three incidents in her view.

*************
thar said "‘Have you been waiting long?' is a natural thing to say as they get on."
That's true. If the speaker considers that "as they get on" is the same time-period as "the end of the wait" and "finding the seat and sitting down". It's all one incident.

thar said "The minute you. . . get on the bus. . . that question 'how long have you...' doesn't work."
That's true. If you consider "waiting", "the bus arriving", "getting on the bus" and "finding the seat and sitting down" to be four different incidents in different periods of time.

******************
The initial quotation is an isolated sentence. There is no context saying that it was asked while on the bus - it could well have been asked a week later.
"I hear you had a long wait last Thursday. How long had you been waiting for the bus?"

The only "context" is the diagram which accompanies the sentence. It shows that the wait ("the event") ended at some time before the present.

In that case, the past perfect has to be used (or other past tenses - "How long did you have to wait?", "How long were you waiting?")




Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Helenej
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 1:48:22 AM

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thar wrote:
The last bit, about being tired and cold.

In my last post I said nothing about cold. So, okay, let’s not consider being cold as a result of waiting. Let’s only speak about tiredness.

thar wrote:
The verb 'to wait' contains its own end.

No objections, but your theory that we are discussing now is about the results of an action that remain after the action stopped. According to you, it is the factor which allows us to use the present perfect instead of past simple.

thar wrote:
You cry, you stop crying, but later on you can say you have been crying.
But 'waiting for something' is different. Not logically, but the way it is used in the English language.

It may be different in some way, but as to “results”, waiting can have its obvious results too.
And as native speakers on this thread all agreed that it would be natural to ask “How long have you been waiting”, then I can conclude that this word is used just like the word ‘cry’.


Helenej
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 2:04:05 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Time is an arbitrary.
Different people have different views on "what is present time" - and the same person may have different views in different circumstances.

A different example:
I moved to London on the nineteenth of June - on the thirtieth of June, I may say to someone "I have just moved house to London" - this uses the perfect tense, because (at the time I say it) I consider 'present time' to mean 'this month compared to all the earlier months of the year'. I consider that the time of moving and the time of speaking are both in the same time period.

However, on the thirtieth of June, I may say "I moved to London a few days ago." - At the time I say it, I consider 'present time' to mean 'today'. The time of moving and the time of speaking are different times.

The GRAMMAR of each is correct.

In the same way, the friend on the bus could 'look at the incident(s)' in different ways.

I get on the bus, stop near a seat then see my friend and go and sit near her.
She may ask "How long have you been waiting for the bus?" - she considers 'present time' to be 'this couple of minutes'. The bus arriving at the stop (the end of the wait) and asking the question are both in the same time-period. It seems all one incident to her, including the end of the wait and sitting down with her.
OR
She may ask "How long had you been waiting for the bus?" - she considers 'present time' to be 'this few seconds'. "Speaking" is in the present, "the bus arriving" is in the past and "waiting" is even further in the past. The end of the wait, the act of finding a seat and the act of asking the question are three incidents in her view.

*************
thar said "‘Have you been waiting long?' is a natural thing to say as they get on."
That's true. If the speaker considers that "as they get on" is the same time-period as "the end of the wait" and "finding the seat and sitting down". It's all one incident.

thar said "The minute you. . . get on the bus. . . that question 'how long have you...' doesn't work."
That's true. If you consider "waiting", "the bus arriving", "getting on the bus" and "finding the seat and sitting down" to be four different incidents in different periods of time.

I completely agree, Drag0. If we use your theory to explain what 'my friend on the bus' may say, then we have no need to call one or the other way "wrong". Using one or the other tense depends on what she considers her 'present time'.

As you probably remember, I call this factor "speaker's mental time", which makes your explanation much more concised: the speaker may be mentally in the past or in the present. You know, when you get used to the term "mental time", it is much more faster to explain the choice of tenses each time you have to do this.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 2:33:13 AM

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Hi!

Yes - this seems natural to me and has been for quite a few years now.
It was very refreshing to realise (last time this came up, or the time before) that you were actually saying the same thing I knew. Different words, but the same idea.
Some people have difficulty with anything which is not a fixed solid rule - the explanation "it depends on how you consider it" or "mental time" just doesn't fit into a universe in which thought is just a chemical reaction in a brain.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Helenej
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 2:52:11 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Some people have difficulty with anything which is not a fixed solid rule - the explanation "it depends on how you consider it" or "mental time" just doesn't fit into a universe in which thought is just a chemical reaction in a brain.

Lol. Your humour has made my morning.
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 11:09:34 AM

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Very interesting, DragOnspeaker. But according to the illustration you provided, the event (waiting) ended before the present. So if this is what is taught about the past perfect, wouldn't it mean that anyone who considers the "present" as including all four actions, be wrong?



