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tunaafi
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2015 5:47:01 AM

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Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
Helenej wrote:
That classification is as helpful for learning the present perfect as the classification of meals as breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper is helpful for learning how our digestive system works.


For you perhaps, Helene. Some people find that that sort of grammatical classification destroys all their desire to learn the language. They want to learn to communicate in the language, not to analyse the grammar.

Others find it very helpful indeed in their attempts to communicate effectively. As I said in my earlier posts, people learn in different ways
.
Helenej
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2015 6:46:01 AM

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Joined: 9/24/2013
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Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
tunaafi wrote:
Others find it very helpful indeed in their attempts to communicate effectively.

They either pretend to see that the naked king is wearing clothes (do you remember why?) or they haven't neared him close enough yet to see that he is naked. :)

I could have put the second part of this explanation of mine even more straightforwardly, like, "They have never thought about it seriously and honestly", but that might offend some of the "others", so I'd rather spare them this wording. :)



tunaafi wrote:
As I said in my earlier posts, people learn in different ways.

By believing any word written in traditional grammar books, you mean? Do you believe any word in grammar books, tunaafi? Even daftpunk doesn't, since he once wrote:

Unfortunately, an overwhelming number of sources will make you more confused about it than you have been before trying to understand the instruction they provide. Most of it is just a vague waffle which is untranslatable into practical, operative knowledge about English.

Why can't the classification in question turn out some waffle, too? For thousands of years people believed the Earth was flat, after all.

To me, this classification has feet of clay. As I said, give me an example with the present perfect and I'll find a result in it, providing a result may be as weird as in daftpunk's "knocking on the door". :) I could even try finding experience in any example with the present perfect. It would be fun: "I've bought some nice apples" might mean "I have an experience of buying nice apples". :)


tunaafi
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2015 8:16:12 AM

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Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
Helene, you are responding to words that I did not write. I am not going to make any attempt to comment on things you appear to be seeing in my words.
Helenej
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2015 9:12:24 AM

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Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
tunaafi wrote:
Helene, you are responding to words that I did not write.

Is it possible that your grandchildren write under your nickname while you are out, tunaafi?
tunaafi
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2015 9:39:58 AM

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Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
I'll leave you to it, daftpunk.

до побачення, Helenej.
Audiendus
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2015 9:55:36 AM
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Helenej wrote:
I could even try finding experience in any example with the present perfect. It would be fun: "I've bought some nice apples" might mean "I have an experience of buying nice apples". :)

That reminds me of Groucho Marx's comment: "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening – but this wasn't it."
Helenej
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2015 10:03:15 AM

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Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
tunaafi wrote:
I'll leave you to it, daftpunk.

до побачення, Helenej.

Do you know what Tunaafi actually meant by saying, "I'll leave you to it", Daftpunk? He meant, "I prefer not to talk with stupid people."

You are certainly looking down at Daftpunk, Tunaafi. You phrase suggests that Daftpunk enjoys talking to stupid people. Are you going to put up with such a reputation, Daftpunk?

By the way, I'm native Russian whose ancestors come from Moscow region. I have always spoken Russian just as most people in Kiev do. So, it should have been, "До свидания".

Romany
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2015 12:38:00 PM
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Whoa, Helenej! This is causing some totally unnecessary aggro,

I've come to know Tuna pretty well here - and he is a very straightforward person. Had the thoughts come into his head that you ascribe to him he would have said so outright.

There is absolutely nothing in either his posts, or his on-line persona, to suggest the thoughts or feelings which you are now contributing to him. You are taking the offensive against a position which doesn't exist: - Tuna is not being arrogant, or making veiled accusations, or weaving different nuances into his words.

He made the factually correct statement that students learn in different ways: - some respond well to completely learning the architecture of a language and others don't.

That's a basic precept by which all teachers learn to teach. There's nothing at all slighting or contemptuous or arrogant that one could possibly see in that.

What his PERSONAL feelings about the matter might possibly be, do not affect this indisputable fact.

What possible reason could there be for crediting him - a total stranger - with the ideas that you have taken exception to and are accusing him of holding?

In no way, shape or form did Tuna now, or at any time, give any indication whatsoever that you, daftpunk or any other poster was stupid.

He is not now, nor has he at any time said anything that would lead you, or anyone,to accuse him of the arrogance with which you charge him.

It's made me feel extremely uncomfortable...and Tuna himself has left. Perhaps others might not feel comfortable, either, with quite such an aggressive stand?

Fair suck of the sav, luv!
(An Aussie expression. It kinda translates to "Be fair".
Helenej
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2015 1:14:48 PM

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Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
Romany wrote:
Whoa, Helenej! This is causing some totally unnecessary aggro.

That wasn't an aggro, Romany. I was sure that we all, tunaafi, daftpunk and me, know each other well enough to tell when we are serious and when we are pulling someone's leg. I hope that tunaafi and daftpunk got my jokes and had as much fun as I had when I was writing them. I'm sorry if my jokes sounded awkward. I probably should have added smileys, but I'm trying to avoid them as I see smileys like a laugh of a person who is telling a joke and is inviting the listeners to laugh. If a joke is good, the listeners should laugh spontaneously and not at an instruction or invitation. It's not a good tone.

Misunderstandings of the partners' mood is a problem in online voiceless and viewless communication, isn't it?

daftpunk
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2015 3:36:09 PM
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Quote:

It's amazing that you have so much willpower and patience to push through all those difficulties and huge amount of information, daftpunk. I envy you.


Thank you Helen :)

Quote:
Do you know what Tunaafi actually meant by saying, "I'll leave you to it", Daftpunk? He meant, "I prefer not to talk with stupid people."

You are certainly looking down at Daftpunk, Tunaafi. You phrase suggests that Daftpunk enjoys talking to stupid people. Are you going to put up with such a reputation, Daftpunk?


I didn't understand that Tunaafi had inferred in his post that either of us is stupid. I understand that you meant it as a joke, but it did sound to me as an awkward attempt to make one. Anyway, that question is behind us now, so I suggest we go back to the topic of the thread.

If a learner needs to spend half a year or a whole year making sense of different uses of the present perfect so let it be so. Since they will need to learn it by inventing different contexts suitable for its use, it won't only be about the present perfect, many other aspects of English will be touched upon in the process. We could still say though that if we chose to spend that amount of time memorizing common phrases instead, we could benefit more in terms of our ability to use English in practical everyday communication. The point is that we want more than that, we want to approach the level of fluency of an educated native speaker of English.

Quote:
Do you realize that the three different uses of the present perfect are not similar at all and yet you refer them to the group called "The uses of the present perfect"? Result, experience and hot news have as much in common as smell, ruby and earthquake. I consider this categorization artificial.

That classification is as helpful for learning the present perfect as the classification of meals as breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper is helpful for learning how our digestive system works. :)



I'm convinced that thinking about the present perfect as a polysemous grammatical construction is advantageous to a learner. It might take some time to get to the bottom of it, but it is worth the struggle. Once we've had a good grasp of it, we'll use it without thinking twice about how we theoretically categorize its different uses. We can also share our knowledge of it, if we feel like that: Oh, let me tell you about the present perfect! Audiendus used a really nice example to explain the difference between the "experiental" and "result" reading of the present perfect and it succinctly answers your question:

Quote:
Why can't the classification in question turn out some waffle, too? For thousands of years people believed the Earth was flat, after all.

To me, this classification has feet of clay. As I said, give me an example with the present perfect and I'll find a result in it, providing a result may be as weird as in daftpunk's "knocking on the door". :) I could even try finding experience in any example with the present perfect. It would be fun: "I've bought some nice apples" might mean "I have an experience of buying nice apples". :)


We can take that to mean exactly the way you paraphrased it: I've bought some nice apples in Jim's grocery. Both "resultative" and "experiental" readings are available, as in Grucho's joke.


My main point in discussing the subject of language acquisition obviously revolved about the dilemma which is put before a learner : learning grammar or avoid learning grammar. As far as I am concerned this dilemma is the same one as : intensive learning, or non-intensive learning of a language. The dilemma is often presented as grammar vs immersion methods of learning a language, which I find to be a misleading way of putting it. In the context of a second language acquisition grammar should be understood as a prop, no more or less than that. We want to learn grammar and we want to immerse ourselves in the target language as much as possible. Any speculation on a relative success in achieving fluency is contingent on the specifics of a learner's situation, but generally speaking, the effort spent in learning the language will be reflected in the success achieved. What you put in is what you get out.

