Jan. 28, 2019

Sentence 028 Lest the cat out of the bag.

028 If it weren’t for my bad legs, I would run the 100 metres in 11 seconds.

028 If we didn’t get there on time, there wouldn’t be any black caviar left.

028 If you did that, you would be in trouble.

028 It’s time we called it a day. It’s very late and the hosts have to go to work early tomorrow.

028 It’s time we went now. If we don’t, we’ll miss the train.

028 What would happen to me if I did that?

028 When would that happen to me?

028 Would I be in trouble if I did that?

Past Tense: the 2nd Form of the Verb?

The 2nd Form of the Verb: Past Tense?

Conditional: the Second Form of the Verb?

The 2nd Form of the Verb: Conditional?

 Leslie: The topic for today double-barreled, i. e. it has two totally different aspects

  •  Past Tense: the 2nd Form of the Verb?
  • The 2nd Form of the Verb: Past Tense?
  • Conditional: the Second Form of the Verb?
  • The 2nd Form of the Verb: Conditional?

Olga: It seems to be a very fat topic. Can we handle these two, totally different themes together?

L: My answer may seem to be very funny for some people: No, we shouldn’t but we must.

It is a double-barreled answer to a double-barreled problem.

O: It sounds intriguing. What is the ’shouldn’t’-element in it?

L: Let me start with the ’must’-element.

We must show the two, the Past Simple Tense and the Conditional Form of the Verb together to be able to make the distinction between them.

O: Where does the problem start? What is the root of all evil?

L: Funnily, the root of all evil is what is advertised and sold as the solution to all the world’s problems.

O: What is it?

L: It is the teaching and learning of the ’3 forms of the Verb’

O: What’s wrong with it?

L: There are many problems but I’m going to name only one or two.

The first problem is that it is not true. ’Went’ is not necessarily Past Tense, and the Past Tense of ’go’ is not necessarily ’went’.

The second problem is linked to the first: the ’3 forms of the Verb’ is ’normally’ – abnormally taught, meaning reflex-conditioned as a mantra. It is out of context, it is without understanding, and it is  without even the need to understand anything.

O: Let’s take the examples that are mentionad int he blue screenshot.

L: ’If it weren’t for my bad legs, I could run the 100 metres in 11 seconds.’

For the student who learnt the ’3 forms of the Verb’ as a mantra, it is Past Simple Tense.

The third problem, after the two I have mentioned, is that Comprehension is not in the focus and Time is not in the Origo of Comprehension.

If we realise that the Sentence above is in Non-Past Time, we immediately understand that the Sentence is Conditional.

It is not the ’if’ that makes the Sentence Conditional, but the Time – Tense relations in it. The ’if’ is only a Conditional Marker.

O: What exactly do you mean by that?

L: ’Were’ is Past Tense if the Time is Past. Actually, the Past Time makes it Past Tense.

If, however, the Time is Non-Past, ’were’ is not Past Tense but the Conditional Form of the Verb.

O: The next Sentence is ’If we didn’t get there on time, there wouldn’t be any black caviar left.’

What is wrong with this Sentence?

L: There is nothing wrong with the Sentence. The problem is, again, with the mantra.

If students learn that ’we use the Past Tense in the 2nd Conditional Sentence’,  they will find it very difficult to understand that the Conditional Form of the Verb here is ’did’, and ’get’ is an Infinitive.

O: We have another ’did’ here: ’If you did that, you would be in trouble.’

L: You are right but it is a completely different ’did’. It is what we call and color Orange Verb and it can be broken up into a Red Jump Word and a Yellow  Infinitive.

It is not Past Simple Tense either; it is the Conditional Form of the main Verb Do.

O: Here is the next one: ’It’s time we called it a day. It’s very late and the hosts have to go to work early tomorrow.’

This ’called’ is not Past Simple Tense either. The Phrase ’It’s time’ is both a Time Marker and a Conditional Marker, and as such it both Marks the Non-Past Time, and Invites the Conditional Form of the Verb ’call’.

L: Perfect. And here comes the ’should’ from the beginning of our conversation. Teachers should teach in situations and a properly set up situation always has plenty of Time Markers.

O: The next Sentence is here: ’It’s time we went now. If we don’t, we’ll miss the train.’

L: It is almost the same formula; the only difference is that the Result has a very high probability now since it is operated by an external agent.

O: Let me do the last three, and do them as one bunch.

’What would happen to me if I did that?’ and ’When would that happen to me?’ and ’Would I be in trouble if I did that?’ are all questions that contain Conditional Forms, and Forms of Verbs that can be taken for Past Tense.

Of course, they are not in Past Tense, but Non-Past Time Conditional Forms.