9
   

The church was built in the countryside so that believers can / could go there to pray.

 
 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 22 Aug, 2013 03:37 pm
@McTag,
Quote:
I notice that you avoid revisiting your earlier mistake, preferring to attack me.


There's no need to attack you, your ignorance on language shines clear, McTag. I sometimes point up your ignorance so that ESLs and ENLs are not led astray.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 22 Aug, 2013 08:54 pm
@McTag,
Clary left because she realized that she didn't know as much as she thought she knew. Early in, she couldn't even identify a passive construction. She was forever making mistakes. She was one of the great defenders of many nonsensical prescriptions. She should never have been allowed anywhere near an ESL textbook.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 12:04 am
@JTT,
I notice that you still avoid revisiting your earlier mistake, preferring instead to attack me.

How does the world look from the top of your midden this morning?
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 01:02 am
JTT, because of the dogma he was taught by his cult of ESL teachers, refuses to believe the obvious fact that English speakers do in fact use "could" to refer to actions in the past and "can" to actions in the present. He admits that it was so in the past but for some unobvious reason refuses to admit that it is still so. For a descriptivist, he is peculiarly loath to admit that that is so when speakers of English tell him that in fact that is the way it is used. He resorts to the prescriptivism he so abhors when his own conviction is threatened. This does not in any way negate the fact that "could" is also used in other contexts in the present.

The church was built sometime in the past. The people who built it, in the past, had reasons for building it in the countryside. They had those reasons in the past. Therefore "could" is appropriate, and does in fact refer to a past motive.

If the church is still extant and serves the same purpose, "can" denotes tjat present purpose, and focuses on it.

To further extend that, if the church is no longer in existence, "could" would still be appropriate since it describes the purpose it served when built, but it would be extremely odd, at the very least, for anyone except JTT to suggest that "can" would work to describe the situation, past and present.

Face it, JTT, you're wrong. Worse, you're being prescriptivist, in the face of the fact that it is actually used as we say it is. "Could" is in fact still the past tense of "can". It still exists as that. That is of course not its only use, no one says it is , but it definitely DOES have that use.

JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 10:21 am
@McTag,
You're not likely to point it up, McTag, because that would get you too close to having to discuss the issues yourself.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 11:14 am
@MontereyJack,
The church was built in the countryside so that believers can / could go there to pray.

Quote:
but it would be extremely odd, at the very least, for anyone except JTT to suggest that "can" would work to describe the situation, past and present.


When you've got nothing else, you lie, Jack. This is getting to be a common occurrence for you, much like McTag. You old prescriptivists are really a dishonest lot.

I didn't say anywhere in this thread, what you have described above. If you had read the situation as described by Ms Tan, you wouldn't be making a fool of yourself as you are.

You still have answered all the questions about COULD IN,

http://able2know.org/topic/217591-2

I've posted it for you, below.

===============================
@MontereyJack,

MJ:
Quote:
You will notice definition 1. The first definition is usually the most common usage.


Quote:
could/kʊd; unstressed kəd/ Show Spelled [kood; unstressed kuhd] Show IPA
verb
1. a simple past tense of can1 .



I did notice definition 1, MJ, [see definition 1 in quotes directly above] and what was immediately "noticeable", which you didn't miss, but chose to ignore - MAJOR DISHONEST, Jack, - was that there was no example sentence for that particular "definition". They had no problem providing examples for the others.

Why do you figure that is?


MJ:
Quote:
does not mean that it is not the past tense of "can", as apparently the entire English-speaking world but you recognizes.



Why are you being so DISHONEST? The English speaking world, in every second, every minute, every hour and every day, for weeks and months and years and ... recognizes that COULD is not the past tense of CAN because it doesn't ever use it like that, because it can't.

You still haven't provided any examples of WOULD as PT of WILL, SHOULD as PT of SHALL, MIGHT as PT of MAY.

I wonder why that is.

You haven't addressed your obvious confusion between SEMANTIC and SYNTACTIC. Would you like me to define those terms for you?

Which leads us to another thing you haven't addressed. Why would COULD and CAN having tense remain when the other modals lost their tense and became tenseless?

Would you like me to provide you with an example of MIGHT as PT of MAY?


MJ:
Quote:
whenever a dictionary says something you don't like, the dictionary-makers make mistakes



That's a lie, Jack. It's not a matter of me liking something. Language science doesn't work on "liking" or not. That's the province of prescription, as you are well aware.

