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rogermue
Posted: Monday, June 1, 2015 2:44:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/2012
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Location: München, Bavaria, Germany
A pity that this interesting topic has become so long. Who is going to write a summary of the good ideas?
daftpunk
Posted: Monday, June 1, 2015 3:53:07 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

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

Learning how to use the present perfect as a native speaker is not easily achieved, so I don't mind repeating the same in as many examples as needed, as long as we are discussing the use of the present perfect meaningfully. Having this long thread wouldn't make sense if the questions went like Does this sentence work? "I've knocked on the door twice." to get an answer "Yeees, it sounds perfect!" and then the next time the question is "I've broken the rice cooker" etc As long as we are aiming at explaining the ideas and concepts, and trying to systematize them meaningfully it is worth saying the same repeatedly and in as many different wordings as it can be explained. Everything I said about the use of the present perfect in this thread and this one http://forum.thefreedictionary.com/postst82014_Do-you-agree-on-the-explanations-and-examples-.aspx, and elsewhere on the forum could be put in less words, but that would be helpful to a very advanced learner of English or a native speaker but not to people who find the use of the present perfect troubling.

I'd like to say here that when I was struggling with the present perfect myself and looked for advice on how to use it properly, I never found anyone on language forums or elsewhere on language websites who was patient enough to go beyond post or two long explanations, mostly of the type copied all over the net: present relevance, affected now, past but present etc. Most of it is not precisely incorrect but it is not useful either. "Present relevance" but how? "Result" but how? "Experience" but how? An action spanning past and present but how? Currently under way or not, how? I've also found a lot of downright misleading instructions on the use of the present perfect even in widely acclaimed sources like M.Swan's "Practical English Usage" "The present perfect progressive is used to talk about situations that started in the past and are still going on" or on Wikipedia "The present perfect is a grammatical combination of the present tense and the perfect aspect, used to express a past event that has present consequences"

I'd also like to say that, as far as what I wrote is concerned, the thread is meant to be read in its entirety, with all the huge amount of repeating the same all the way through. It is not too much of a text, and if one reads it carefully they will, if anything, find some thought provoking ideas, and also loads of quality sources to turn to in case they want to become true experts on this matter. I wish I had time to go through those books I quoted more carefully myself but unfortunately, I don't at this moment, so it will have to wait for now.

So, there's quite some repetition and there may be little inaccuracies or at least points that not everyone will subscribe to, but there's enough room for people who think differently about these things to voice their opinions or correct me or Helen where we were wrong. I was correcting Helen all the way through, and she did the same, correcting me. It was obviously much more difficult task for her to do, considering her arguments were much weaker :)

Finally, repetition is the mother of learning, that is what I believe. The way I've tried to explain the use of the present perfect is how I generally approach discussing any language point. (which most of the forum visitors are aware of by now I guess :) I believe that it is worth putting in some time and mental effort into thinking language concepts through, there's absolutely no reason not to do that . There will still be plenty of time left for putting that knowledge in practice in real life situations. It is also the quickest way to becoming a truly proficient language speaker.
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 9:51:40 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/24/2013
Posts: 1,975
Neurons: 9,833
Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
daftpunk wrote:
I was correcting Helen all the way through, and she did the same, correcting me. It was obviously much more difficult task for her to do, considering her arguments were much weaker.

I thought we were having a fair debate, where the opponents put forward reasonable and consistent arguments on the matter and make logical conclusions. You ended up calling on the community to check out how much more difficult it was for me to debate and alleging that my arguments were much weaker than yours. Has rogermue asked you to assess for which of us it was more difficult? Has he asked you to give your opinion on my arguments? Or do you think that rogermue and the others aren't clever enough to judge for themselves?

daftpunk
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 2:22:26 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/10/2014
Posts: 493
Neurons: 2,430
Our views may be opposing but I don't see us as opponents here on the forum when we discuss language matters. It was a benign qualification, which wasn't meant as an insult Helen, you shouldn't take it that way. It was a tongue-in-cheek remark about our prolonged discussion on the present perfect. However, I guess I'm allowed to voice my doubts about the usefulness of your "mental past" vs "mental present" approach in helping learners understand the basic concepts behind the grammatical form of the present perfect. You're allowed of course, to question my understanding of the subject as well. I think that in the end, together we've managed to provide lots of good questions and answers on the present perfect usage, and for that reason we are here on the forum I guess. So, no hard feelings, I can't say I entirely agree with you on this subject, but I didn't agree with Michael Swan's explanations of the present perfect or those offered in Wikipedia, and countless other explanations of the present perfect that can be found in grammars and internet sources, and I still think that it is ok to voice an argumented disagreement in a forum thread. I was far more focused on providing sources that I think offer great insights into the subject of the present perfect.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 5:57:32 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 29,539
Neurons: 170,234
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom

This is also spam


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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