Anyway, at this point I feel I've exhausted my ideas about how different avenues people take in learning another language reflect on their overall success in language acquisition. It was a hard day at work for me today, and I might be similarly busy in the following period, so I'll contribute more by reading than writing on the forum, at least for some time.
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 3:27:17 AM

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Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
Romany wrote:
Tuna... is a very straightforward person.
I thought that straightforward people either straightforwardly answer questions they are asked or straightforwardly advance excuses for not answering. Replying, "I'm not gonna answer. I'm leaving and let the others deal with you." doesn't sound much straightforward to me.

daftpunk wrote:
I didn't understand that Tunaafi had inferred in his post that either of us is stupid.
It was obvious. But he meant not you, of course: it is my joke that implied his meaning you. Tunaafi had been asked a question about his grandchildren, but instead of answering, he commissioned you to answer it. This must mean that either you know about his grandchildren's pastimes more than him or his dignity doesn't allow him to answer such a silly question and deal with its producer. I personally doubt the former, so this leaves the latter.

daftpunk wrote:
I understand that you meant it as a joke, but it did sound to me as an awkward attempt to make one.
I hope that after reading my explanation above, you can get the point.

daftpunk wrote:
I'm convinced that thinking about the present perfect as a polysemous grammatical construction is advantageous to a learner. It might take some time to get to the bottom of it, but it is worth the struggle. Once we've had a good grasp of it, we'll use it without thinking twice about how we theoretically categorize its different uses.
I see your point, yet I think there is no bottom in that direction. :) I believe that except for historical sentences (like "The war began in 19...), in 99.99% of all sentences that refer to the past, a result can be found. (Even in "I've knocked" the result is "someone could have heard it".) I also believe that in 99.99% of them we can speak about some experience. It's true that I'm repeating myself here, but I didn't hear any objection to this from you last time. Anyway, let your learners keep digging, though I see it a bit sadistic to make them do so.

Okay, when you are free from your work and if you are still interested in the subject, could you kindly use the correct tense for the verb in brackets in the following scene and give reason for your choice, please?

A nine-year-old girl comes home from school. She, her mother and her eight-month-old baby sister are in the kitchen. The mother is cooking. The baby is sitting in her special chair. The girl sits down in front of the baby and starts to stick out her tongue and move it, trying to teach her sister to do the same. At last the baby sticks out her tongue and the girl immediately turns to her mother and calls out excitedly, "Mom, look it! I (teach) Roberta how to stick out her tongue!" Her mother says, "That's great, sweetie. Now I can cancel the private tutor."

Romany
Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 5:28:02 AM
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Yeah, Helene, it's often difficult to tell when someone is joking: - I know the icons are a bit limiting, but the "Whistling Smiley" is the code we use to clearly indicate we aren't serious.

The reason Tuna didn't answer your "Grandparent" question was that he thought you were "picking on" him i.e. seriously aggravating him. (So did I!)

Oh - and by "straightforward" I mean he says what he means and means what he says. He doesn't say something but mean something else. If he was the kind of person we thought you were accusing him of being, there would be no doubt in anyone's mind of this: he would make himself very clear!

Just as leaving the thread and refusing to argue with what SEEMED to be an unprovoked attack stated his feelings very clearly!
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 10:18:21 AM

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Romany wrote:
Aggro, you were accusing him, charge him, an unprovoked attack, aggressive stand...

It's so unpleasant to justify oneself of things that you haven't done. I thought my irony was so obvious.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 11:08:06 AM
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Well no harm done, in the end, girl. At least we were able to clear up what had been a big mistake all round!!

Irony is one of the most difficult forms in English. Even many native English-speakers have trouble understanding it. And even more cannot express it properly,

Because it might amuse you, and in case you haven't come across it, I'm adding a URL to something that was written at the time of the Potato Famine in Ireland. At the time it came out half the population of London was scandalised by it. A quarter didn't understand it at all and the other 25% chuckled wryly. (Many of my students don't get it at first!)

ps. It's long so I don't expect you to read it all. But Swift is still regarded as one of the greatest exponents of irony not only in his time, but through the ages. See what you think of it: - http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1080/1080-h/1080-h.htm

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 11:40:11 AM

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Hi Romany! The link doesn't work, I'm afraid.
Quote:
Error 403
Maybe you have just a wrong url. Go to http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/ first to see if the error persists.

If you get the error again check that you:

•Don't use anonymizers, open proxies, VPNs, or TOR to access Project Gutenberg. This includes the Google proxies that are used by Chrome.
•Don't access Project Gutenberg from hosted servers.
•Don't use automated software to download lots of books. We have a limit on how fast you can go while using this site. If you surpass this limit you get blocked for 24h.
•We have a daily limit on how many books you can download. If you exceeded this limit you get blocked for 24h.
•If you use the RSS feed, set your update interval to 24 hours.

Hi Helene! Don't worry - the same sort of thing happened between Romany and myself when we first 'met' on this site.

And we're both 'native' English speakers - the only trouble is I'm a native Lancastrian (in the far north of England) and Romany is a native of the 'posh' bit in the south-east. Whistle

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
daftpunk
Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 1:28:53 PM
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Quote:
What does it mean it may help? When speaking about past events in English, we constantly need to decide between the past simple and the present perfect (while not speaking about processes in progress, of course). We need to keep in mind the difference between them to make the correct choice. That's why I try to attach "then" or "up to now" to a sentence choosing by this technique between the two tenses. By the way, to be accurate, what I actually try to attach is not "up to now", it's something more like "in general", but I'm not sure. Anyway, this word corresponds to the Serbian "uopšte", as I've just looked it up. It's much easier to make the choice with "uopšte" than with "do sada" ("up to now")


Forgot to say earlier that I agree that "uopste" would be a proper word choice in Serbian to describe the core meaning of the present perfect, encompassing all its uses. The funny thing is that the word is polysemous and has two related but still pretty different uses in Serbian - one is as you suggested "in general" but the other would translate as "at all". A very common phrase in Serbian, for example, is "Uopšte govoreći" a hedge phrase which means "Generally speaking" . The other use of the word is also very common but has a meaning "at all", and it is just as same characteristic of negative sentences: She wasn't happy with my answer at all. (Uopšte nije bila zadovoljna mojim odgovorom) I'd agree that "uopšte" in this other sense is very descriptive of all of the present perfect uses. By using the present perfect we are heavily focusing the occurrence of the event (or we can put it the other way around - we are defocusing details related to the event) , that is, we are concerned with conveying the fact that such event occurred at all. We don't want to go a single bit beyond telling that such and such event occurred, simply because giving the particulars of the event, primarily the time of its occurrence, moves the focus towards the event, and defocuses what we want to be focused and it is the present result of that event, our presenting that as experience that we have now, or our desire to inform the reader/listener that such and such event has occurred.

Here I have to point to two inconsistencies in your argument. You complained about the vagueness of similar descriptions (spanning past and present, present relevance etc) of the present perfect, and questioned their value for a learner of English. I agree that speaking of the present perfect cannot be reduced to saying that it heavily focuses the occurrence of the event is not an operable instruction for someone who wants to learn how to use it properly. Such description is to the point, and will make sense to anyone who is already a fluent speaker, but to make it useful for a learner we need to further analyze it in very literal senses of result, experience, hot news (including indefinite vs continuative sense of it). The final step is applying these ideas to very practical situations in which we might need to use the present perfect.

Another problem in your analysis is that you at turns speak of the present perfect as a tense which can be uniquely defined as a category ("in general" tense, compare it with the simple past etc) and you say this:


Quote:
Do you realize that the three different uses of the present perfect are not similar at all and yet you refer them to the group called "The uses of the present perfect"? Result, experience and hot news have as much in common as smell, ruby and earthquake. I consider this categorization artificial.


You are at the same time adamant that these different uses of the present perfect do not have anything in common, and on the other hand, you mention repeatedly that the best way to learn how to use the present perfect is by comparing it with the simple past. From what you are saying I don't have a clue how you would explain it to a learner by comparing it with the simple past, if you find it to be a heterogenous category in the first place.

