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Thread: "been" usage

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    "been" usage

    Here are some excerpts from the "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" by Ken Kesey
    I’m the one been here on the ward the longest, since the Second World War. I been here on the ward longer’n anybody. Longer’n any of the other patients. The Big Nurse has been here longer’n me.

    I was born dead an’ life was hard. I’m tired. I’m tired out talking and standing up. I been dead fifty-five years.

    All this morning I been waiting for them to fog us in again. The last few days they been doing it more and more. It’s my idea they’re doing it on account of McMurphy.

    Won’t they figure I been hearing all these years, listening to secrets meant only for their ears?
    According to the English tenses table I was taught in a school I would expect here either "was/were" or "have/has been" for the colored entries. Is there any implicit usage of such constructions or what is implied in the sense of grammatical tense with such a usage of "been"?
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Старший оракул Seraph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCup View Post
    ... Is there any implicit usage of such constructions or what is implied in the sense of grammatical tense with such a usage of "been"?
    The meaning intended or connoted by this form of speech typically has the same meaning as the 'has/have been' form.

  3. #3
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    It doesn't imply anything, it's used here to indicate an uneducated, colloquial form of speech.

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    Редко видать ты, брат CoffеeCup, телевизор смотришь ))

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
    The meaning intended or connoted by this form of speech typically has the same meaning as the 'has/have been' form.
    Thanks Seraph. This makes sense.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Quote Originally Posted by zedeeyen View Post
    It doesn't imply anything, it's used here to indicate an uneducated, colloquial form of speech.
    good point. Следует отметить, что для русского такие приемы в литературе нехарактерны, т.к. у нас нет таких грамматических структур. Следовательно, речь малограмотных персонажей в русском передается различными "ась", "чегось", "ишь" и иже с ними. Вопрос автора вполне правомерен и логичен.

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    How much is this form spread and what other verbs can behave like that?

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    very common among those who ain't been to college.

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    very common among those who ain't been to college.
    Actually, in speech, you might hear a sentence like "I been working here 10 years" (instead of "I've been working...") both from uneducated speakers and from highly-educated speakers.

    The difference is that an educated person KNOWS (mentally) that the contracted auxiliary verb 've is there in the sentence; he's simply being careless about his pronunciation, so that the 've becomes silent.

    But a poorly educated speaker may actually believe that "I been working..." is the correct form.

    And thus, in written representations of speech, "I been working..." may be used to show that a person is uneducated, or it may show that an educated person is (for example) drunk, and therefore not pronouncing his words carefully.
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    As some people would say
    "Oh, dear, what bloody Americans have done to our language? It is barmy, indeed."

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    Do all verbs behave like that? I seen, I done, I tried (instead of I've tried).

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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    It's not the verb which behaves in a certain way but the speaker who modifies his grammar in a certain way. Changes to grammar are common in spoken language. You can imagine it like language having different levels, called registers. You use one register to talk to your friends, one to talk to colleagues, one to talk to your boss etc. What is acceptable on one level may not be acceptable on another. Dropping the "have" from such forms is just one option, Chaika used "ain't" which can be used as a stand-in for any form of "be not" or "have not", and there are several other possibilities, some characteristical for certain groups of speakers, certain societal levels etc.
    Спасибо за исправления!

    Вам нравится этот форум, и вы изучаете немецкий язык? Вот похожий форум о немецком языке.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Yeah, and as an educated speaker, I knew that "ain't" wasn't an educated word.

    Marcus, it only works if the past participle is different from the past simple. If the past simple form is the same as the past participle, then you gotta add "done". For your example,
    I done tried to tell him, but he ain't paid me no mind. =:^)

    ... I been workin on the railroad, all the livelong day....

  14. #14
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    Спасибо! Это пример того, как усложняется язык.

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