Dictionaries aren't infallible, linguists aren't infallible, ... . But what language science does, it eschews "liking" in favor of proof. Why was there no example sentence, Jack?


MJ:
Quote:
I will be perfectly happy to cite other dictionaries, which apparently are all mistaken,but you are not.


By all means, please do. Do you think you might be able to find a definition with an actual example sentence?


MJ:
Quote:
I think I'll go with their cdonsensus, rather than your outlier opinion.


What consensus, Jack? Everyone repeating the same mistake. You must consider how long these dictionaries repeated silly prescriptions. OED took until 1998 to retract the split infinitive "rule".

END

0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 11:15 am
==============

Below are the examples just from the first page of a Google exact phrase search. There are examples of the same COULD as that in Ms Tan's example.

I posted [past tense] them here so that everyone could see [not past, a clear future event] that COULD is used in all time situations - the mark of a tenseless verb.

CAN is also possible in my example sentence, above,

I posted [past tense] them here so that everyone can see [still the same clear future event] that COULD is used in all time situations - the mark of a tenseless verb.

============

Google exact phrase
"was built so that people could"
About 343,000 results (0.32 seconds)
Search Results

The Church Made of 40,000 Human Bones... - Off-Topic - Wowhead ...
www.wowhead.com/forums.../the-church-made-of-40-000-human-bone...
The church was built so that people could remain close to those who died. (Just to explain what I mean by different moral values, the Egyptians used to prop ...
Blogging - Galileo Educational Network
www.galileonetwork.ca/earlylearning/?q=book/export/html/281

The Bow Habitat Station was built so that people could learn about water and the life around the the Bow River Habitat. I (Kailynn) learned that fish are very ...
Mrvlcats News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip - io9
io9.com/tag/mrvlcats‎

If the Internet was built so that people could post pictures of their cats, then Twitter was built for this. Artists came up with their best kitty-Marvel mashups and ...
Chris elipoulos News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip - io9
io9.com/tag/chris-elipoulos‎

If the Internet was built so that people could post pictures of their cats, then Twitter was built for this. Artists came up with their best kitty-Marvel mashups and ...
Katie cook News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip - io9
io9.com/tag/katie-cook‎

If the Internet was built so that people could post pictures of their cats, then Twitter was built for this. Artists came up with their best kitty-Marvel mashups and ...
Pyramids - Angelfire
www.angelfire.com/scifi/littledemon/pyramids.html

The mortuary temple was built so that people could make offerings to the dead king. The pyramids are one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
CUUGer - Sept 1996 - Editorial: Hacking Alone
www.cuug.ab.ca/CUUGer/9612/editorial.html

It was built so that people could talk to each other. A few wish to buy things from each other, and indeed, your phone bill might double without the commercial ...
When Was Swadlincote Ski Centre Built - Wiki Answers
wiki.answers.com › Wiki Answers › Categories › Sports › Skiing‎

The centre was built so that people could look at it and say, "WOW that building SUCKS". Why are indoor ski resorts built? So that people can ski inside when ...
Clark Tower Reviews - Winterset, IA Attractions - TripAdvisor
www.tripadvisor.ca › ... › Winterset › Things to do in Winterset‎

It was built so that people could enjoy the view (especially to the south). It was interesting to see how it was built and to see the workmanship that was put into ...
Agave Lab
www.agavelab.com/

ShotStrip was built so that people could create stories with images. We're big fans of comic books - the way that a limited number of cels or frames are used to ...
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 11:21 am
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
The church was built sometime in the past. The people who built it, in the past, had reasons for building it in the countryside. They had those reasons in the past. Therefore "could" is appropriate, and does in fact refer to a past motive.


The reasons for the church being built extend to the present. The reasons are as valid today as they were for the time the church was built.

The church was built in the countryside so that believers can / could go there to pray.

Are you saying that CAN is not possible in this situation, MJ?



0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 01:17 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Quote:
Since you're referring to a past action, "could" should be used instead of "can."


What you wrote [past tense] is [present tense] simply false, Infra.

You wrote that in an attempt to show Ms Tan something.

Does 'show' have to be 'showed'.

I wrote simply false to illustrate to her that you are mistaken.

Just because 'wrote' is past tense, that doesn't mean 'illustrate' and 'are' have to be past tense.