I think that you have a solid grasp of the purpose of the present perfect and its use, I'm not saying that you're not. I'm not excluding the possibility that your learners might find your way of presenting it helpful. I was trying to explain the widely accepted approach in grammar literature to systematizing different present perfect uses, and I find that it is both sensible and pretty straightforward way to speak of the present perfect in English. And I believe that many learners will come to the same conclusion, if these ideas are presented to them the right way.


Quote:
A nine-year-old girl comes home from school. She, her mother and her eight-month-old baby sister are in the kitchen. The mother is cooking. The baby is sitting in her special chair. The girl sits down in front of the baby and starts to stick out her tongue and move it, trying to teach her sister to do the same. At last the baby sticks out her tongue and the girl immediately turns to her mother and calls out excitedly, "Mom, look it! I (teach) Roberta how to stick out her tongue!" Her mother says, "That's great, sweetie. Now I can cancel the private tutor."



I'd say : "Mom, look! I've taught Roberta how to stick out her tongue!"

Quote:
I see your point, yet I think there is no bottom in that direction. :) I believe that except for historical sentences (like "The war began in 19...), in 99.99% of all sentences that refer to the past, a result can be found. (Even in "I've knocked" the result is "someone could have heard it".) I also believe that in 99.99% of them we can speak about some experience. It's true that I'm repeating myself here, but I didn't hear any objection to this from you last time. Anyway, let your learners keep digging, though I see it a bit sadistic to make them do so.


That is exactly the point Helen, whether you use the present perfect or the simple past is not the matter of different situations, the two tenses do not exclude each other. Whether we choose to use one or the other is a question of how you want to present the situation you are talking about. Sometimes different uses of the present perfect may be ambiguous, as in Grucho example, or sometimes you choose to retell the entire details of the situation instead of pointing to the result of that event, and will opt for the simple past instead of the present perfect etc.
I don't think that it is a good idea to teach the present perfect only through comparing it with the use of the simple past. It is helpful to draw a parallel between these two sentences, of course, but we want to primarily focus on the primary meanings of the present perfect itself and then additionally clear things up by comparing it with the simple past as an alternative past grammatical form.

Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 3:23:34 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Don't worry - the same sort of thing happened between Romany and myself when we first 'met' on this site.

I appreciate your comforting me, Drago.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2015 9:08:24 AM
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Sorry the link didn't work: - try this one:

http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html
(It's worth it!)
daftpunk
Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2015 3:08:40 PM
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Joined: 10/10/2014
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Quote:
Okay, when you are free from your work and if you are still interested in the subject, could you kindly use the correct tense for the verb in brackets in the following scene and give reason for your choice, please?

A nine-year-old girl comes home from school. She, her mother and her eight-month-old baby sister are in the kitchen. The mother is cooking. The baby is sitting in her special chair. The girl sits down in front of the baby and starts to stick out her tongue and move it, trying to teach her sister to do the same. At last the baby sticks out her tongue and the girl immediately turns to her mother and calls out excitedly, "Mom, look it! I (teach) Roberta how to stick out her tongue!" Her mother says, "That's great, sweetie. Now I can cancel the private tutor."


I somehow didn't notice that you asked me to provide reasons for using the present perfect in your context, sorry about that Helen. "Look" leaves no doubt what is your intention here - you are directing Mom's attention to the present result of what you did in the past, in this case very recent past. The resultative use of the present perfect has that intention in its core - when we use it we are inviting the reader/listener to look for something in the present that the situation we just described brought about. We can often (not necessarily of course) physically see the result the situation brought about (broken leg, open door, changed password etc. but the results we are invited to consider can be all sorts of course. Even if the "result" reading is not so obvious, it becomes crystal clear in the context in which we choose to use the present perfect: I've knocked on the door on its own will be likely to be used with resultative reading, but when we "serialize" this situation by adding "so many times", "a few times" etc, we may be more inclined to give it "experiental" interpretation. In any case the resultative and the experiental uses of the present perfect have clearly the same general idea in their core: we are heavily focusing the occurrence of the event as our primary communicative purpose in using the present perfect. There is a clear distinction between these two uses of course: the experiental perfect doesn't say more than that, while the resultative perfect says "such and such situation occurred and it brought about such and such result". So, the resultative perfect adds this "result" component on top of the present perfect core meaning.
Let me again bring to your attention the literature I linked to in this thread, in which the authors discuss the use of the present perfect at length, and in a very approachable manner.
Helenej
Posted: Thursday, May 07, 2015 3:27:12 AM

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Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
daftpunk wrote:
Here I have to point to two inconsistencies in your argument. You complained about the vagueness of similar descriptions (spanning past and present, present relevance etc) of the present perfect, and questioned their value for a learner of English. I agree that speaking of the present perfect cannot be reduced to saying that it heavily focuses the occurrence of the event is not an operable instruction for someone who wants to learn how to use it properly. Such description is to the point, and will make sense to anyone who is already a fluent speaker, but to make it useful for a learner we need to further analyze it in very literal senses of result, experience, hot news (including indefinite vs continuative sense of it). The final step is applying these ideas to very practical situations in which we might need to use the present perfect.
As for "the three uses", read my comment on the scene with the girl teaching her sister below. As for the inconsistensy, there is no any because my explanation is not just a couple of words, and it's not that abstract. Here it is in a nutshell (of course, the wording is simpler for children and depends on their age). "While speaking about past events, we can be mentally either in the past or in the present. If the speaker does not associate a verbal process with any particular circumstances in the past but merely establishes the fact that the process has taken place broadly "up to now", he remains mentally in the present. In such cases the process is anterior to the speaker's mental present and he uses verbs in the perfect tense (continuous or not) to refer to them. As soon as the speaker, however, concentrates his attention on the process of the anterior period of time, associating it with some particular circumstances in the past, he uses a verb in the past tense."

Then I give that technique with "then" - "uopste" and we start practice. You can't believe how quickly they get it. I don't want to say that they master the way of thinking and the technique once and forever. Next time they forget something, of course, as it usually is with learning. I teach them to catch that feeling of "narration", when a sentence is like a part of a story, and the feeling when they are not "in a story", when they don't "narrate". Of course, it takes time to never make a mistake, but what inspires me is the high percentage of their hitting correctly with "then" or "uopste".

Mind also that my teaching them about the tense includes also a preliminary stage. I explain to them that I am going to ask questions in Russian and they are supposed to answer them honestly and as quickly as possible. I ask them, say, "Have you ever watched TV?" and oppose this question with something like, "Have you ever got a twelve?" (it's the highest and rare grade in school) or "Have your parents ever given you a mobile?". It doesn't matter actually what I ask about. My purpose is to ask one question about some common thing that has certainly happened to my pupil many times and another question about some rare thing in their life. After he/she answers, I ask, "While answering, were you recalling any specific time when you were watching TV?" The answer is inevitably "no". And they usually answer positively to the "rare" question. I explain to them in which case they were mentally in the present and in which they were in the past. Another pair of question and one more until they understand. I let them feel the difference of being mentally in the past and in the present in Russian. Then I explain that in Russian we have one verbal form for both cases and there are two different forms in English. Again, what I've been describing in this paragraph is a preliminary stage of my explanation of the present perfect.


daftpunk wrote:
You are at the same time adamant that these different uses of the present perfect do not have anything in common, and on the other hand, you mention repeatedly that the best way to learn how to use the present perfect is by comparing it with the simple past. From what you are saying I don't have a clue how you would explain it to a learner by comparing it with the simple past, if you find it to be a heterogenous category in the first place.
Yes, I insist that the three uses of the present perfect have nothing in common except that, with them, the present perfect can or cannot be used. :) The same is true about the past simple, by the way. A learner can clearly see the result, experience and recentness in "I bought apples at N today". If I say that it is not the apples that are in focus here, they can return, "But the sentence is about buying apples!" That is one more reason I consider the explanation inoperable. (It seems I've already picked up a good deal of "clever" words from you. :) )

As for the point of your remark, the difference lies in the following. You join "the three uses", which have in common only one thing: they can or cannot explain the use of the present perfect, lol. I believe it to be a very weak and, therefore, artificial, reason for joining them together. On the other hand, the past simple and the present perfect can objectively be considered as belonging to one group due to the fact they both refer to past time.


daftpunk wrote:
I'd say : "Mom, look! I've taught Roberta how to stick out her tongue!"
But in the movie she says "I taught". Watch at 3:40.
http://putlocker.is/watch-ramona-and-beezus-online-free-putlocker.html

We have here all the three uses of the present perfect together! The most obvious, of course, are the "result" and "hot news", but isn't her having taught the baby to stick out her tongue an experience? (I agree it's a little stretch). Anyway, in spite of all the occurrence (another clever word!) of the three uses, she was mentally in the past and what she was telling is, "Mom, look it. I was teaching Roberta how to stick out her tongue. At some point I managed to teach her and she stuck her tongue out."

