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English grammar and vocabulary: quick questions thread

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    (Original post by evantej)
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    I wonder why sometimes it is used 'was' instead of 'have been' and - now and then - some English speakers used the expression 'was been' (have never learnt this tense in any English lesson at all). Could it be that in the last case ('was been') the English speakers were foreigners who confused the grammar? I don't now. Sorry, that I cannot give you examples before.

    So the tense 'have been' can also be used in another situations (have used this tense for travelling so far)? Examples:

    I have been on the beach (instead of 'was'?).
    I have been in the theatre (instead of 'was'?)
    I have been in the cinema ...
    I have been in a theme park....

    etc.
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    (Original post by Kallisto)
    I wonder why sometimes it is used 'was' instead of 'have been' and - now and then - some English speakers used the expression 'was been' (have never learnt this tense in any English lesson at all). Could it be that in the last case ('was been') the English speakers were foreigners who confused the grammar? I don't now. Sorry, that I cannot give you examples before.

    So the tense 'have been' can also be used in another situations (have used this tense for travelling so far)? Examples:

    I have been on the beach (instead of 'was'?).
    I have been in the theatre (instead of 'was'?)
    I have been in the cinema ...
    I have been in a theme park....

    etc.
    I get you now. Basically this is a difference between the past simple tense and a compound tense which marks something called aspect. (Simple tense does not mark aspect). Aspect is the perspective you take on a verb and whether the event is completed. In this case the aspect is perfective which requires the use of the past participle. Typically in 'past tense' cases like this you take an external aspect on a completed event (e.g. the plates were broken).

    The problem with your example is that have does not actually express tense in this case. Have is what is called a bare infinitive which I will not bother explaining.

    There is a stylistic difference between the past simple and the past participle. In this case you are probably expressing more 'involvement' in the action being described. You could say I was at the beach and that could mean you were not involved in the action (i.e. someone drove you there and you sat in the car). