Perfect Tense?

  • Thread starter Blahness
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  • #1
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"Perfect" Tense?

Why are Perfect tenses called "Perfect" tenses? Where did they get the "Perfect" from?

I require a source, as well.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #3
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I already read through that, but it doesn't explain why they call them "perfect" tenses. It just explains what perfect tenses are.
 
  • #4
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For example,
I have been trying to interrupt to turn what they got into mine
that means I was and am trying to do that
 
  • #6
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Blahness said:
Why are Perfect tenses called "Perfect" tenses? Where did they get the "Perfect" from?

I require a source, as well.


it has nothing to do with 'perfection'.
 
  • #7
honestrosewater
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franznietzsche said:
it has nothing to do with 'perfection'.
Unlike sewing gorilla suits, which has everything to do with perfection.
 
  • #8
Mk
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Perfect analogy.
 
  • #9
honestrosewater
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They might also be called perfect tenses (I haven't checked to see when those terms were introduced) because the belief in a universal grammar has been popular on and off, and at one point, Latin grammar was the favorite model. So English was treated like it was Latin, for better or for worse. Just thought I should pass this along:
Unfortunately they were too often under the delusion that Latin grammar was the perfect model of logical consistency, and they therefore laboured to find in every language the distinctions recognized in Latin. Not unfrequently a priori speculation and pure logic led them to find in a language what they would never have dreamt of if it had not been for the Latin grammar in which they had been steeped from their earliest school-days. This confusion of logic and Latin grammar with its consequence, a Procrustean method of dealing with all languages, has been the most fruitful source of mistakes in the province of grammar. What Sayce wrote long ago in the article "Grammar" in the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, "The endeavour to find the distinctions of Latin grammar in that of English has only resulted in grotesque errors, and a total misapprehension of the usage of the English language" -- these words are still worth taking to heart, and should never be forgotten by any grammarian, no matter what language he is studying.
This is from Otto Jespersen's Philosophy of Grammar (1924). The people who he calls grammarians might today better be called theoretical linguists, and the idea of Universal Grammar is popular again. It's even capitalized now! *cues foreboding organ music* Here's to everyone keeping their carts and horses in order. :biggrin:

P.S. instead of the noun perfect, think of our verb perfect.
 
  • #10
chroot
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honestrosewater,

I'm pretty sure perfect is an adjective, not a noun. :biggrin:

- Warren
 
  • #11
honestrosewater
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chroot said:
honestrosewater,

I'm pretty sure perfect is an adjective, not a noun. :biggrin:

- Warren
:rofl: That batch of coffee must have been defective (just like must! Aha! This one is working).

By the bye, I originally mistyped perfect as prefect, which is a noun, so my brain is excused. Everyone can't be a perfect like you! :tongue2:
 
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