To sum it up, we can either have a result of the action or not, it cannot be a reliable indicator of the tense we want to use. The same about experience and hot news. The question is: what should we stuff the students' heads with "the three uses" for?


daftpunk wrote:
Whether you use the present perfect or the simple past is not the matter of different situations, the two tenses do not exclude each other. Whether we choose to use one or the other is a question of how you want to present the situation you are talking about.
I agree, but the two tenses are not always interchangable. You cannot use the past simple in regard to processes of general validity (No fox likes to eat an animal that he himself has not killed) and purely logical conclusions ("What's the time? My watch has stopped.")

daftpunk wrote:
Sometimes you choose to retell the entire details of the situation instead of pointing to the result of that event, and will opt for the simple past instead of the present perfect.
I agree in general, but, as you might guess, I would put it differently: "Sometimes you choose to focus on some details of the situation instead of describing it "uopste", and will opt for the simple past instead of the present perfect."

daftpunk wrote:
I don't think that it is a good idea to teach the present perfect only through comparing it with the use of the simple past. It is helpful to draw a parallel between these two sentences, of course, but we want to primarily focus on the primary meanings of the present perfect itself and then additionally clear things up by comparing it with the simple past as an alternative past grammatical form.
I don't suggest to teach the present perfect only by comparing it with the past simple. As I said, at first I explain it by itself, as a tense when we are mentally in the present while speaking about the past. But whenever we want to refer to an event in the past in English, we need to decide which tense to choose, the present perfect or the past simple. As you said earlier in your last post, it's often up to us whether to go into details or to look at the situation in general. We need get determined. How can we make a choice keeping in mind only one option? When we explain to a child what "left" is, we cannot avoid explaining what "right" is. Opposing the two notions explains them. Similarly, when explaining to a child what a man is, we cannot leave out how a man is different from a woman (or the difference will be just implied). Light and darkness, addition and distraction, freedom and slavery. They are antipodes and so are the two tenses. They are antipodes for a learner in whose native language there is only one past tense.

******
While writing this long post of mine, I was constantly afraid that at some point Drago may pop up again and start reproaching us for discussing a subject that no one is interested in. :) And in an improper thread, too! Come on, Drago, the mysterious present perfect turns us on and we can't do anything about it, can we, daftpunk?


daftpunk
Posted: Friday, May 08, 2015 2:29:38 PM
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Quote:
I'd say : "Mom, look! I've taught Roberta how to stick out her tongue!"
But in the movie she says "I taught". Watch at 3:40.


You pulled the same argument in the present perfect thread in the "found" example, and I can only say the same again: the simple past is used this way in American English. As far as I know if you used the present perfect it would sound perfect and expected usage in any of the main English dialects and you'd say the same.

Quote:
Yes, I insist that the three uses of the present perfect have nothing in common except that, with them, the present perfect can or cannot be used. :) The same is true about the past simple, by the way. A learner can clearly see the result, experience and recentness in "I bought apples at N today". If I say that it is not the apples that are in focus here, they can return, "But the sentence is about buying apples!" That is one more reason I consider the explanation inoperable. (It seems I've already picked up a good deal of "clever" words from you. :) )


The sentence "I bought apples at N today" is about buying apples, that is true. The sentence "I've bought apples" is basically about "having apples" rather than "buying apples". By reading into your sentence we might be able to interpret it as having a result, being an experience or a recent situation, but we just chose not to present it as any of those primarily. We use the present perfect when we want to do that. As I repeated countless times in the thread on the present perfect, the difference between "the present perfect talking about past events" and "simple past talking about past events" is in the way we present the situation, it is not an objective matter. Remember when we discussed the present perfect progressive and it wasn't clear to you why we read it as describing "up to now" situation when it can be inferred that the situation didn't last up to the moment of the utterance. It is because we are not concerned with providing such details, real life time considerations do not match how we present that situation in language. The same applies to "I've bought apples" - it is true that we are talking about a past event of "buying apples" but it is not what we primarily want to present to the listener/reader - what we want to present is "my having apples".

On a personal note, when I was a less advanced learner of English and these same questions bothered me, I think that reading an elaborate discussion on the present perfect as we have had recently here on the forum would have been a great help to me. In my view, even repeating the same over again in different forms as we did can be helpful, especially when it is explained in representative examples. The explanations given in the sources I cited throughout are enough for a learner to understand various uses of the present perfect. I really hope that some future learners looking for information on the present perfect will find this thread helpful.
What I hope the most is for them to see behind all the (latin) terminology, which is obviously needed to make useful generalizations, and discover the very simple basic concepts that drive native speakers of English when they intuitively use the present perfect. The grammar terminology is Latin-derived, already established and we use it as a common ground in discussing language matters, not for its own sake. It is how consistently we use it that counts. We want to be descriptive and clear about what we want to say about language. An old adage says "No facts of geography are changed by a new notation", and it applies as much to grammar as to any other professional area.
Helenej
Posted: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:19:53 PM

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daftpunk wrote:
You pulled the same argument in the present perfect thread in the "found" example.
That's right, but you pulled it once, too, saying, "Whether we choose to use one or the other is a question of how you want to present the situation you are talking about." We completely agree on this. What is different is what makes native speakers use each of the tenses. We see that even the most obvious result or experience or hot news can't make the speaker use the present perfect. Then why should we stuff the students' heads with results and so on?

You like your "three factors" system, but you never proved that my simple "one factor" system doesn't work. The only fault you've found about it is its simplicity. :)


daftpunk wrote:
The simple past is used this way in American English.
Do you mean that Americans can't see results or they don't want to focus them by the present perfect? If they don't want to focus results, experience and hot news by the present perfect, what do they use the tense for?

daftpunk wrote:
The sentence "I bought apples at N today" is about buying apples, that is true. The sentence "I've bought apples" is basically about "having apples" rather than "buying apples".
It is wishful thinking to present "buying" as "having". You do so just because your grammar book says there should be a result. You might just as well read the speaker's "buying apples" as "eating apples", why not? It's even more "resulting" than "having", isn't it? :) The speaker referred to the process of buying, there's no need to change her meaning. If she wanted to say that she has apples, she would do it.

daftpunk wrote:
By reading into your sentence we might be able to interpret it as having a result, being an experience or a recent situation, but we just chose not to present it as any of those primarily. We use the present perfect when we want to do that.
That's right, but it doesn't automatically mean that we use it when we want to focus result, experience or hot news. It's just what your book says.

daftpunk wrote:
As I repeated countless times in the thread on the present perfect, the difference between "the present perfect talking about past events" and "simple past talking about past events" is in the way we present the situation, it is not an objective matter.
I've repeated it countless times, too. We have been arguing not about that, but about reasons that make speakers to present the situation in one way or another.

daftpunk wrote:
The same applies to "I've bought apples" - it is true that we are talking about a past event of "buying apples" but it is not what we primarily want to present to the listener/reader - what we want to present is "my having apples".
I've just commented on this: "having" doesn't mean "buying".

daftpunk wrote:
I really hope that some future learners looking for information on the present perfect will find this thread helpful.
Me, too. :)

daftpunk wrote:
What I hope the most is for them to see behind all the (latin) terminology, which is obviously needed to make useful generalizations, and discover the very simple basic concepts that drive native speakers of English when they intuitively use the present perfect.
What I hope the most is for them to see behind all the (latin) terminology, which is obviously needed to make useful generalizations, and discover one very simple basic concept that drives native speakers of English when they intuitively use the present perfect. :)

Audiendus
Posted: Friday, May 08, 2015 8:30:15 PM
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daftpunk wrote:
When we use the present perfect to indicate "experience" our motivation for using it is different. We don't want to point the listener/reader to the present effects of the past event, we want him/her to know that such and such event occurred in past. That is all we want to say.

