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Thread: Past simple or past perfect

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    Past simple or past perfect

    Why the Past Perfect is used in the selected items? Is it correct?

    Top3” problems of projects:
    * Delays
    * More resources needed than planned
    * The results are not achieved or incomplete

    “Top4” causes:
    * The goals, participators, terms, budget, etc. had not been agreed upon beforehand
    * The difficulties of realization had not been considered in the plan (or there weren’t any plan at all). Failed to fulfill the plan.
    * “Something” unexpected had happened
    * New requirements caused the change of goals, terms, etc.
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    Re: Past simple or past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Why the Past Perfect is used in the selected items? Is it correct?

    Top3” problems of projects:
    * Delays
    * More resources needed than planned
    * The results are not achieved or incomplete

    “Top4” causes:
    * The goals, participators, terms, budget, etc. had not been agreed upon beforehand
    * The difficulties of realization had not been considered in the plan (or there wasn't any (/a) plan at all). Failed to fulfill the plan.
    * “Something” unexpected had happened
    * New requirements caused the change of goals, terms, etc.
    I'd say:
    were not agreed upon...
    was not considered...
    something unexpected happened...

    You could use the past perfect though. The past perfect refers to a point in the passed prior to another point in the past, i.e. sequence:

    The project failed (2) because the budget had not been agreed upon. (1).

    Event (1) occurred (or in this case didn't occur), before event (2).
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    Those examples are inconsistent and a little eliptical (the aren't really complete sentences), so I wouldn't worry too much about the grammar contained therein, but for what it's worth, the past perfect/ pluperfect ones look the most natural to me.

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    2 things:

    1. Taty is right in that the Past Perfect in English is only truly to be used when necessary, i.e., "I did not get the door open because I had not brought the key."

    2. Americans (in our colloquial speech) are somewhat ignorant of most of our best rules. It's very common to hear someone here say "I had not brought the key," even without a need to use past perfect. (Which is similar to the fact that (from another post) it is also common to see 'til or till used in place of 'until' ("till" - preparing farm soil; " 'til (unTIL) - pronunciative phrasal mutation of 'until,' akin to what happened to spanish word 'negro' 200 years ago in america)... This is because colloquial American English is far from perfect, even when spoken by natives.) Here are some other mistakes you'll hear natives make (even those who speak no other languages):

    a. The word 'nuclear.' It should be pronounced "nOO-klee-urr." So why does our president (god bless his imminent departure from office) pronounce it "nOO-kyuhhh-lurr?"

    b. The word "regardless." It means "without regard," or even "despite." There is no word "irregardless," and if there were it'd be a double-negative, a redundant, self-cancelling-out explanation of a simple statement, "with regard." YET - many Americanskis (esp. east coast ones) say "irregardless" when they mean "regardless."

    c. And many others, unpronounced syllables in ()'s :
    f(r)ustrated, (re)frigerator, s(u)ppos(ed t)o ("s'posta"), g(oi)n(g t)o ("gunna"), pennsy(l)vania (Pennsylvanians do not pronounce their native "L", w(orce)ster ("wooster")... and trust me, the list goes on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom
    2 things:



    a. The word 'nuclear.' It should be pronounced "nOO-klee-urr." So why does our president (god bless his imminent departure from office) pronounce it "nOO-kyuhhh-lurr?"

    In America, perhaps.

    Most commonly in British English it's pronounced nYOO-klee-ur.

    And I don't see how the rest of what you wrote after has anything to do with this particular thread.
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    [In America, perhaps.

    Most commonly in British English it's pronounced nYOO-klee-ur.

    And I don't see how the rest of what you wrote after has anything to do with this particular thread.]

    --

    Ah. I am from America. You'll have to excuse the.. um.. mistake.

