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III. The Past Perfect vs. the Past Simple

The Past Perfect The Past Simple
in adverbial clauses introduced by before and after both tenses can be used owing to the lexical meaning of these conjunctions
After he had left the house he recollected that he had not locked the door. After he left the house he recollected that he had not locked the door.
The Past Perfect is used to stress the completion of actions. The Past Simple is often used with such terminative verbs as arrive, enter, look in, open, etc. when two actions closely follow each other.
I noticed that somebody was sitting at the table only when I had entered the room (but not when I was in the doorway). He had closed the window and was sitting in his armchair, reading a newspaper. When I entered the room I noticed that somebody was sitting at the table He closed the window, sat down in the armchair and began reading his newspaper.


I. The Formation

The Past Perfect Continuous is formed analytically by means of the auxiliary verb ''to be'' in the Past Perfect and Participle I of the notional verb.

· He had been speaking.

· Had he been speaking?

· He had not been speaking.

II. The Use.The past Perfect Continuous is used:

1) to talk about actions or situations which had continued up to the past moment that we are thinking about, or shortly before it:

· At that time we had been living in the caravan for about six months.

· When I found Mary, I could see that she had been crying.

· I went to the doctor because I had been sleeping badly.

2) to say how long something had been happening up to a past moment:

· We’d been walking since sunrise, and we were hungry.

· When she arrived, she had been travelling for twenty hours.


III. The Past Perfect Inclusive vs. the Past Perfect Continuous Inclusive

The Past Perfect Simple The Past Perfect Continuous
is used with stative verbs He suddenly understood that he had loved her all her life. is used with action verbs He suddenly understood that he had been going the wrong way.
lays the stress on the mere action (if used with non-terminative verbs) She said that she had taught English for 20 years. lays the stress on the duration of the action   She said she had been teaching children for 20 years.
is used in negative sentences The land was dry. It hadn't rained for weeks. is used in positive statements There were puddles everywhere. It had been raining for three days.


All future tenses refer the action they denote to the future. In English there are several forms which express future events, and which one the users select depends on how they see the event, if the event is certain or near to the present.



I. The Formation

The Future Simple is formed by means of the auxiliary verb ''shall'' for the first person singular and the plural or the auxiliary verb ''will'' for all the persons and the notional verb in the infinitive without the particle ''to''.

· You will speak to him.

· Will you speak to him?

· You will not (won't) speak to him.


II. The Use.The Future Simple is used to denote:

1) predictions, often with I believe, expect, think, doubt, am sure, know, wonder etc. or accompanied by adverbs such as perhaps, probably, surely, etc. Such predictions are based on guesswork, analysis or judgment:

· We will still be here in twenty years.

· I think it will be a difficult game.

· Maybe, we will visit them next year.

· I think we will go to Moscow in summer.

· Tomorrow’s weather will be cold and cloudy.

· Perhaps I’ll change my mind after I have spoken to my wife.

· In twenty years’ time, the average employee will work a twenty-five hour week. (=a prophetic statement)


Note: After I hope, we generally use the Present Simple.

· I hope he wins the game.


2) a succession of future actions.

· I’ll meet you and tell you the whole story.

3) statements of fact about the future, often future habitual actions:

· Next week I’ll be 25.

· The sun will rise at 5.30 tomorrow morning.

· Christmas day will fall on Tuesday this year.

· Spring will soon come.

4) on-the-spot decisions:

· I will buy the blue jumper and not the yellow one.

· You look tired. I will cook tonight.

Note 1: Note that if after the decision the speaker mentions the action again, he will not use will, but be going to or the present continuous.

BILL (to waiter): I will have a steak, please.

Imagine that a friend, Tom, joins Bill before his food has arrived.

TOM: What are you having/going to have?

BILL: I am having/going to have a steak.


5) in sentences containing clauses of condition and time:

· If I drop this glass, it will break.

· When it gets warmer, the snow will start to melt.

6) in newspapers and news broadcasts for formal announcements of future plans and for weather forecasts. In conversations such statements would normally be expressed by the Present Continuous or be going to form or, for plans only, by the Present Continuous:

· NEWSPAPER: The President will open the new heliport tomorrow.

But the average speaker will say:

· The President is going to open/is opening….


III. ''Will'' as a modal verb

There is a tendency to regard will and shall as modal verbs in English Grammar.

The modal will denotes:

a) predictions that refer to the present or past. This “prediction” meaning may sometimes be broadened still further to include general or habitual predictions. In many general statements “habitual predictions” come to have the force of “typical or characteristic behaviour”:

· That will be electrician - I’m expecting him to call about some rewiring. (on hearing the doorbell ring)

· If litmus paper is dipped in acid, it will turn red.

· A lion will attack a human being only when hungry.

· Truth will out.

· Boys will be boys.

· The auditorium will seat 500.

b) volitions, will or wish of the speaker, his/her promises, threats or warnings:

· Will you sign these papers? (request)

· Will you please open the door for me?

· Father won't let me go. (refusal)

· He will go swimming in dangerous waters.

· I will go to the dance! You can’t stop me!

c) in questions to denote request, offer, order, invitation:

· Will you come this way, please?

· Will you say it again?

d) in negations to denote impossibility as refusal (animate subject), rejection, failure to perform the immediate function (inanimate object):

· I will never speak to you again.

· The car won’t start.


IV. ''Shall'' as a modal verb

The modal shall denotes:

a) confident expectations with I or we;

· We shall leave New York on September 4.

b) suggestions, offers and invitations, request and advice in the interrogative with I or we:

· Shall we wait for James?

· Shall we dance?

· What shall I answer him, Tom?

c) commands, rules or regulations in legal or quasi-legal documents. Here shall could be replaced by must (=obligation);

· All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress (the US Constitution).

· A player who bids incorrectly shall forfeit fifty points. (rules of a card game)

· The hood shall be of scarlet cloth, with silk lining of the colour of the faculty. (rules for academic dress)

· They shall of course invite their in-laws.

d) promises, threats, determination, warnings or favours granted (used in reference to pets or young children):

· I give you my word: the work shall be done in time.

· We shall succeed where others have failed.

· Good dog, you shall have a bone when we get home.

· You mind my word he shall do what he has promised to.


Date: 2015-12-17; view: 2121

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