Feel welcome to my grammar course. I began inventing my grammar when I was a kid, which might part show. We deserve some sunshine when we are grown up, too. The grammar remains the way I manage my language skill. Here is a walk-through.
All tense patterns have the words BE, HAVE, or DO, and everyone has one PRESENT, PAST, or FUTURE really. We can symbolize this reality as three Fields of Time in which we envision the verbs BE, HAVE, and DO.
We can say figuratively that our knowledge is our light. Knowledge needs memory. Our Past field can be as with a setting sun. We may forget the detail in a matter we have not studied in a long time, yet there is shine enough to return to it. We cannot have memories of the Future, but we are capable of planning our study. Our field for the Future can be as with sunrise. It is our Present we have most cognitive powers to shape. We can symbolize the Present as shiny daylight.
The Fields can help us focus on the verb form WILL. It maps on the Future already in the shape it has for the Present.
We can use the word “Character”, for grammatical tense patterns. Character of activity may come easier to think about than the grammatical term “Aspect”, which we get to know too, however.
We look to grammatical tense first elements, along with the words BE, HAVE, and WILL. We extract our Character or Aspect patterns, to consider them regardless of Time.
We associate grammar and human natural mapping, as with geography and travel. We people live ON Earth. We usually view land or seas as extents. We give at least psychological borders to areas IN which we are. We perceive routes and ways TO places. We happen to be AT landmarks and places.
We can use the natural variables for grammar. All kinds of English in the world have four Aspects: Simple, Progressive, Perfect, and Perfect Progressive. We can use the cognitive variable ON for the Simple, IN for the Progressive, and TO for the Perfect.
Arrows are very familiar symbols to show or indicate the way. We can combine our mapping and arrow symbols, to exercise target Time and Aspect. The ability will be vital in our language journey, especially if we want to fare with Modal verbs. Modal forms do not tell directly what time we think about, so it is good to have an idea to picture a target grammatical time.
Our arrows are not shooting arrows. They are just to mark the Time and Character, Future Simple or Past Progressive, for example. More, we never grow too old or mature, to use colors. They can help also advanced language work. We make a color palette, and combine grammatical patterns for Expression: the Affirmative, Negative, or Interrogative.
TRAVEL IN GRAMMAR PART TWO
To compare the Simple and the Perfect, we learn to visualize syntax, keep the head time, and use time frames. We keep the frame open for the Perfect, and we close it for the Simple. For real time, our frames are green. We are going to use relative or hypothetical time later, with time frames of a different color.
All along, we mind we use concepts and inventions. We do not claim there is anything like time frames or logical extents in human heads. If someone is an architect, it does not mean he or she was born with an idea for a house, or has a building in the brain.
Many grammar books might tell we need to learn “stative verbs”. They would be the words for thinking and feeling. We consider the Simple and the Progressive for our cognitive mapping, if we grant our ideas entire thinking extents, or only part extents.
We do not change language. We refer for examples to COCA, the Corpus of Contemporary of American English. “This is a dream come true. And I’m loving every minute of it.” — The NBC Today Sun example comes from the Corpus.
After we have compared our mapping variables ON and TO (Simple and Perfect), as well as ON and IN (Simple and Progressive), we try merging TO and IN. We get another mapping value, AT, for the Perfect Progressive. This means we learn to manage all Aspects with variables, as we want them.
We analyze if variable ON could be a basic value. We remember about “stative verbs”: we might not fancy memorizing lists of words to use with the Simple only. The analysis is favorable. It is always the first element in the tense pattern to adapt for the Time. Value ON can be our earthling basic variable. We can agree with classic grammars we may have stative uses of verbs, but we do not have stative verbs.
All along, we are able to meet expectations of classic grammar guidance, as in school. All books can tell the Aspect.
Modal verbs challenge our darts. Past Modal forms can work for the Present as well. We observe that Modal form is only relative to real time. More, hypothetical time cannot be the same as real time. We expand our logic as well as color palettes. Our gloss or forget-me-not symbolizes auxiliary time. Tea rose can help visualize Modal relativity. Our frames for real time remain green.
We learn to perceive our grammar and notional time as related
Many grammar books will explain on the Conditional or Unreal Past. We can observe there is generally Form Relativity, in language. Present forms can tell about the Future. Past forms can tell about the Present. Antecedent Past forms can tell about the Past.
With Relative the frames, we economize our values to ON or IN only, for hypotheses. Our Modal phrases will become much simpler to make, and remain correct according to classic grammars. Should we think it is too simple to be true, let us mind there is no natural language to require looking up volumes on philosophy, to make Modal structures. More, there would never be time for that. All natural languages are spoken and written in real time. Our Form Relativity belongs with our notional time.
Further journey can help learn closing the frame or leaving it open, dependent on our focus. There is no universal guidance. Of the President quotes below, neither is grammatically incorrect.
If Lincoln were alive today, he’d be (would be) turning over in his grave.
Gerald Rudolph Ford, American President.
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, American President
We learn there are differences between human and artificial intelligence. We know that computers could not work on language the way we do. To the Upper Intermediate level, the grammar story consists of four parts.
I am a university Master of Arts, specialized in American English and psycholinguistics. The grammar idea is my invention and the way I actually have managed own language skill. The work is registered with the Library of Congress, TX 7-497-087, and TX 7-648-439.
Feel welcome to the dedicated Travel in Grammar website,