Re: Reporter style writing versus technical writing -- GRAMMATICAL QUESTION

Subject: Re: Reporter style writing versus technical writing -- GRAMMATICAL QUESTION
From: sphilip <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 19:56:19 +0700


> On Thu, 27 Sep 2012 04:21:19 -0400, Debbie Hemstreet <D_Hemstreet -at- rambam -dot- health -dot- gov -dot- il> wrote:
>
>> In a world where people want a minimum of words, why on earth would anyone use
>>
>> Past Perfect Simple Tense: The families have been using...
>>
>> Instead of
>>
>> Past Simple Tense: The families used...
>>
>> Throughout an entire article.
>

Well….first that's neither past perfect nor is it simple tense. It is in fact present perfect continuous tense.

Why would anyone use it? Maybe to signify that the action began at some unspecified time in the past and is still continuing at the time of writing. The simple past tense is used for actions that began at some specified time in the past and were completed at that time. A lot of native speakers understand very little about why they use the tenses they do, even though they tend to use them correctly and consistently (most of the time), even if unconsciously. ESL learners, who learn grammar by rule rather than imitation, tend to have a better grasp of their function and meaning.

If you want to know more about why people use present perfect continuous, have a look at

http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verb-tenses_present-perfect-continuous.htm


Phil
http://applehelpwriter.wordpress.com




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Follow-Ups:

References:
Reporter style writing versus technical writing -- GRAMMATICAL QUESTION: From: Debbie Hemstreet
Re: Reporter style writing versus technical writing -- GRAMMATICAL QUESTION: From: Peter Neilson

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