The category of tense

Topics: Past tense, Time, Future Pages: 3 (1580 words) Published: October 29, 2014

Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
Kyiv National Linguistic University
Chair of Germanic and Finno-Ugrian Philology
SELF-STUDY PROJECT
THE CATEGORY OF TENSE. TENSE OPPOSITIONS. DIFFERENT VIEWS ON THE TENSE SYSTEM IN ENGLISH. ABSOLUTE AND RELATIVE TENSE FORMS. ANNA OHRIMCHUK
Group MLa 02-11
Department of Germanic Philology
Project Adviser –
Assoc. Prof. VIKTORIA M. BEREZENKO
PhD (Linguistics)
Kyiv 2014
While the existence of the aspect category in English is a disputed matter, the tense category is universally recognised. Nobody has ever suggested to characterise the distinction, for example, between wrote, writes, and will write as other than a tense distinction. Thus we shall not have to produce any arguments in favour of the existence of the category in Modern English. As to the general definition of tense, there seems no necessity to find a special one for the English language. The basic features of the category appear to be the same in English as in other languages. [Ilyish 1971: 86] The category of tense is a verbal category that reflects the objective category of time. It correlates with the conceptual category of temporality. The essential characteristic feature of the category of tense is that it relates the time of the action, event or state of affairs referred to in the sentence to the time of the utterance. [Волкова 2009: 119] In English there are the three tenses (past, present and future) represented by the forms wrote, writes, will write, or lived, lives, will live. Strangely enough, some doubts have been expressed about the existence of a future tense in English. O. Jespersen discussed this question more than once. The reason why Jespersen denied the existence of a future tense in English was that the English future is expressed by the phrase “shall/will + infinitive”, and the verbs shall and will which make part of the phrase preserve, according to Jespersen, some of their original meaning (shall an element of...
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