There has been a silly notion that English has a Sequence of Tenses. I hope that that is not what you are relying on.


In your first example, you are making a statement with the idea that an action that was done in the past was and continues to be simply false.

In the sentence that tanguatlay provided, an action was done with an intent that one cannot assume continues to be the case.

In the other two examples, you're using the infinitive cases of the verbs "show" and "illustrate," i.e. "to show" and "to illustrate," which are grammatical in your examples, but wouldn’t be in tanguatlay’s sentence. They are non sequiturs.

In the last example, like in the first, you are making a statement with the idea that an action was and continues to be mistaken.

Remember, context is everything, and precision, if not everything, is, at the very least, a great deal.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 05:32 pm
@InfraBlue,

Quote:
In your first example, you are making a statement with the idea that an action that was done in the past was and continues to be simply false.

In the sentence that tanguatlay provided, an action was done with an intent that one cannot assume continues to be the case.


Here's her post from page 1.

========================

Post: # 5,419,549

Hi JTT
Deciding which one is best for any given situation would require a greater context/knowledge of speaker intent/nuance.

Let me clarify what I am trying to say.

Many people in the countryside believe in Christianity, but they had no church to pray at. Later a church was built so that these villagers can have a place to pray at.

I hope I have provided enough context.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 05:49 pm
@InfraBlue,
Quote:
In your first example, you are making a statement with the idea that an action that was done in the past was and continues to be simply false.


I think you may want to rework this one. I don't quite follow your meaning.

Quote:
In the sentence that tanguatlay provided, an action was done with an intent that one cannot assume continues to be the case.


I admit that there can/could exist the situation where the church no longer exists. However, I feel that that is not the case here. First, from Ms Tan's plumping for 'can'.

Second, it seems to me that if the church no longer existed, Ms Tan would have informed us of that. I think McTag assumed the church still exists in this example.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 08:51 pm
JTT says:

Quote:
Quote:
You will notice definition 1. The first definition is usually the most common usage.

Quote:
could/kʊd; unstressed kəd/ Show Spelled [kood; unstressed kuhd] Show IPA
verb
1. a simple past tense of can1 .


I did notice definition 1, MJ, [see definition 1 in quotes directly above] and what was immediately "noticeable", which you didn't miss, but chose to ignore - MAJOR DISHONEST, Jack, - was that there was no example sentence for that particular "definition". They had no problem providing examples for the others.

Why do you figure that is?


Why do you impute dishonesty so automatically to anyone who dares to disagree with you, JTT?

I would suspect that there was no example sentence bacuase they gave examples and definitions for "can", and figured people knew what "past" meant, so any idiot would understand what using "could" to describe an action taking "can" in the present would be like in the past. Clearly they never encountered someone as obtuse and obstinate as you. Why do you simply assume no example sentences are provided in dictionaries because they can't cite any? Stupid assumption.

Examples:
"past of CAN--used in auxiliary functions in the past<we found we could go>, in the past conditional <we said we would go if we could>"
[in nmany of the various versions of Merriam-Webster dictionaries identically worded. In this case from the Collegiate]

"2. The Egyptian could not drink of the water Ex, vii, 21.....4. I could no more, I was really exhausted 1807" {The Oxford Universal Dictionary]

"could (kud) – negative short form couldn't (ˈkudnt) – verb
1. past tense of can . They asked if I could drive a car; I said I couldn't; She asked if she could go."
[Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary]

JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 09:20 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
Why do you impute dishonesty so automatically to anyone who dares to disagree with you, JTT?


Speaking as regards you, because you are so good at it.

Quote:
I would suspect that there was no example sentence bacuase they gave examples and definitions for "can", and figured people knew what "past" meant, so any idiot would understand what using "could" to describe an action taking "can" in the present would be like in the past. Clearly they never encountered someone as obtuse and obstinate as you. Why do you simply assume no example sentences are provided in dictionaries because they can't cite any? Stupid assumption.


See what I mean. Six [I believe] meanings, five of the six with example sentences and no example for the very one in contention.

Quote:

"past of CAN--used in auxiliary functions in the past<we found we could go>, in the past conditional <we said we would go if we could>"

1. past tense of can . They asked if I could drive a car; I said I couldn't; She asked if she could go."
[Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary]


Those aren't examples of COULD as the past tense of CAN, Jack.

