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Thread: sequence of tenses

  1. #1
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    sequence of tenses

    Hello everybody!!
    I' got the question about particular type of sequence, is it possible to place present perfect and present indefinite in one sentence?
    I think that the translation is right, but my friend says it is wrong.
    Could you please comment the translation?

    ''President Putin has recently said, that Russian companies pay too big dividend, illustrating it with RAO EES and Sibneft’s examples. ''
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    It sounds strange. I cannot say whether or not it is gramatically correct
    since I am not an English teacher.

    Here is my best guess at what you are trying to say.

    President Putin recently said, that the dividends of Russian companies are too big. He named RAO EES and Sibneft as examples.
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

  3. #3
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    Illustrating with RAO EES and Sibneft’s examples, President Putin has recently said that Russian companies pay too large of dividends.

    I believe the first word is a gerund.

  4. #4
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    Thanks a lot for comments,
    I've got one more question:
    is it possible to place the word "recently" in present indefinite tense? I mean the phrase "President Putin recently said".
    We were tought, words like "yet, today, already, recently" must be used with perfect tenses.

  5. #5
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    There is nothing wrong with

    "President Putin recently said..."
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

  6. #6
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    ??
    but why? Our teachers say that when using such words (post above) we have to form perfect tense in order to part the fact of the action and present moment
    are they wrong? or it conserns mostly RP English

  7. #7
    Властелин
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    It sounds like you are missunderstanding what your teachers are telling you, or that you are following a 'rule' designed to simplify English tenses (in order to make them easier for a Russian to learn) more strictly than your teachers intended.

    It's difficult for a native English speaker to explain these things to a foreign student of English, because the terminology used when teaching English as a foreign language is completely different from that which native English speakers learn. Foreign language teachers tend to define the target language in terms already familiar to their students, and often they end up squeezing the language into a system that doesn't really suit it.

    For example, English doesn't actually have a "present indefinite tense". That phrase has no meaning to a native speaker, it is an invention of EFL teachers used to make the tense system more understandable to you, the student.

    Similarly, the English tense system is much more complicated than the past/present/future tense, perfect/imperfect aspect you have in Russian. For example, in English, it is possible for a verb to be both Perfect and Progressive/ Continuous at the same time ("...had been saying...").

    So, to cut to the chase, in this case, "said" is in the "simple past" tense, and it is perfectly acceptable to say "President Putin recently said..."

  8. #8
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    ok,
    I see,
    actually I was trying to follow a rule and there is a rule I'm telling you at least for us, Russian students (or maybe for students of my University )
    as for other complicated tenses you've mentioned, we surely know about them
    so, do you think it is unacceptable to say this phrase using our "present perfect ", i.e. have recently said

  9. #9
    Властелин
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    You couldn't say "President Putin have recently said...", because 'have' in this case would indicate a plural.

    But, yes, "President Putin has recently said..." would be just as grammatically correct as "President Putin recently said...".

    Without a wider context there is no difference between the two sentences at all, and even with a wider context the difference would be, at most, minor. In the case of the verb 'to say' when used to report direct speech, it's not so much that the different tense changes the meaning of the sentence, but that it allows the same event to be viewed from a slightly different point of view.

    Or something.

    Crikey I'm glad I didn't have to learn English as a second language!

    So anyway, yeah, that part of your original sentence was fine, but that doesn't mean that other people's corrections were wrong

  10. #10
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    "You couldn't say "President Putin have recently said...", because 'have' in this case would indicate a plural. "
    sure!
    that was a misprint , the original sentence was right.
    I'm glad that my variant is also admissible.
    By the way, I really like English and the process of studying it is absorbing (if I may use this word here ).
    I also studied German, that is a torture!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woland
    Illustrating with RAO EES and Sibneft’s examples, President Putin has recently said that Russian companies pay too large of dividends.

    I believe the first word is a gerund.
    I do not think "Illustrating" is used as a gerund here.
    It sounds more like a verb.

    Edit: A gerund is a verbal noun.
    If it was used as a noun, then it would be a gerund.
    He likes illustrating with examples.


    This sounds strange.
    "...companies pay too large of dividends."
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

  12. #12
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    You are correct. It is not a gerund but part of a participial phrase.

  13. #13
    Старший оракул
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    I disagree. I believe it's a gerund.

  14. #14
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    I'm certain it is a participial phrase. First, as was pointed out, it doesn't function as a noun (I failed to run it through a gerund check before I answered, and I apologize to the original poster). Second, it answers the original poster's question about two different kinds of verbs (one is a participle).

    Finally, it explains why the original sentence was a bit odd...it had a dangling participle. The structure of the sentence made it sound like the dividend was doing the illustrating.

  15. #15
    Старший оракул
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    The word "illustrating" acts as the verb, but the whole first clause acts as the noun.

    Im 99.99% sure it's a gerund, just a weird example, since the sentence is phrased so horribly.

    Gerunds and participles are very easy to confuse.

  16. #16
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    If its a noun, what is its function in the sentence?

    Here is the sentence restructured to make the phrase a gerund.

    Illustrating with RAO EES and Sibneft’s examples helped President Putin to show that Russian companies pay too large of dividends.

  17. #17
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    Yes, that also makes it a gerund. But in the first sentence, the first clause describes the means by which he performed the second clause. He used the first to do the second. I dont know if that makes sense.

    It's just one of those 50% gut feelings...Friendy knows what I'm talkin about.

  18. #18
    Властелин
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    It would have been gerund if the sentence were something like that: "he proved it by illustrating" and illustrating here can be replaced with "the action of illustrating", the same goes for Woland's sentence but in the original sentence it can't be replaced like that, so it doesn't behave like a noun at all.
    "Happy new year, happy new year
    May we all have a vision now and then
    Of a world where every neighbour is a friend"

  19. #19
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    Strange...I called my brother, who is an English major, and he said it was a gerund too, but he can't explain why. This is truly an odd topic. I hate things that can't be explained...

  20. #20
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    the first clause describes
    By your desription of the phrase, it cannot be a gerund. Gerunds function as nouns, they do not describe things.

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