3.4. PRACTICE FOR THE SHAPE OF TIME

Exercise 7. To get along at school, we need to be able to use grammar labels, that is, we need to be able to tell if a pattern is the Present Simple, Future Progressive, or another. The level of this exercise is metalinguistic.

Metalanguage is the style to talk about language, as about nouns, verbs, or tenses. Most of us know metalanguage from school or individual study; we only may not be used to the specialist term, “metalanguage”.

Example: pattern 1
Answer: the Present Progressive

Grammatical time

Aspect

 

The Simple

The Progressive

The Perfect

The Future

5

6

7

The Present

4

1

8

The Past

3

2

9

Exercise 8. Let us consciously associate the auxiliary and the Aspect. We can “say” the answers in our thoughts, as in the ■→MIND PRACTICE, and use grammar visuals with the verb to write.

■→GRAMMAR VISUALS allow picture downloads, or adapting elements and projecting them on a screen, with a PowerPoint presentation.

Example: had;
Answer: the third form, the Past Perfect.

(1) was; (2) is; (3) have; (4) were; (5) has; (6) will be; (7) will have; (8) are; (9) am.

Exercise 9. The verb forms BE or HAVE can build Progressive or Perfect patterns. They are auxiliary then.

The forms BE and HAVE also can be head verbs.

For the match they make with personal pronouns, there is no difference if the BE or HAVE is an auxiliary, or a head verb.

Let us practice BE and HAVE for the grammatical time (PRESENT, PAST, or FUTURE) and all grammatical persons. In simple words, we are back with the fields of time, for the verb forms BE and HAVE.

As in ■→EXERCISE 3, we can note “all persons”, where our important language forms remain the same. It is not wrong to have own language work for an important activity.

Emoticon, a smile

The word form “work” can be a noun (What? Work), with BE and HAVE as head verbs (to have work; to be at work).

“Work” also can be a verb (To do what? To work), with BE and HAVE as auxiliaries (to have worked, to be working).

We do our mind work first: we think about the forms, as in exercise 4.

Example: have in the PRESENT;
Answer A: I, you, we, they have work;
He, she, it has work;
(HAVE is a head verb, work is a noun).

Answer B. I, you, we, they have worked;
He, she, it has worked;
(HAVE is an auxiliary, to work is a head verb).

1. be in the PRESENT;
2. have in the FUTURE;
3. be in the PAST;
4. be in the FUTURE;
5. have in the PAST.


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Exercise 10. Let us try the patterns from exercise 8 with the verb to learn. It is a regular verb and makes the second and third forms with the ending E D. Minds first, let us only think about the answers. If we want to, we may write them too, but only after we have done the thinking for the entire exercise.

Example: had;
Answer: learned.

Exercise 11. We can note “all persons” where the auxiliary has the same form for all grammatical persons. To exercise flexibility, we may place the grammatical person last. Minds are always first (!)

Emoticon, a smile

Example: be in the PRESENT
Answer: am working, I;
are working, you, we, they;
is working, he, she, it.

1. have in the PAST;
2. have in the FUTURE;
3. be in the FUTURE;
4. be in the PAST;
5. have in the PRESENT.

Exercise 12. We can choose if we think Time first, or Aspect first. In this exercise, let us tell the core word and label the pattern, Aspect first.

Please mind, we recognize core words only with regard to tense patterns. The words are verbs, TO BE, TO HAVE, TO DO, and WILL.

Our purpose is to mind the words that help make language reference to real time. We do not intend to limit our vocabularies.

Example: am / is / are learning;
Answer: be, Progressive in the PRESENT.

1. have / has learned;
2. was / were learning;
3. will be learning;
4. had learned;
5. will have learned.

Language skill is about fluency in real time, rather than memorizing many grammar rules. Let us try an economical and very realistic idea for real time thought and talk: ■→CHAPTER 4. TIME RAMBLES DIFFERENT WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

■→This text is also available in Polish.


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