Human minds naturally associate time and place (CHAPTER 1). There are a few words quite often in use, to talk about places in English, as on, in, and to.

We have found out about three Aspects so far, the Simple, the Progressive, and the Perfect. Let us think about a picture we could use to make a map.


Geographical maps are about particular localities, and we cannot have our grammar skills limited to spatial whereabouts. Let us process the picture. It is to symbolize an extent we can use to visualize grammar.

The Simple Aspect can help tell what generally existed, exists, or we think that will exist ON a cognitive map.

THE PAST: We skateboarded a lot.
THE FUTURE: We will ski all winter.

The Progressive Aspect helps tell that something was, is, or we predict that will be IN progress, or IN its course. Our picture for this Aspect may be activity or faculty as IN an area.

THE PAST: We were hiking.
THE PRESENT: I am writing a grammar book.
THE FUTURE: They will be working.

Our variables are not options. We can use them together. The Simple may tell what got ON a cognitive extent, when we were IN progress with something else.
We were picking strawberries, when the rain came.

We can use the Perfect Aspect to say what had taken place, has taken place, or we reason that will have taken place TO a moment in time. The moment does not have to mark the end of the state, activity, or faculty functioning. We may compare this with a way TO a place.

THE PAST: I had studied.
THE PRESENT: He has traveled a lot.
THE FUTURE: We will have finished by then.

We recognize the Aspects by their patterns. We always build the Progressive with be, and the Perfect with have.

Simple Progressive Perfect
(e)s / 2nd be ing have 3rd

All Aspects can work with the verb form “will”, for the FUTURE. Chapter 5 shows the Simple Aspect with the auxiliary do. Altogether, we have four mapping values, ON, IN, TO, and AT.

Grammar books may vary on English word forms such as on, in, to, or at, and these can be adverbs, sometimes. Further, adverbs may go into categories as manner or place, dependent on the grammar approach only.

Adverbs might bring confusion on the verb phrase we build for writing or speaking, should we use a verb form as well for mapping in grammar. We can resolve to use ON, IN, and TO as prepositions, like we had a map with language markers.

Prepositions can work just the same, wherever we are, and whatever the hour. More, our ability is naturally independent of definitions or rules by other people. Likewise, we do not need anybody describing, to move about.

Importantly, we are not building a system. Systems need to be finite. Language is infinite: it is not possible to calculate all phrases and collocations we people are able to create.

We are not building a program, either. It is up to ourselves to decide own ways to view events, and this renders the variables up to our choosing. There is no way to predict the variables in terms for any program: there is not and there cannot be a rule to determine if we want to say that we live somewhere, or we have lived, have been living, or we are living somewhere.

We can have our core verbs (BE, HAVE, DO, WILL), time extents (PRESENT, PAST, FUTURE), and Aspects  (SIMPLE, PROGRESSIVE, PERFECT), for a logical array, or set.

Such arrays are not merely collections. They work interconnected. Let us see on an example.

We cannot be IN an area of a cognitive map, without being ON a cognitive ground. If we select a part of that ground for our view, we mark that we do not mean an entire extent:
Jake is being mad. {IN}

He is not really mad. {ON}
He is really only pretending. {IN}

For John, we can think about an entire cognitive extent.
John is mad angry now. {ON}
His investment has not worked. {TO}

Classic grammars advise the Present Progressive for things happening “now”, and we may have gotten to associate the Progressive generally with words as now or then. We yet could not follow any such rule to speak about the way we feel or think. Even in some present minute, we would hear or say,
I am happy now; I think I like it now (the Present Simple).

We may prefer to consider how we give thought to matters. After all, we could not be required to investigate if Jake often plays up, or if John is a regular failure with investment, just to say what we perceive. It could be we give thought cognitive extents:
I am hating you (the variable {IN}).
It does not mean I always hate you, or that I really hate you at all. I do not give it this kind of thought (the variable {ON}).

Naturally, to think something over, we could not have to think the same as other people. It is the objective reality that we humans live ON Earth, happen to be IN geographical areas, and may learn and remember ways TO places. Relating this reality and language cannot break reasonable rules. Feel welcome to the 4.1. The idea of travel in grammar.
Emoticon, a smile