    Taty, what my point was (and its relevance to this thread) is to remind people that perfection is not hand in hand with fluency. There is something which effected my understanding of language greatly, something that I have had to work with in writing in the past - namely, a stylebook. It is a book of 'rules' that apply to just one format of writing in one language, for example newspaper writers using American English. These books are multitudinous and differ widely in the rules they apply to the writing - transcriptionists, for instance, are in one stylebook required to place quotation marks after punctuation at the end of a sentence, when both occur simultaneously. This is categorically against the 'rules' of general English, even our backwater American English. And yet it is enforced in some writing. The same is true in many ways of many different styles of writing, and speaking. This is the backbone of my point, which is in actuality underlining the point you somewhat made when you began to courteously provide your answer earlier in this thread. Namely, it is that perfection is not hand in hand with fluency. Many people outside of the realm of native english speakers can probably write a perfect, grammatically correct english sentence, but then those same might not be able to pronounce it correctly or use it in context that makes sense. Vice versa, there are those who may write a less perfect sentence than some, and yet have a better understanding of its meaning and usefulness - true fluency, which comes from comprehension - than the former who wrote it perfectly.

    As an aside, I shall mention that the reason I put this point in in the first place was because I am working very hard at learning to speak Russian currently, and I have found, in great part through the help of the good folks on websites like this one, that it is true that comprehension is a heavier-headed hammer than fluency, and indeed - forgive me for using an American coined phrase - the GIST is often more important than the details.




    luck // life // kidk
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom
    ... it is also common to see 'til or till used in place of 'until' ("till" - preparing farm soil; " 'til (unTIL) - pronunciative phrasal mutation of 'until,'
    I give up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom
    [In America, perhaps.

    Most commonly in British English it's pronounced nYOO-klee-ur.

    And I don't see how the rest of what you wrote after has anything to do with this particular thread.]

    --

    Ah. I am from America. You'll have to excuse the.. um.. mistake.

    Taty, what my point was (and its relevance to this thread) is to remind people that perfection is not hand in hand with fluency. There is something which effected my understanding of language greatly, something that I have had to work with in writing in the past - namely, a stylebook. It is a book of 'rules' that apply to just one format of writing in one language, for example newspaper writers using American English. These books are multitudinous and differ widely in the rules they apply to the writing - transcriptionists, for instance, are in one stylebook required to place quotation marks after punctuation at the end of a sentence, when both occur simultaneously. This is categorically against the 'rules' of general English, even our backwater American English. And yet it is enforced in some writing. The same is true in many ways of many different styles of writing, and speaking. This is the backbone of my point, which is in actuality underlining the point you somewhat made when you began to courteously provide your answer earlier in this thread. Namely, it is that perfection is not hand in hand with fluency. Many people outside of the realm of native english speakers can probably write a perfect, grammatically correct english sentence, but then those same might not be able to pronounce it correctly or use it in context that makes sense. Vice versa, there are those who may write a less perfect sentence than some, and yet have a better understanding of its meaning and usefulness - true fluency, which comes from comprehension - than the former who wrote it perfectly.

    As an aside, I shall mention that the reason I put this point in in the first place was because I am working very hard at learning to speak Russian currently, and I have found, in great part through the help of the good folks on websites like this one, that it is true that comprehension is a heavier-headed hammer than fluency, and indeed - forgive me for using an American coined phrase - the GIST is often more important than the details.




    luck // life // kidk
    And by the way, what you said about until 'til and till

    till and 'til mean the same thing

    From Monday 'til Thursday.
    From Monday till Thursday.

    till meaning "to till the land" is another word that just happens to be spelt the same.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/'til

    In Russian the grammar is more important than the gist.

    A list of examples where people mispronounce words isn't really helpful to the poster who is a learner of English. Firstly, English spelling and pronunciation differ greatly anyway. Secondly, some of what you wrote was just regional dialect.

    Basically, learners should really learn a standard, grammatically correct form of a foreign language. Adding in slang, colloquialisms and so on, comes at a later stage when they are much more familiar with the language. Nothing sounds more stupid than a foreigner trying to use loads of slang and non-standard colloquial speech.
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    Interesting.. I see your point about not confusing new learners with the nuances of the spoken language... I have foregone the brunt of pronunciation of Russian in favor of learning the written language first, so I suppose I can relate...