This seems to conflict with Helenej's single criterion for using the present perfect, i.e. the idea of being "mentally in the present" (the idea of "up to now"). Do you consider this criterion inadequate to cover the "experiential" use of the present perfect? Is that why you prefer your "three factors" system?
Helenej
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2015 6:06:48 AM

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A thought has repeatedly occurred to me during the discussions about the present perfect. It is about common sense. I quite realize though that the idea of common sense is insufficient for proving my one factor system, but it makes much sense to me. (I say "my" system, but of course, it's not my invention. It's from a book and I once mentioned it.)

People are lazy. That's why they have invented many things that help them save time and efforts. Those were the first tools and the wheel. It is their laziness that made them "invent" agriculture and animal husbandry, too. We always try to do as little as possible and never tend to complicate things.

It seems improbable that people have "invented" some grammatical form and said, "Let's agree that this word, suffix, prefix or grammatical structure will denote three different things. Each time we will have to think which we mean, but it's okay." (I know that languages were not invented this way, but we can present the process that simply.) By saying "cat" they meant "cat" only, and not a dog. People don't want to complicate their life with ambiguity. Ambiguity may cost dearly in some cases: if the word "fire" meant both "fire" and "Sleep tight", there would have been much more victims of fires.) If, for a certain period of time, there existed two words or structures for denoting something, then one of them would inevitably extinct or acquire a different meaning or a different stylistic colouring.

The suffix -less means lacking, -ing means process, -er means person, -ful means quality, - s means plurality, re- means again and so on. Even if some parts of words have several meanings, they have something in common, like -al means either result or action (denial).

Similarly, analytical forms were "designed" to mean one notion. " I am breaking" means being in the process, "It is broken" means having undergone to an action, "I will break" means future. Therefore I see "have broken" as one notion, too, and not a bunch of notions.

Moreover, the core of the present perfect is not "I have something broken" as the form might suggest, meaning a result. If the form had been designed to mean merely a result, it would be simply "My leg is broken", why not? Why should have people created a form for denoting a result ("I have broken my leg") whose meaning is absolutely identical to another ("My leg is broken")?

To me, the core of the present perfect is different. While talking to others, we send a signal with every word and every form. By using the present perfect, we merely inform the listener that we are not telling him "a story" and he/she doesn't need to try imagining or guessing when the event we are talking about happened. That easy.

Helenej
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2015 6:57:22 AM

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And one more consideration. As I've said, if you have practiced for a while, you would be able to find some result of any past action. Similarly, you would be able to see some experience someone acquired as a result of a past action. (Only hot news don't possess this feature.)

Thus, each of the two "uses" seems to be able to cover the whole variety of cases where the present perfect can be used. The question is: can the resulting and experience uses be considered the two uses of the present perfect if each of them can serve as an explanation of the use of the present perfect in all instances of its use?
Audiendus
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2015 8:00:57 AM
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Helenej wrote:
Thus, each of the two "uses" seems to be able to cover the whole variety of cases where the present perfect can be used. The question is: can the resulting and experience uses be considered the two uses of the present perfect if each of them can serve as an explanation of the use of the present perfect in all instances of its use?

What about the following?

1. My father has died. [result, not experience]
2. She has probably seen many storms like this during her lifetime. [experience, but no discernible result. The fact is merely inferred from her age.]
Audiendus
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2015 8:52:26 AM
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Helenej wrote:
The suffix -less means lacking, -ing means process, -er means person, -ful means quality, - s means plurality, re- means again and so on. Even if some parts of words have several meanings, they have something in common, like -al means either result or action (denial).

I don't think it is that simple. For example, -er can refer to a thing (buzzer, boiler, waiver, disclaimer) and can also indicate a comparative. Re- has other uses (e.g. remark (= comment), recover, recite). And what about con- ?

Helenej wrote:
Similarly, analytical forms were "designed" to mean one notion. " I am breaking" means being in the process, "It is broken" means having undergone to an action, "I will break" means future. Therefore I see "have broken" as one notion, too, and not a bunch of notions.

"Will" does not always mean future. Consider:

"He will [present situation] keep saying it! Well, he will [future] not say it again – I'll make sure of that!"

Helenej wrote:
Moreover, the core of the present perfect is not "I have something broken" as the form might suggest, meaning a result. If the form had been designed to mean merely a result, it would be simply "My leg is broken", why not? Why should have people created a form for denoting a result ("I have broken my leg") whose meaning is absolutely identical to another ("My leg is broken")?

Why do we use the same verb ("have") to indicate possession and to form the present perfect? I think there must be some historical connection – some concept common to both uses. (It is interesting that in French, in "I have broken it/them", "broken" agrees in gender and number with "it/them" – as if one is saying "I have (got) it/them broken".)

And "I have broken my computer" is not identical in meaning to "My computer is broken".
Helenej
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2015 9:56:03 AM

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Audiendus wrote:
My father has died. [result, not experience]
When he was dying, he felt what death was like (pain, problems with breath, fading consciousness). He experienced death at the moment of it. He experienced death just as he has experienced joy, sadness, disappointment, confusion and so on.

Audiendus wrote:
She has probably seen many storms like this during her lifetime. [experience, but no discernible result. The fact is merely inferred from her age.]
She has good knowledge about what storms are like. Storms cannot be absolutely alike, so now she knows about the similarities and differences of storms. The fact that the speaker only inferrs her seeing storms makes no difference. If she supposes that she has seen storms, then the supposed result is that she has knowledge.
Also, I doubt that the speaker inferrs that merely from her age: he/she also knows that she has lived by the sea or has traveled by sea.

According to daftpunk, results shouldn't be necessarily discernible:

daftpunk wrote:
The "result" use is most common and its sole purpose is to heavily point to the present result of a prior situation. All we say is that such situation happened and we invite the reader/listener to consider the present result of its occurrence. In the most obvious cases it will create a clear mental image in their mind of the present consequence of that situation (broken leg, open door, apples in the place where we usually store them etc) The image of the present state of things may be as clear as that but it can also be more abstract, and it will just as same invite the listener/reader to consider that result - I have changed the password will point to the different characters of the password now, resulting from the situation of my changing it. I have knocked on the door will point to even more abstract result - I have produced a sound and I'm pointing to the fact that it had to be heard by someone as a result, if there is anyone in there.
Helenej
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2015 10:58:38 AM

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Audiendus wrote:
I don't think it is that simple. For example, -er can refer to a thing (buzzer, boiler, waiver, disclaimer) and can also indicate a comparative. Re- has other uses (e.g. remark (= comment), recover, recite). And what about con- ?
I agree, I haven't been thinking much about affixes and analyzing them deeply while writing that. Let's say, -er means a doer of an action.
As for comparatives, we can consider them to be homonyms, like the word "bank".
As for re-, you are right. But the different meanings of re- originate from different Latin prefixes, so they can also be considered just homonyms.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/_/roots.aspx?type=Indo-European&root=re-
As for con-, it equals com-, which means "together" or "with".


Audiendus wrote:
"Will" does not always mean future. Consider:
"He will [present situation] keep saying it! Well, he will [future] not say it again – I'll make sure of that!"
"He will [present situation] keep saying it!" is a general prediction about things that always happen (Cambridge Grammar of English). The speaker knows that someone always says something and predicts that he will say it in the future.

Audiendus wrote:
Why do we use the same verb ("have") to indicate possession and to form the present perfect?
I don't know. We are talking about the form as a whole, not about the bricks it is built of. Why do we use the verb "be" to indicate existence and to form the continuous tenses?

Audiendus wrote:
And "I have broken my computer" is not identical in meaning to "My computer is broken".
Of course, it isn't. The latter is about the state of the computer. What happened to the computer is a result of something that we don't know about. The former is a report about an action and its doer.

daftpunk
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2015 11:41:13 AM
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Quote:


daftpunk wrote:
When we use the present perfect to indicate "experience" our motivation for using it is different. We don't want to point the listener/reader to the present effects of the past event, we want him/her to know that such and such event occurred in past. That is all we want to say.


