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why cant you say..........................

 
 
saj
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 06:55 am
hi there
i have been given a work sheet and i dont know how to do some of the questions. for each i have to write the correct answer and explain why the sentences dont make sense in terms of the tense that they are in and then correct the tense.

why cant you say " i have been there yesterday"
1)whats the difference between " i stopped smoking" and " i stopped to smoke"
( teacher says that i should look at gerunds and infinitives for this)

2)why cant you say " i've been knowing him for 2 years"

3)why cant you say "i've been studying english since 5 years"

4)whats the difference between "I'm seeing joe next week" and "I am going to see Joe next week"
*teacher says for this the second sentence has its own structure and not part of any tense *. can you please explain

5) why is the word order different in "He usually arrives late" and "he is usually late"
* teacher says that we should look at frequency adverbs* please explain

6) why do you say "on" christmas day but not "at" christmas

7) why do you say "prettier " but not "beautifuler"
* teacher says we should look at comparatives and superlatives* please explain


thank you for your help
 
George
 
  4  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 07:44 am
@saj,
why cant you say " i have been there yesterday"
Present perfect tense is used with an unspecified time in the past.
You don't use it with a specific time such as yesterday.


1)whats the difference between " i stopped smoking" and " i stopped to smoke"
( teacher says that i should look at gerunds and infinitives for this)
The gerund, ("smoking") with "stop" indicates what is stopped.
The infinitive ("to smoke") with "stop" indicates why another thing was stopped.


2)why cant you say " i've been knowing him for 2 years"
"Know" is just one of a number of verbs that is not used in the present
continuous tense.


3)why cant you say "i've been studying english since 5 years"
"Since" requires a specific time. "For" would be used to indicate duration.

4)whats the difference between "I'm seeing joe next week" and "I am going to
see Joe next week"
*teacher says for this the second sentence has its own structure and not part
of any tense *. can you please explain
"Going to" is not part of the tense of "see". It is an idiomatic English
expression used to denote one's intention or to predict a future event. It
is used with the inifinitive of what is intended or predicted.


5) why is the word order different in "He usually arrives late" and "he is
usually late"
* teacher says that we should look at frequency adverbs* please explain
. . . and did you look at that chapter?
It should say that these most often go before the verb unless it's the verb
"to be", in which case it usually goes after.


6) why do you say "on" christmas day but not "at" christmas
If using "Christmas" rather than "Christmas Day" indicates the season
rather than a specific day, then I believe "at" would be perfectly acceptable.


7) why do you say "prettier " but not "beautifuler"
* teacher says we should look at comparatives and superlatives* please explain
Once again, what did this chapter tell you? I'm guessing it said something
about two-syllable adjectives ending in certain letters (such as "y").
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 09:58 am
@George,
Adding to George's answers:

Quote:
Present perfect tense is used with an unspecified time in the past.
You don't use it with a specific time such as yesterday.


Actually, the rule is that you never use it with a completed time, but you can use it with specific times that are not completed because they still have a connection with "now".

An example would be "today", "this week" or "this month" while "yesterday", "last week" and "last month" can't be used.

Quote:
1)whats the difference between " i stopped smoking" and " i stopped to smoke"
( teacher says that i should look at gerunds and infinitives for this)
The gerund, ("smoking") with "stop" indicates what is stopped.
The infinitive ("to smoke") with "stop" indicates why another thing was stopped.


In case this isn't clear:

I stopped smoking = I don't smoke anymore.

I stopped to smoke. = I stopped something else (e.g. walking) in order to smoke.

Quote:
2)why cant you say " i've been knowing him for 2 years"
"Know" is just one of a number of verbs that is not used in the present
continuous tense.


The reason is that the process of knowing something is expressed in a phrasal verb ("get to know"). So if you refer to an ongoing action you should use it and this sentence would be correct as "I've been getting to know him for 2 years."



Quote:
6) why do you say "on" christmas day but not "at" christmas
If using "Christmas" rather than "Christmas Day" indicates the season
rather than a specific day, then I believe "at" would be perfectly acceptable.


There's no reason for these, there are patterns to preposition use but nothing more. With prepositions you'll just have to memorize them, there's no easy reasoning that lets you deduce them all.

e.g. "on" because it's one day, not a range of days that it's "in" as a month
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