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You didn't sound snippy, Diana.  I'm happy we've got the misunderstandings sorted out.

Jerry


From: Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Fri, March 12, 2010 11:06:55 AM
Subject: Re: "Us he devours" was ....Re: 'Gerontion' -- Grammatical Accuracy

Dear Jerry,
 
I didn't mean to sound snippy, if I did. I do appreciate your patience and I do see a difference between "tense" and "time frame" of a sentence, now that you've expanded your comment. (I do however think "the tense depends on 'tomorrow'" is not incorrect, since it's the same as saying "'tomorrow' implies the 'will go' form. A form that is implied by a word in the sentence is a form that depends on the word in the sentence.)
 
I'm not so interested in an exactly worded definition that passes academic muster as I am in accurately understanding all the possible meanings of an utterance like "Us he devours." I know I mislabled the durative/iterative quality of "devours" by calling it "the progressive present tense" but I feel secure in my sense of it as not a punctum, a one-off occurrence in the poem.
 
I'm not sorry I know the correct definition of the progressive present now, but as an artist that label is less important to me than what the durative/iterative tense does and how it functions with other elements in the sentence.
 
Many thanks for your help!
 
Diana
 

Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2010 08:51:05 -0800
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: "Us he devours" was ....Re: 'Gerontion' -- Grammatical Accuracy
To: [log in to unmask]

Diana,

I'm distinguishing between "tense" as a grammatical category of verb forms (simple present, progressive present, past, past perfect, future, future perfect, and so on; English has a large number of them) and "time frame" as the temporal reference (to the past, present, or future) of the sentence as a whole.  As Carroll said, the two concepts overlap, but they do not coincide perfectly.  That's why, in my last sentence, I reworded Rick's phrasing to avoid saying that "tomorrow" implies a particular form.  "Tomorrow" evokes a particular time reference (the future), which could also have been evoked by using a particular grammatical form (the future tense:  "I will go").

In other words, I would not say that the "verb alone doesn't determine the tense"; I would say that the verb alone doesn't determine the time frame.  The verb is morphologically in a specific tense (i.e., a specific form), but any such form can be used with a variety of temporal references and nuances.

Much of my post below was written and sent out before I saw your previous post, so I'm afraid I was to a large degree simply repeating what I had already said.  Sorry.


From: DIana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Fri, March 12, 2010 10:27:50 AM
Subject: Re: "Us he devours" was ....Re: 'Gerontion' -- Grammatical Accuracy

Jerry, Rick said

 "The use of "tomorrow" implies the "will go" form?"

Obviously the verb alone doesn't determine the tense, as you note:

The time frame evoked by the word "tomorrow" is future, and that shapes one's understanding of the whole sentence, including the precise nuance of the verb form.

I don't get what you have added here.

Diana
 
Sent from my iPod

On Mar 12, 2010, at 10:07 AM, Jerome Walsh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Diana,

Rick didn't say that "tense" depends on "tomorrow."   He said:  The use of "tomorrow" implies the "will go" form? [including the question mark, indicating that he was offering a tentative formulation, not asserting a conclusion].  "Tense" as a grammatical term refers to the verb form.  The time frame evoked by the word "tomorrow" is future, and that shapes one's understanding of the whole sentence, including the precise nuance of the verb form.  A more precise formulation might be that The use of "tomorrow" implies the same future reference that a "will go" form would have.

Jerry


From: DIana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Fri, March 12, 2010 7:23:31 AM
Subject: Re: "Us he devours" was ....Re: 'Gerontion' -- Grammatical Accuracy

Dear Rick,

If the tense depends on "tomorrow" then the verb doesn't determine the tense?

Diana

Sent from my iPod

On Mar 12, 2010, at 6:34 AM, "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> "I go to town tomorrow" means "I will go to town tomorrow." How is the
>> first sentence present tense?" If it is, it shouldn't be.
>
> The use of "tomorrow" implies the "will go" form?
>
> Regards,
>  Rick Parker
>


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