This seems to conflict with Helenej's single criterion for using the present perfect, i.e. the idea of being "mentally in the present" (the idea of "up to now"). Do you consider this criterion inadequate to cover the "experiential" use of the present perfect? Is that why you prefer your "three factors" system?


"To be mentally in the present" is a phrase which, even to someone who already has a good grasp of the present perfect, doesn't give much insight on the nature of the present perfect uses. It is on the same level of abstraction as any of the similar descriptions of the present perfect I come across, like: "has present relevance", "situation affects present" etc. It helps as much as saying that the present perfect is a past tense. That is all true and fine but it really gives me a headache when I try to think of myself as "mentally being in present" as "opposed to "mentally not being in present". Also, when we use the simple past we could just as same say that we are "mentally in present" - the basic use of it is to establish the time reference relative to now, the moment of utterance. (they give a nice illustration of deixis on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deixis). The point is that by using the present perfect the speaker/writer presents the situation in question in a very specific manner, has a very clear idea of what he/she wants to say. These ideas are by no means convoluted mental concepts, which is why in our analysis we need to come down from the level of abstraction to the level of explaining which situations exactly prompt the use of the present perfect.
For this reason, the categorization of the present perfect uses into result, experience and hot news perfect makes perfect sense to me. It is simple, clear, precise and it is factual, as opposed to metaphorical, explanation of this grammatical concept. It is as practical generalization of the present perfect uses as it can possibly be done in a systematic way. That said, Helen's "mentally in present", as a very broad idea, could be said to cover the experiental use of the present perfect, if it means that a link between the past situation and the present point is provided by virtue of presenting the situation as a current, accumulated experience of a person or thing in the previous period of time which stretches up to the moment of speaking.


Here's an excerpt from this brilliant document here http://www.academia.edu/6350032/2008_The_English_Resultative_perfect_and_its_relationship_to_the_Experiential_perfect_and_the_simple_Past_Tense, where the author gives a survey of factors influencing the use of the experiental present perfect:

Quote:
A sentence in the Resultative perfect licenses two inferences: (a) the occurrence of an event (b) the state caused by this event obtains at evaluation time. In this paper I show that this use of the perfect is subject to a large number of distributional restrictions that all serve to highlight the result inference at the expense of the event inference. Nevertheless, only the event inference determines the truth conditions of this use of the perfect, the result inference being a unique type of conventional implicature. I argue furthermore that, since the result state is singular, the event that causes it must also be singular, whereas the Experiential perfect is purely quantificational.

---

Resultatives denote singular events, whereas Experientials are simply quantificational. It will also be suggested that Resultatives denote specific events.

-----

Quantifiers
The occurrence of quantified DPs or adverbs of quantification suggest a plurality of events or at least the possibility of plurality:
(5)
a. I’ve met her four times.b. Have you ever eaten pheasant?c. Many people have complained about this practice.
5
(b) Similarly, conjunction of phrases suggests that a sentence is about a series of events of the same kind, as in (6a), or situations that have something in common:
(6)
a. Zheng’s masterpieces have been bought by violinists of the London andBoston symphony orchestras, among many others.b. Mary has been a waitress, a fire fighter and a company director.c. Liz has been convicted and acquitted of the crime.d. Max has been a heavy drinker and a teetotaler in his time; now he drinks in moderation.Note that in (6c) each of the conjuncts on its own is likely to be construed as aResultative, and that the conjuncts in (6d) are contraries.(c) Focus on have has the same effect as the adverbs of quantifications once or sometimes

(7) I HAVE eaten frogs’ legs but I can’t say I liked them

(f) Repeatability
Unlike the positive characteristics listed above, this is supposedly a negative constraint. It has been claimed that Experiential is subject to a condition that the event has to be repeatable, and such that it could occur now (or at the appropriate PEpt) (Inoue 1978; McCawley 1971; Dahl 1985; Michaelis 1994;Katz 2003). This purported condition subsumes three entirely different cases.The first case is illustrated by the sentences in (10):
(10) a. Have you been to the Israel Festival? b. Have you ever been to the Israel Festival?(10a) is only felicitous while the festival is on in any one year, (10b) only as long as the festival as an institution lasts. This constraint can be explained as a special case of the more general phenomenon of ‘lifetime effects’: the present tense, regardless of perfect, is usually appropriate only as long as the referents of the arguments of a predicate exist (Musan 1997; Mittwoch 2008).McCawley (1981) points out that the perfect in such sentences is also infelicitous if the speaker knows that the hearer is prevented from performing the action in question. Thus (10a) would be infelicitous if addressed to someone who is in prison now but was free during, say, the first week of the festival, and is known to have to stay in prison at least until the end of the festival. The explanation for this case is that it would be inappropriate to invoke an interval ending now if one knows that the only relevant interval ended the moment the hearer was locked up. Both these cases follow from general characteristics of the perfect and do not justify a separate condition of repeatability for the Experiential.The third case involves events that are by their very nature once-only events and therefore ipso facto unrepeatable:
(11) a. John has died. b. The Prime Minister has held his first press conference. c. Anne has uttered her first two-word sentence. (11a) is a Resultative perfect; it licenses the inference that John is dead. I shall postpone discussion of (11b and c) to the end of Sect. 5.2.


Quote:
Here's http://www-01.sil.org/linguistics/glossaryoflinguisticterms/WhatIsExperientialPerfectAspec.htm a succint description of the experiental perfect:

Experiential perfect aspect is a grammaticalization of the current relevance, at the moment of utterance, of an event or state that occurred prior to the moment of utterance. The event or state is expressed as an experience which happened at least once, without respect to a particular location in time, and which is repeatable.


The common denominator of all the uses of the present perfect is that they all heavily focus on the fact that the event in question occurred at all. We'll automatically opt for the interpretation of the present perfect which suits the context in which it is used. Ambiguities are not too common, but they are possible. Grucho in your example used one such situation to make an effective joke. But generally, we'll know if the present perfect is meant to point me to search for the result of that situation in the present, or it is meant to tell me about the speaker/ writer's experience in the past, or it is intended to inform me about a very recent event that I might not be aware of (news). Intrinsic to the experiental reading is the potential for repeatibality of the event - most often we speak of a series events, rather than a singular occurrence of an event. I have run, I have crawled, I have climbed the city walls ... example that I gave in the thread on the present perfect is a clear example of experiental reading -
Nothing in the context must indicate that my running, crawling etc stopped at any point before now. If there's such an indication we must use the simple past: I run in the past, and I crawled etc. but I'm not doing it anymore - It's been a while since I haven't been doing it. This is the point of confusion for Helen - we can use the simple past to speak of our past experiences but in that case we are detaching the situation in question from the present point. When we use the present perfect the experience in question may have happened at any point in time prior to now. "Indefinite past" is how we can describe any use of the present perfect.

As the author of the document says "experiental present perfect is purely quantificational" - all that concerns us is communicating the fact that event (typically a serial event) in question occurred in the past - no other inferences, innuendos etc are contained in the present perfect message, other than saying that it was "experienced" by someone/something in the past. When Bono says "I have run, I have crawled.." he wants to say that he's done such things in his life time, prior to now. In general, we will be likely to serialize the event: I have broken a fair share of rice cookers in my time. It may be a single occasion though: I have broken one before but it was cheap and I didn't care much. Similarly, Grucho was saying "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening" referring to a single occasion that he had experienced in his time.
The resultative perfect is more complex than that. Its meaning can be divided into two: the occurrence of the event and the resulting state brought about by that event. The reader/listener is invited to consider the resulting state, of a normally singular event: I have broken my rice cooker. The result is easily inferrable in the given context; If I say that I've opened the door, I'm inviting the listener to consider the state of the door (being open) at the moment, be it visible or not. If I've knocked on the door, I'm inviting the listener to consider the fact of a sound of knocking having been produced, and the possible ramifications of such an event happening in the given context. Using the resultative perfect is much like pushing a switch on in the listener/reader's head activating his/her search mode for the possible results of the past event. The resulting inferences on the listener's side will vary depending on the context and their expectations from what they gathered previously as the situation developed.


daftpunk
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2015 12:00:45 PM
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Quote:
As for re-, you are right. But the different meanings of re- originate from different Latin prefixes, so they can also be considered just homonyms.