In that person's case, the arrow denoting the "perfect" part of the action would have to end in the circle labeled as the present, which it clearly does not.

So this would seem to indicate that "had" is right and the rule is correct usage. Otherwise, one could say the waiting doesn't end until you decide it does. How long would a person have to be on the bus before the waiting ends? Perhaps even until the person exits the bus?...Think


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018 6:24:30 PM

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Hi!

No . . .
The diagram shows how a person sees the situation when he/she would use the past perfect.
The wait (the event) is in the past.
The end of the wait (the bus arriving) is also in the past.

How long had you been waiting?
This is the scene you answered (correctly) about before.
Helenej wrote:
. . . the end of my waiting can be a couple of minutes prior to her asking me about my waiting. I get on the bus with my bags, take a seat, then notice my friend, walk to her, sit down and say hello. In this case, сould her question still be “How long have you been waiting for the bus”?

FounDit wrote:
No, because using "have" would indicate you are still waiting.

Helenej says that the waiting ended a couple of minutes in the past. So a past tense would be needed (I'd normally say "How long did you have to wait?" or "How long were you waiting?", personally).

Analogous to this scene:
I am moving to London from Manchester, travelling yesterday and am still sorting out where I'm living etc.
The 'living in Manchester' was in the past.
The end of that period (the travelling) is also in the past.

I moved to London yesterday.
How long had you lived in Manchester?

***************
A different person may see the end of the arrow being in the circle marked 'Present'.
The wait (the event) is in the past, but the end of it is 'just now' in the present. The end of the wait is the single incident including getting on the bus and sitting down.

How long have you been waiting?

As thar says, it's a natural question as someone is getting on the bus (they have not even got to the seat yet).

Analogous to:
I am moving to London from Manchester, travelling yesterday and am still sorting out where I'm living etc.
The 'living in Manchester' was in the past.
The end of that period (being settled into a new home) is still occurring.

I'm just moving from Manchester.
How long have you been living in Manchester?

***********
My joke was not aimed at you or thar (you obviously know how to use the tenses) or anyone else on the thread - more at past 'questioners' who have hammered away for a rule like "If it is more than 2.4 seconds in the past you can't use _____ tense, it needs ______ tense."

I think Helene recognised the reference I made - it was a similar thread a couple of years ago.

****************





Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018 11:07:31 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,886
Neurons: 51,912
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Hi!

No . . .
The diagram shows how a person sees the situation when he/she would use the past perfect.
The wait (the event) is in the past.
The end of the wait (the bus arriving) is also in the past.

Right. But my point was that the professionals who teach English such as the ones who created your illustration, rely on such to show how to form the past perfect tense.

At the same time, speakers of English might view time from different perspectives, as you have demonstrated, and use the present tense.

For that reason, I told Helenej that if she understood both tenses, and how folks use them, she would understand what a person would mean by each usage, but I'm not sure I made myself clear on that point.

I was trying to say that your illustration is the rule, but viewing time differently can create confusion for different speakers. I thought that was what was happening with Helenej, but I now see she did understand after all.




We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Helenej
Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018 12:55:50 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/24/2013
Posts: 2,143
Neurons: 10,538
Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
FounDit wrote:
Viewing time differently can create confusion for different speakers. I thought that was what was happening with Helenej, but I now see she did understand after all.

Nothing was happening with me because viewing time differently had stopped creating confusion for me even long before I took part in those TFD grammar battles more than four years ago on the same matter. I have been sticking to the ‘mental time’ theory, which Drag0 has brilliantly explained, for many years and that means I understood it long ago, not “after all, as you say”.

What does create confusion for me is when someone says that ‘have’ indicates that I’m still waiting for the bus and then agrees that ‘have’ is the natural thing most people would say after I have stopped waiting and got on the bus, explaining that most people speak incorrectly. Angel

Jigneshbharati
Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018 1:57:08 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 1,893
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All is well that ends well!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018 8:30:05 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 30,670
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Helenej!
Phew! We all meant the same ideas in the first place - we just said it in ways which didn't match.

I think you didn't quite understand FounDit's idiom "after all".
It doesn't mean "at last" or "finally".

You also use after all to say that something is true or may be true in spite of what had previously been thought.
Perhaps it isn't such a bad village after all.
I realised he was telling the truth after all.

Collins COBUILD English Usage

So the last clause there is "So she did understand it, in spite of my thinking that she didn't."

********
I don't remember if I mentioned this in one of the threads you have been involved with, but the whole concept of time and tense in English has:
1. Changed dramatically in Grammars of the last fifty years from how earlier grammars wrote of it
2. Were (before about 1950/1960) explained in a couple of different ways.
3. Are now explained in several different ways (which are different from the earlier ways).
d'oh! d'oh!

