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THEORY: tense and aspect nomenclature (was Re: Verb tensesquestion)

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 21, 1999, 8:11
"Grandsire, C.A." wrote:
> Me too, and that's how I learned it. For me, "going to" is future, with > a connotation of near future (like "aller" + inf. in French) and "about > to" is a very near future, something that will happen in the next five > minutes. "Prospective" seems rather right for "going to", but I would > try to find another word for "about to".
The impression I get of "going to" is that it's more of an intentional thing - "I'm going to buy it some day", indicates a desire, a plan to buy it. "I will buy it some day" indicates more of a definite fact, almost a prediction. It can indicate a strong desire. But for sure "going to" can refer to a more distant future, altho the exact difference is a bit vague. I've always thought of it this way: prospective:future::perfect:past, that is, "I'm going to see" has the same connection with "I will see" that "I have seen" has to "I saw". About to, on the other hand, is definitely time-wise, in most contexts within a few minutes. I'd call it "Immediate future". Another difference with "going to" is that it can occur with past "was going to" (in much the same way that perfect can occur with future - "will have") or, at least in theory, future, "Will be going to", or other cases, I read a book which described future effects on past events, saying that "certain events could not have occurred if another event *had not been going to occur*", or something to that effect, the "had not been going to occur" I'm sure of. -- "Old linguists never die - they just come to voiceless stops." - anonymous ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor