CHAPTER 4. TIME RAMBLES DIFFERENT WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE

Our 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.

PICTURE: A SUBURBAN AREA, AERIAL VIEW

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

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

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

The Progressive Aspect can help tell that something was, is, or we predict that will be IN progress, or IN its course. To visualize this Aspect, we may picture activity or faculties 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.

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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”, in the FUTURE. Chapter 5 shows the Simple with the auxiliary do. Altogether, we have four mapping values, ON, IN, TO, and AT.

Grammar schools may vary on 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.

Let us remember that word forms are language forms. In French, we could say sur, in German auf, and in Russian на (Latin alphabet na), in contexts we say on, in English. The Extras tell more about language form.

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

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

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

We are not building a program, either. Our regards and variables are up to our choosing, and this is not predictable in terms for any program: there is not and cannot be a rule to decide 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.

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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}

With classic grammars, we may learn we use the Present Progressive for things happening “now”. We may get to associate the Progressive with words as “now” or “then”.

 

We yet could not follow any such idea to speak about the way we feel or think. Even if talking about a present minute, we would hear or say,

 

I am happy now,
I think I like it now;
(Present Simple).

We can learn to grant extents:

I am hating you {IN}.
(It does not mean I always hate you {ON}).

We may notice that such extents can explain many everyday language uses. Classic grammars might discredit them, as the uses do not belong under classic explanations. Our grammar is yet concerned with American English as it is: the title of this chapter says time rambles different, though classic grammars would advise differently.
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Whether American or British the English, it is the objective reality that people live ON Earth, happen to be IN geographical areas, and may learn and remember ways TO places. Relating this reality and language does not break scholarly rules.

Chapter 5 adds Expression to our picture. Expression regards the Affirmative, Interrogative, or Negative.

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Let us try some work with variables and extents. We can think how we have traveled so far. Here, we can use the Present Perfect. Our Present Perfect pattern is “have traveled”.

PICTURE: TEXT EXTENT, WE HAVE TRAVELED

To review what we have done TO this point in our travel in grammar, we do not have to use the Present Perfect all the time.

We can say we made our passage with the Stones of Time and traversed the River of Time. We could see ourselves as on a map. We pictured ourselves in an area, and we held in view our way to a place.

PICTURE: TEXT EXTENT, HELD, PICTURED, COULD SEE, HAVE TRAVELED

We may think about all those as about localities at which we were during our travel. We can use the Past Simple. Our Past Simple forms here are “made”, “traversed”, “saw”, “pictured”, “held”, and “were”.

PICTURE: TEXT EXTENT, WE TRAVERSED THE RIVER OF TIME

It is when we want to mark activity as relative to the PRESENT that we use the Present Perfect. Otherwise, we can just stay {ON} our maps.

For this chapter, we can say we have connected a perspective on the Fields of Time with an abstract map.

In Chapter 5, we might say we connected the perspective and abstract mapping in Chapter 4.

We also might say we have connected the perspective and mapping, if we look to the beginning of the grammar work.

This is why the grammar course is a “travel in grammar”: the place we are in our narrative may influence the grammatical form for speaking about the content.

Our follow up is to help learn independently to decide, how we view our reality and express this view.

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This is abstract, conceptual thinking to manage grammars in all languages. We need it for our American English, too. We can visualize the Simple, Progressive, and Perfect — together, as abstract variables.

PICTURE: 3 VARIABLES AS ABSTRACT VALUES

Exercising concepts, we do not have to limit our language skills to a prospect of moving on land solely. Bald eagles happen to sojourn in woods deep as natural language grammars. They know some more of the way. Shall we follow the eagle to the Rockies?

EMOTICON: SMILE
PICTURE: EAGLES ALSO SOJOURN

 

For centuries, humans have used symbols to encourage thinking. Concepts here do not come from Greek Anaximander, we yet may compare ideas.

PICTURE: EAGLES ROUTE IN THE ROCKIES, VALUES ON, IN, TO, AND AT

American eagles can fly very high. The bald eagle symbolizes good language skills, in our grammar course. The bald eagle is a national symbol of the United States of America.

 

 

To become high-fliers, we must learn independently to determine our extent and ground in language. However language may influence thinking, there cannot be grammar or other rule good to regulate human thought. Our way with language cannot be as in the picture below.

PICTURE: NOT THE WAY THROUGH THE RIVER OF TIME

Feel welcome to the exercises (!)
4.2. EXERCISES: LANGUAGE MAP PRACTICE.
LINK 4.1. LANGUAGE MAP PRACTICE

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