On this website here http://michiganradio.org/people/anne-curzan Anne Curzan presents some interesting facts about the history of affixes in English, you may find it interesting.

Helenej
Posted: Saturday, May 09, 2015 4:20:02 PM

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daftpunk wrote:
"To be mentally in the present" is a phrase which, even to someone who already has a good grasp of the present perfect, doesn't give much insight on the nature of the present perfect uses.
1. If this phrase doesn't give much insight to someone who already has a good grasp of the present perfect, that means that they don't have a good grasp of it. If they had a good grasp, they wouldn't confidently decide that in "Mom, look it! I taught Roberta..." the present perfect should be used.

2. I've never said that I explain the present perfect with this single phrase. You might care to scroll up to read again how I explain it.


daftpunk wrote:
It really gives me a headache when I try to think of myself as "mentally being in present" as "opposed to "mentally not being in present".
Seeing that the result of "knocking on the door" is "someone might have heard it" gives me a headache, too.

daftpunk wrote:
Also, when we use the simple past we could just as same say that we are "mentally in present".
No, we can't. As I said, we use the past simple when we associate the verbal process with some particular circumstances in the past. The time of the verbal process is one of the circumstances, so mentioning (or implying) it in the sentence means that we are mentally in the past.

daftpunk wrote:
Nothing in the context must indicate that my running, crawling etc stopped at any point before now. If there's such an indication we must use the simple past: I run in the past, and I crawled etc. but I'm not doing it anymore - It's been a while since I haven't been doing it. This is the point of confusion for Helen - we can use the simple past to speak of our past experiences but in that case we are detaching the situation in question from the present point.
You must be taking me for someone else: this has never been a point of confusion for me.

daftpunk wrote:
The resultative perfect is more complex than that. Its meaning can be divided into two: the occurrence of the event and the resulting state brought about by that event. The reader/listener is invited to consider the resulting state, of a normally singular event: I have broken my rice cooker. The result is easily inferrable in the given context; If I say that I've opened the door, I'm inviting the listener to consider the state of the door (being open) at the moment, be it visible or not. If I've knocked on the door, I'm inviting the listener to consider the fact of a sound of knocking having been produced, and the possible ramifications of such an event happening in the given context. Using the resultative perfect is much like pushing a switch on in the listener/reader's head activating his/her search mode for the possible results of the past event. The resulting inferences on the listener's side will vary depending on the context and their expectations from what they gathered previously as the situation developed.
We can have the same results when using the past simple.

1. Husband (from the living room): Mary, what was that noise?
Mary (entering the room): I was trying to get the rice cooker from the shelf but my hands were wet. So it dropped and broke.

Here, just as you described the resultative perfect above, the meaning of the past simple can be divided into two: the occurrence of the event and the resulting state brought about by that event. The husband is invited to consider the resulting state. :)

2. A man to his wife: I'm going to Kevin to return him his drill.
In a short while he returns with the drill.
The man: It's so strange. Jeff is usually home at this time. I rang the doorbell and I even knocked on the door.

Here the wife is invited to consider the resulting state. :)

daftpunk
Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2015 1:15:48 PM
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Joined: 10/10/2014
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Quote:
daftpunk wrote:
The resultative perfect is more complex than that. Its meaning can be divided into two: the occurrence of the event and the resulting state brought about by that event. The reader/listener is invited to consider the resulting state, of a normally singular event: I have broken my rice cooker. The result is easily inferrable in the given context; If I say that I've opened the door, I'm inviting the listener to consider the state of the door (being open) at the moment, be it visible or not. If I've knocked on the door, I'm inviting the listener to consider the fact of a sound of knocking having been produced, and the possible ramifications of such an event happening in the given context. Using the resultative perfect is much like pushing a switch on in the listener/reader's head activating his/her search mode for the possible results of the past event. The resulting inferences on the listener's side will vary depending on the context and their expectations from what they gathered previously as the situation developed.

We can have the same results when using the past simple.

1. Husband (from the living room): Mary, what was that noise?
Mary (entering the room): I was trying to get the rice cooker from the shelf but my hands were wet. So it dropped and broke.




The fact that we use the present perfect to highlight the result of the previous action is reflected in many ways. First, the present perfect sentence "I've broken the rice cooker" will be expected to be used as a stage setter for what follows in the context. This way we're foregrounding the result of the previous action giving this information the focus, communicative precedence to the rest of the events surrounding its occurrence. The present perfect sentence will typically be a conversation opener, for example:

I have broken the rice cooker. I was trying to get it from the shelf but I accidentally dropped it and it fell on the floor and broke.

There's also an element of novelty of the information in "I have broken the rice cooker" - Mary's first and foremost intention is to inform her husband of the accident of her breaking the cooker. This utterance in itself is separated from what follows. With the rest Mary narrates about the circumstances under which the accident occurred.

You won't use the simple past in a similar way, that is, to foreground and point to the result of the previous action and then explain the circumstances under which that event occurred. In a similar context you won't say: "I broke the rice cooker. I was trying to to get it from the shelf.." . Similarly, you won't use the present perfect at the tail end of the narrative: I was trying to get the rice cooker from the shelf but my hands were wet so I've dropped it and it broke.

Your example is a more elaborate way of saying "I've broken the rice cooker". In the end you're saying the same either way, and the difference is one of nuance in emphasis. The present perfect "I've broken the rice cooker", in my view, will likely to be understood as more or less emphatic or dramatic than the simple past "I did that and bla bla bla.. and the cooker fell down and broke.
In other words, we use the simple past to narrate about a sequence of interdependent events, i.e there are causes and effects, a temporal sequence of events etc which make what we say a compact whole - narrative. That makes it difficult to make a particular event intensely stand out from the other events in the way we do that with the present perfect. The other events steal the focus from, take the edge off the event we want to emphasize - this emphasis is softened in the context.
The present perfect, on the other hand, sets aside the event that brought about some present result that we want to point to, from all the rest that we want to further communicate. It is almost like you're saying: "Here's the thing, I've broken the rice cooker", and you may or may not follow it by whatever else you may find necessary to say about it.

The point is that the present perfect of result points the listener to the present result of a past action, and it is its sole communicative purpose. The simple past in this context and many other contexts tells as well about the present result of a past action (in this example "the rice cooker being broken") but it will present that fact in a different manner, and with a different sort of emphasis. It is a narrative tense and its primary purpose is narrating about larger situations in which individual events fit together. The present perfect, as I said repeatedly in this thread, concerned with establishing the connection of an individual event with the present point of time, and it doesn't form a narrative whole with other events the way the simple past does. The occurrence expressed in the present perfect is typically presented as an "island" event, establishing the fact of the result of a previous action, or a fact about previous experiences, or a novelty of the occurrence, which is then, typically, used as a starting point for whatever else may follow.

Quote:
2. A man to his wife: I'm going to Kevin to return him his drill.
In a short while he returns with the drill.
The man: It's so strange. Jeff is usually home at this time. I rang the doorbell and I even knocked on the door.

Here the wife is invited to consider the resulting state. :)


She's not invited to consider the resulting state, she was being told about what happened at Kevin's house. The way you understand "present result" we can find it in literally anything we say in any verb tense. His not finding Kevin home and his still having Kevin's drill with him are not present results of his ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door, not in the sense we speak of the "present perfect of result". If we want to point the listener to the result of "ringing the doorbell" and "knocking on the door" we need the present perfect. If we slightly change the context, for example, he went to his close neighbour Kevin, rang the bell and knocked on the door, and then got back to his wife running, he could say: "I've rang the doorbell and knocked on the door, let's see what happens!"
The watchword is "present" - the result needs to be valid at the present point of time in some sense. By dividing the present perfect usages into 'experiental', "result", "hot news' we are identifying the kind of the link-relevance of the past situation to how things are now.