This stuff is simply beyond you.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 09:22 pm
JTT says:
Quote:
Quote:
The church was built sometime in the past. The people who built it, in the past, had reasons for building it in the countryside. They had those reasons in the past. Therefore "could" is appropriate, and does in fact refer to a past motive.


The reasons for the church being built extend to the present. The reasons are as valid today as they were for the time the church was built.

The church was built in the countryside so that believers can / could go there to pray.

Are you saying that CAN is not possible in this situation, MJ?




Are you capable of reading, JTT? Sometimes I doubt it.

The uses of "can" and "could" in that sentence have different meanings. As I said in my post, which you would realize had you not lopped off the second part of it. the motives of the builders may or may not still be relevant today. the building may or may not still exist. It may or may not still be a church (I can point out to you a building in Somerville, MA, which was built as a church to serve the needs of a stretcar suburb of Boston and the nearby college, which decades later was converted into some sort of fraternal lodge, and when its members all died off, has now become a residence and an aspiring museum of Russian oconographic [largely non-Christian] art. Can you say it was built so it can serve the religious needs of a suburb? That's warping the language. That was what I was talking about.

"So many people repeating mistakes", you say, or something similar. Versus you, calling everybody else except you mistaken in the way they use language. Which is precisely the prescriptivist complaint. And you're the prescriptivist, refusing to recognize that modals do in fact have tenses (not all of them for all verbs, but they definitely do exist) and that people in fact use them that way, in spite of your silly repetition that they don't exist.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 09:29 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
the motives of the builders may or may not still be relevant today. the building may or may not still exist. It may or may not still be a church (I can point out to you a building in Somerville, MA, which was built as a church to serve the needs of a stretcar suburb of Boston and the nearby college, which decades later was converted into some sort of fraternal lodge, and when its members all died off, has now become a residence and an aspiring museum of Russian oconographic [largely non-Christian] art. Can you say it was built so it can serve the religious needs of a suburb? That's warping the language. That was what I was talking about.


All this would be relevant if it was relevant, Jack. It appears that it isn't. If you follow the thread, Infra and I have already had this discussion and I pointed out why I believed it was not relevant. Go back and get yourself up to speed.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 09:32 pm
JTT says:
Quote:
Those aren't examples of COULD as the past tense of CAN, Jack


Everybody outside of your small coterie thinks they are, obviously because they are descriptive of the past. Your denial seems to stem only from your ingrained belief that modals don't have tenses, resulting in an automatic denial, rather than anything that deals with the the obvious reality that they do, that they function that way, that that's the way people do in fact use them, and that that's the way people interpret them. You haven't made anything any sort of case that is in the least convincing, JTT. You are, to repeat, being desperately prescriptivist about the whole thing.

I am up to speed. You haven't made any sort of a good case. You rarely do. Your arguments seem to boil down to "It's so because I say it's so." No, it's not.
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 09:36 pm
I'm not the one voting you down, incidentally. Whoever is doing it shows good sense and good taste, but it's not me.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 09:48 pm
@MontereyJack,
Jack: I can go to the beach.

Jill: [who was too far away to hear] What did Jack say, jtt?

jtt: He said that he could go to the beach.

Have you gone to beach yet, Jack?

Quote:
obviously because they are descriptive of the past.


They are examples of Reported Speech, Jack. They are not, as in the example above, situations where COULD is acting as the past tense of CAN. This has been explained to you before, a number of times. How did you forget so soon?

The reason that dictionaries cannot produce an example sentence of COULD as the past tense of CAN is because COULD isn't the past tense of CAN. It should be easy, even for you, to grasp that dictionaries can and do make mistakes. You've posted a good number of them - passing off Reported Speech examples as something else.

And MontereyJack missed it all.

Quote:
I am up to speed.


Yeah, right.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 09:51 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
Whoever is doing it shows good sense and good taste,


What they are showing is that they are as ignorant on language issues as you are, Jack. The only difference is that they are enormous cowards. That, you are not - usually. Smile
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 10:15 pm
I suggest you go back and read the example sentences again. three are clearly not speech. Again, YOU think that reported speech doesn't mean past tense. That's you being indiosyncratic. Not what others think. Why are dictionary makers wrong only when they disagree with you and right when they agree with you? The evidence favors you being wrong when you diagree with them.
 

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