10.1. UNREAL OR REAL TIME

Language evidently is not a system.
None of the President quotes here has error.

More than that, and breaking precedent once more, I do not intend to commence any sentence with these words ― “If George Washington had been alive today”, or “If Thomas Jefferson”, or “If Alexander Hamilton”, or “If Abraham Lincoln had been alive today…”
― Theodore Roosevelt

If Lincoln were alive today, he’d be turning over in his grave.
― Gerald Ford

If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
― James Madison

“If I had permitted my failures, or what seemed to me at the time a lack of success, to discourage me, I cannot see any way in which I would ever have made progress.”
― Calvin Coolidge

We may return to our symbolic line for time, to comprehend the structuring. Our PRESENT today is not going to be our PRESENT tomorrow. All days in the PAST were once our PRESENT.

We may first compare the structuring for the premise.

REAL TIME

Lincoln was alive today…?

Lincoln is alive…?

Men are angels…?

I have permitted…?

FIGURATIVE TALK

If Lincoln had been alive…

If Lincoln were…

If men were…

If I had permitted…


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Let us now compare the real-time sense, and the structuring for the consequent.

REAL TIME SENSE

Lincoln is not turning over…

Government is necessary.

I have made progress.

FIGURATIVE TALK

Lincoln would be turning over…

No government would be…

How I would have made…

As in ■→SUBCHAPTER 9.2, we’d better not take figurative structuring for equivalent to the negative, or negation: we can see the latter in the phrase, no government (would be necessary).

92. But the obstacles, she would have made progress.

REAL TIME SENSE

She has / had not made, or she does / did not make progress.

THE TIME IN THE PAST
Calvin Coolidge has made progress.

TALK TODAY
Calving Coolidge had made progress, to the time is the PAST.

GUESSWORK

She would have made progress otherwise.

THE TIME IN THE PAST
He would have made…

TALK TODAY
He would have made…

Let us view the difference with our time frames and variables.

92a. She would have made progress.
(She never has made it, or she never made it, we may remain with the Modal net and cognitive variable ON.)

92b. He would have made progress.
(He has / had made progress; whether we think about talk in the PAST or the PRESENT, the context has the cognitive variable TO.)

We could perceive the talk about Calvin Coolidge together with the real-time Perfect Aspect. It will depend also on the speaker’s regard, if a structure involves such a real-time premise; example 92a does not have it, and real time is generalized for theory.

We still do not need “unreal time”: we can hold Modal phrasings for relative time.

For grammar as well, we may have another quote:
No group and no Government can properly prescribe precisely what should constitute the body of knowledge with which true education is concerned.
— President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Let us consider the time frame along with the Relative Progressive, feel welcome.
■→10.2. FORM RELATIVITY AND THE PROGRESSIVE

■→This text is also available in Polish.


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The world may never have seen her original handwriting, if her skill was taken for supernatural. Feel welcome to Poems by Emily Dickinson prepared for print by Teresa Pelka: thematic stanzas, notes on the Greek and Latin inspiration, the correlative with Webster 1828, and the Aristotelian motif, Things perpetual — these are not in time, but in eternity.
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