Talk:Tense (grammar)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Contradictory views of what is tense[change source]

This wiki is self contradictory.

In one part it says:

"The tense can be shown in the verb... Or the tense can be shown by adding words to the verb."

Then later:

"But, this is not correct. Tense means changes in the verb itself."

I'm suggesting the following clarification:

"In common usage and understanding, tense can be shown in via either a change to the verb itself (inflection) or can be shown by adding other words (generally helping or auxillary verbs) to create a compound verb."

"However, in a strict linguistic context, tense is usually only understood as an inflective change to the verb itself. There is some disagreement amongst grammarians about whether compound verbs created through the use of auxillary or helping verbs constitute a true tense. Regardless, these compound verbs definitely posess futurity and clearly refer to a future time and context, so the distinction has little to no practical effect on conveyed or understood meaning and is more a question of formal and academic categorization of parts of speech."

EDIT: Oh [censored]! I just realized I was in the simple English wiki. Well, either way, the explanation is contradictory. It needs to be clarified in Simple English.

Here's my new suggested clarification for Simple English:

For example, many people say that "will go" is the future tense. But, this is not correct from a strict academic standpoint. In linguistic terms, tense only means changes in the verb itself. English (and other languages) often uses "auxillary words" to do the same job. The distinction has little to no practical effect on understood meaning, so we can say that this is "tense" in common, everyday language, or even in the classroom, however it may not be considered a true tense for a grammarian.

The linguistic category of tense includes both morphological tenses (was, went) and auxilliary tenses like was going. Both methods are essential in English, and we should not make too much of the distinction. Our remit is to make things simple, so I will try and address the issue as simply as I can. Good to hear your thoughts. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:28, 27 January 2017 (UTC)