When I was young (at school between 1956 and 1966), I learned something like this:
There are three major tenses - past, present and future. The tenses refer to when something happened or existed.
There are many verb-forms for each.
The past could be (depending on viewpoint and what exactly you want to say):
I ate eggs. (simple past)
I used to eat eggs. (this one had no title, was called "the 'used-to' past" if someone needed to refer to it)
I have eaten eggs. (the perfect - it was not called 'present perfect' because it is talking about something that happened in the past)
I was eating eggs. (past progressive)
When I became sick, I had eaten eggs. (the pluperfect - plus-perfect - is a 'double past' tense)


The present could be:
I eat eggs. (the simple present) (Also known as 'the timeless present' - it considers all relevant time as part of 'now')
I am eating eggs. (present progressive - talks about things in progress right now)


The future could be:
I am going to eat eggs.
I will eat eggs.
I shall eat eggs.
I am eating eggs tomorrow.
I will be eating eggs.


There are other ways to express past and future tenses (not really present, I don't think).

*************
Some time around 1960-1970, the majority view changed. Previously, only a very few grammarians had a different idea - that 'tense' ONLY referred to an inflection of the main verb-word, and did not really refer to the time of the action.
This became the popular view taught in English colleges at some time in the 1960s.
So . . . English only has two tenses.
I ate eggs. (past)
I eat eggs. (present)
These are the only two which use only inflection to show a change in time. There is no future tense in English.
All the rest are considered "variations of verb-form depicting time, aspect, continuity and other variables".

**************
For my first couple of years on this forum (2010 to 2011 or so), I was speaking a different language from people who had studied English at any time since about 1970.
I've since 'learned the new language', but sometimes lapse into my old habits.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Helenej
Posted: Monday, March 19, 2018 6:15:11 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/24/2013
Posts: 2,143
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Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
You also use after all to say that something is true or may be true in spite of what had previously been thought.
So the last clause there is "So she did understand it, in spite of my thinking that she didn't.

Firstly, the last clause there is "So she did understand it, in spite of my thinking that she wouldn’t."

Secondly, I was objecting to the use of ‘after all’ exactly in that meaning, “despite what was expected”.

So what FounDit meant to say is “I have such low opinion of Helenej’s mental abilities that I thought she wouldn’t understand what Drag0 explained. To my surprise, she did.”

I think I can live with both FounDit’s opinion about my intelligence and his desire to tell everyone how stupid I am.

I only found it necessary to give a fact that anyone can check, saying, “In spite of how little you think of my intelligence, I not only understood what Drag0 said, but also was advocating the ‘mental time’ theory on the forum more than four years ago.”

P.S. Sorry, Drag0. I highly appreciate your peacemaking nature and efforts, but I couldn't help saying what I thought. Angel

FounDit
Posted: Monday, March 19, 2018 2:29:18 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,886
Neurons: 51,912
Helenej wrote:

Drag0nspeaker wrote:
You also use after all to say that something is true or may be true in spite of what had previously been thought.
So the last clause there is "So she did understand it, in spite of my thinking that she didn't.

Firstly, the last clause there is "So she did understand it, in spite of my thinking that she wouldn’t."

Secondly, I was objecting to the use of ‘after all’ exactly in that meaning, “despite what was expected”.

So what FounDit meant to say is “I have such low opinion of Helenej’s mental abilities that I thought she wouldn’t understand what Drag0 explained. To my surprise, she did.”

I think I can live with both FounDit’s opinion about my intelligence and his desire to tell everyone how stupid I am.

I only found it necessary to give a fact that anyone can check, saying, “In spite of how little you think of my intelligence, I not only understood what Drag0 said, but also was advocating the ‘mental time’ theory on the forum more than four years ago.”

P.S. Sorry, Drag0. I highly appreciate your peacemaking nature and efforts, but I couldn't help saying what I thought.


I wondered why I sensed hostility in your responses, but couldn’t understand what was causing it. Reading the above post, I finally understand why. I must say I’m truly astounded to see that you interpreted my “after all” idiom as you have.

It is never used to mean someone is stupid. When used as I used it, it indicates that I have learned something. The idiom has exactly the meaning DragOnspeaker gave it, namely, "So she did understand it, in spite of my thinking that she didn't.” The implication is that it is I who was wrong, not you.

I’ve always considered your English to be excellent, so it never occurred to me that you wouldn’t understand that usage. It therefore came as a surprise to read that you interpreted it as an insult. I’m sorry you took it that way, because it certainly wasn’t meant to be one. So I see I will have to be more careful in the future when responding to your posts. I wish you had told me right away if you thought I had insulted you, so I could have corrected it.





We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
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