    One thing I have to mention, though. I was always taught in school (granted, in American schools, so I suppose the validity of the quality of my education may be in question based on that alone) that the word " 'til " was short for the word "until," and thusly we were allowed to use it in our English without being marked off.. but I was quite aggressively taught that the word "till" was a verb used in farming, and I was graded off for using it in the context of "until," although not for using " 'til." Could this have been a recent change, maybe something that is being taught differently than it was a few years ago? I respect your education on the topic, of course; it's just that I had been taught differently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom
    Interesting.. I see your point about not confusing new learners with the nuances of the spoken language... I have foregone the brunt of pronunciation of Russian in favor of learning the written language first, so I suppose I can relate...

    One thing I have to mention, though. I was always taught in school (granted, in American schools, so I suppose the validity of the quality of my education may be in question based on that alone) that the word " 'til " was short for the word "until," and thusly we were allowed to use it in our English without being marked off.. but I was quite aggressively taught that the word "till" was a verb used in farming, and I was graded off for using it in the context of "until," although not for using " 'til." Could this have been a recent change, maybe something that is being taught differently than it was a few years ago? I respect your education on the topic, of course; it's just that I had been taught differently.
    You weren't taught differently, you were taught incorrectly. " till " is more common than " 'til " anyway. And it's not a British English thing, it's all English. Your teacher was clearly misinformed.

    From the American Heritage Dictionary:
    Usage Note: Till and until are generally interchangeable in both writing and speech, though as the first word in a sentence until is usually preferred: Until you get that paper written, don't even think about going to the movies. · Till is actually the older word, with until having been formed by the addition to it of the prefix un-, meaning "up to." In the 18th century the spelling 'till became fashionable, as if till were a shortened form of until. Although 'till is now nonstandard, 'til is sometimes used in this way and is considered acceptable, though it is etymologically incorrect.
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    This is why I love language. The history of the word is wrapped in its evolution. If it was around the 18th century that this word became popular, one could make a hypothesis that its spelling is similar to the verb "till" because it began as a mistake made by people who were familiar with the meaning and spelling of the verb (dare I guess farming folk)... It is an honor to be corrected by such a well-educated person, and so I thank you. It is not hard for me to believe that the American public education system misinformed me.. it would not be the first time, anyway.

    Hmm... if "un" originally meant "up to" from its old-world roots, did "till" at that time retain its current verb meaning, to ready fields for farming?
    So at that time, "until" meant "up to the tilling?" Now I'm dying to know.


    Oh well - Thanks for the enlightenment -- luck // life
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom

    Hmm... if "un" originally meant "up to" from its old-world roots, did "till" at that time retain its current verb meaning, to ready fields for farming?
    So at that time, "until" meant "up to the tilling?" Now I'm dying to know.


    Oh well - Thanks for the enlightenment -- luck // life
    No, the two words aren't related (in fact there is also the noun "till" meaning cashbox, which is also unrelated to the other two).

    "till", preposition: until, comes from til in Norse or one of the Scandinavian languages and just means to. So "until" is itself pretty redundant in that its literal meaning is "up to to".

    "till", verb: to cultivate soil, comes the OE verb tilian, which meant to work.

    "till", noun: cashbox, comes from the Old French word tille or tylle, which meant compartment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom
    one could make a hypothesis that its spelling is similar to the verb "till" because it began as a mistake made by people who were familiar with the meaning and spelling of the verb (dare I guess farming folk)...
    One can make such a hypothesis, but that doesn't mean it's in any way likely. Language doesn't work like that. And farming folk would have been illiterate, so the way the word was spelt would have been irrelevant as they wouldn't have been in any position to write anything and thus influence how a word was spelt.

    By that logic all homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings / spellings) would have converged in spelling, but we still have to, too, two / saw, sore and so on.

    Also the meanings of till (until) and till (the verb) are so completely different, no to mention that one is a preposition and one is a verb, that I can't imagine anyone getting the two confused.
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    We shall till till the till is full.

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