Helenej
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2015 4:59:24 AM

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The two scenes from my last post were intended to prove that what you had said about the present perfect is true about the past simple as well. What you had said is "The resultative perfect is more complex than that. Its meaning can be divided into two: the occurrence of the event and the resulting state brought about by that event. The reader/listener is invited to consider the resulting state". I showed that in both scenes with the past simple the speaker is invited to consider some results.

daftpunk wrote:
Your example is a more elaborate way of saying "I've broken the rice cooker". In the end you're saying the same either way, and the difference is one of nuance in emphasis. The present perfect "I've broken the rice cooker", in my view, will likely to be understood as more or less emphatic or dramatic than the simple past "I did that and bla bla bla... and the cooker fell down and broke". In other words, we use the simple past to narrate about a sequence of interdependent events, i.e there are causes and effects, a temporal sequence of events etc which make what we say a compact whole - narrative. That makes it difficult to make a particular event intensely stand out from the other events in the way we do that with the present perfect. The other events steal the focus from, take the edge off the event we want to emphasize - this emphasis is softened in the context.

Great words! You even managed to explain the difference without using the word "result". :)

daftpunk wrote:
The present perfect, on the other hand, sets aside the event that brought about some present result that we want to point to, from all the rest that we want to further communicate. It is almost like you're saying: "Here's the thing, I've broken the rice cooker", and you may or may not follow it by whatever else you may find necessary to say about it.

For you to be fair, after the words "the event that brought about some present result", you should have mentioned those events that don't bring about any results but are just experiences or carry an element of novelty of the information, mentioning this way all possible events of the past. :) Or you could leave out the words about result at all.

daftpunk wrote:
The simple past in this context and many other contexts tells as well about the present result of a past action (in this example "the rice cooker being broken") but it will present that fact in a different manner, and with a different sort of emphasis. It is a narrative tense and its primary purpose is narrating about larger situations in which individual events fit together. The present perfect, as I said repeatedly in this thread, concerned with establishing the connection of an individual event with the present point of time, and it doesn't form a narrative whole with other events the way the simple past does. The occurrence expressed in the present perfect is typically presented as an "island" event, establishing the fact of the result of a previous action, or a fact about previous experiences, or a novelty of the occurrence, which is then, typically, used as a starting point for whatever else may follow.

Again, "establishing the fact of the result of a previous action, or a fact about previous experiences, or a novelty of the occurrence" means "establishing whatever it may establish". If something establishes anything possible, why should we go into details and consider any part of that?

daftpunk wrote:
She's not invited to consider the resulting state, she was being told about what happened at Kevin's house. The way you understand "present result" we can find it in literally anything we say in any verb tense. His not finding Kevin home and his still having Kevin's drill with him are not present results of his ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door, not in the sense we speak of the "present perfect of result".

I consider "result" just like anyone else considers it and just like it is defined in the dictionaries. Result is " something that follows naturally from a particular action, operation, or course; a consequence or outcome" (TFD). And I never said that his not finding Kevin home and his still having Kevin's drill with him are results of his ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door. I think that it would be quite natural for the man to finish what he said with, "... but no one opened the door" after "I rang and I knocked". He left those words out just because it was obvious since he had returned with the drill, but he could say that. Why can't we think that, by saying that, he invites his wife to consider possible results such as a necessity to go to Kevin's place once again or the fact that that stupid drill will be lying about in the hall another day?

daftpunk wrote:
The categorization of the present perfect uses into result, experience and hot news perfect makes perfect sense to me.

I only wonder what a listener/reader should do with those. What way of thinking or analyzing do you suggest they should use when they hear a verb in the present perfect? How can they know which use is that? I guess what you suggest is the following.

1. The listener assumes that the speaker wants to inform him about the result of an action. The listener tries to see the result.

2. If he fails to detect any result, he thinks that the speaker meant some previous experience and the listener tries to understand what experience it was.

3. If the listener fails to detect any previous experiences, he thinks with a relief that the speaker must have been informing him about some novelty.

Does the listener really should do this mental job any time he hears the present perfect?

daftpunk
Posted: Monday, June 01, 2015 1:13:30 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/10/2014
Posts: 493
Neurons: 2,430


Quote:
The two scenes from my last post were intended to prove that what you had said about the present perfect is true about the past simple as well. What you had said is "The resultative perfect is more complex than that. Its meaning can be divided into two: the occurrence of the event and the resulting state brought about by that event. The reader/listener is invited to consider the resulting state". I showed that in both scenes with the past simple the speaker is invited to consider some results.


You're only complicating things by comparing what I said about the two different uses of the present perfect with the simple past tense. In your examples you didn't show that the reader/listener was invited to consider the PRESENT resulting state of a past event and we normally can't do that by using the simple past. The simple past is PAST PAST, the present repercussions of the past event expressed in the simple past, whatever they possibly may be, are not HIGHLIGHTED. The event is not PRESENTED with the intention of POINTING to the consequences of a past event that are holding right now.

The resultative present perfect is more complex than the experiental present perfect. The latter is concerned only with the OCCURRENCE of a past event - the communicative purpose is completely exhausted by saying that such and such event occurred at all. The resultative present perfect can be seen as a two-parts situation: here too we are communicating that such and such event occurred but we are shifting the focus from the occurrence of the event to what that occurrence produced as a PRESENT result. "I've knocked on the door" in most contexts will be interpreted as "I" desiring to point me to the fact that someone must have heard it, if they are home or wherever else it is referred to. It is not a disinterested saying that the event of my knocking on the door happened in the past - the event and its consequences are kept current by directing the listener's attention to what is expected to happen as a result of that event. "Experiental" present perfect is relatively unconcerned with what the fact of the event's occurrence in the past might amount to right now.


Quote:
daftpunk wrote:
She's not invited to consider the resulting state, she was being told about what happened at Kevin's house. The way you understand "present result" we can find it in literally anything we say in any verb tense. His not finding Kevin home and his still having Kevin's drill with him are not present results of his ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door, not in the sense we speak of the "present perfect of result".

I think that it would be quite natural for the man to finish what he said with, "... but no one opened the door" after "I rang and I knocked".


It would be natural to say "I rang and knocked but no one opened the door" of course, but it doesn't turn the listener's attention to no present result of "knocking on the door or ringing a bell".
Quote:

Why can't we think that, by saying that, he invites his wife to consider possible results such as a necessity to go to Kevin's place once again or the fact that that stupid drill will be lying about in the hall another day?

Because we are not considering "result" in general dictionary terms, and it is not any result that the listener will look for. There may be many consequences but we're looking for the most obvious, immediate and direct result of the past event, not just any consequence of that event. In this sense, "Necessity to go to Kevin's place once again" is not the result of the event/action of my "knocking and ringing a bell". The result of this event may be that someone hears or doesn't hear my knocking or the sound of the bell.
The second requirement for the use of the present perfect here is that this result is current - I knocked and rang the bell but no one opened. doesn't satisfy this requirement, it doesn't keep the listener in the present and it doesn't invite him to consider the PRESENT situation brought about by the event of "KNOCKING and RINGING the bell". So, it is not any event that we are considering, and not any result of that event that we are contemplating - there must be a clear and strong cause-effect connection between the event and the result it caused.
Because of these reasons, you won't use the present perfect and the simple past interchangeably in this particular situation. You'll use the simple past when you are back home after visiting Kevin's house, and you'll use the present perfect if you're standing in front of Kevin's door and waiting for someone to respond to your knocking and ringing the bell.

Quote:
daftpunk wrote:
The categorization of the present perfect uses into result, experience and hot news perfect makes perfect sense to me.

I only wonder what a listener/reader should do with those. What way of thinking or analyzing do you suggest they should use when they hear a verb in the present perfect? How can they know which use is that? I guess what you suggest is the following.

1. The listener assumes that the speaker wants to inform him about the result of an action. The listener tries to see the result.

2. If he fails to detect any result, he thinks that the speaker meant some previous experience and the listener tries to understand what experience it was.

3. If the listener fails to detect any previous experiences, he thinks with a relief that the speaker must have been informing him about some novelty.

Does the listener really should do this mental job any time he hears the present perfect?



Finally something we agree on :) I'd agree that a similar algorithm must be behind people making intuitive choices in interpreting the intended meaning of the present perfect. Almost invariably people will pick the interpretation that is pragmatically/contextually determined. You're pointing me to look for the consequences of that occurrence? You're telling me that you experienced that in the past? You're telling me that as news? I'll know from the context how to understand what you're saying. Ambiguities are possible but rare, and will be rather exaggerated situations. The Grucho example, "I've had a nice evening.." the "experiental" reading made a great joke, but it is an unlikely interpretation of such utterance when parting with someone, and exactly this unlikelihood of interpreting it that way made it comic.
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