Grammar question that needs answering

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Tyler Beridge, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. Tyler Beridge

    Tyler Beridge Auditioning

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    I need help in understanding the following grammatical terms:

    a) imperfect
    b) future
    c) perfect
    d) pluperfect
    e) future perfect
    f) indictative mood
    g) subjective mood
    h) imperative mood
    i) gerund
    j) supine
    k) inflection
    l) declension

    An example on what each of these terms mean is appreciated.
     
  2. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

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  3. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Tyler Beridge wrote (post #1):

     
  4. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    a) imperfect - me, right now
    b) future - any time later than right now
    c) perfect - my wife (according to her)
    d) pluperfect - a person with a perfect hairlip
    e) future perfect - my daughter
    f) indictative mood - when I'm horney
    g) subjective mood - when my wife is horney
    h) imperative mood - when my wife is NOT horney
    i) gerund - a small furry animal
    j) supine - a variation of evergreen tree
    k) inflection - when cousins with southern accents marry
    l) declension - right after sex, that brief period when I am not horney.
     
  5. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    The moment I read the first post and before scrolling any further, my first thought was "where's Rex, he'll know this". Glad to see I was absolutely right... [​IMG]
     
  6. Tyler Beridge

    Tyler Beridge Auditioning

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    Rex, the reason I ask this question had to do with the fact that, for me, it is very difficult to grasp terms which I am not familar with. I never heard of these grammatical terms until I took Spanish in college a few years back. My English teachers for some reason focused more on reading than understanding English grammar. This of course explains why I am almost ignorant about what is, say, an imperfect before taking Spanish.

    I am glad that you replied, as I have a better understanding these terms than previously. These are not terms one will hear in everyday speech, but one is not surprised that most English speakers are quite ignorant of what they mean.
     
  7. andrew markworthy

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    You're title question is wrong - shouldn't it be 'Grammar question what needs answering?' [​IMG]

    Very nice work, Rex; I guess I'll have to find something else to occupy my lunchbreak now. [​IMG]
     
  8. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    catenative: a part of the verb phrase which is not among the auxiliaries, but it is followed by another verb which functions as the main verb in the verb phrase. Catenatives may have aspectual meanings, denoting the start, unfolding, or end of an action (e.g., stop running, get to like, continue to read), or modal meanings such as certainty and usuality (seem to like, appear to be, tend to occur). Finally, the catenative get may be a marker of the passive voice (get married, get paid), thus serving the same function as the grammatical auxiliary be. Unlike auxiliaries, catenatives require do-insertion (or the support of another finite operator) in negative and interrogative sentences.
     
  9. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    I forgot to point out with regard to the subjunctive that there is also a past subjunctive which is used chiefly for contrafactual ("irrealis") or hypothetical propositions.

    (a) "If I were you, I'd be looking for a better job." [You're not looking.]
    (b) "If (it were) not for Columbus, none of us would be here today." [We're here.]
    (c) "Should you decide not to attend [ = if you decide not to attend], let us know."

    Note that the subjunctive as a dead category is constantly being replaced by "something else". In colloquial English, most speakers (of American dialects, anyway) would probably say "If I was you, . . ." in (a) above. Since, in all verbs except the verb to be, the past subjunctive forms look exactly like the past indicative forms, by analogy speakers have come to substitute the past indicative was for subjunctive form were (which happens for historical reasons to look exactly like the plural indicative form) in most colloquial usage. Speakers barely any longer have a sense of there being a separate "subjunctive" category, since almost all the forms have been syncretized (made to look" (i.e., sound) just like each other) over the generations.

    Past subjunctive in reported speech:

    "Leila asked whether (if) I were coming to her party Saturday." (doubt) Even most "purists" avoid this. A person would follow up the narrative most likely with "I told her I didn't know if I was coming or not." rather than saying ". . . I didn't know if [= whether] I were coming or not." The latter should be "correct" to express the doubt, hypotheticality, and indirect speech the context presents, but, again, almost nobody even writes like this any more, much less talks that way.

    Instead, avoidance techniques are used, mostly such as these:

    (1) use of the indicative instead. One hears this in "jock speak" (sports-announcer jargon) all the time, e.g., "If Bennett reaches the 38-yard line, they make first down" (said after a play in football where Bennett has not rushed to the 38-yard line and his team has had to punt).
    (2) The "would've"-construction. "If the state would've sent [= had sent] me my check, I could've paid the rent on time." This construction is gaining ground on the traditional past subjunctive (much to the chagrin of the purists, but they could take heart in realizing would is, in origin, just the past subjunctive of will, just as should is that of shall, and so on).

    Much of this repeats what I already said here
    , although I had forgotten about it until today.

    Tyler Beridge wrote (post #6):

     

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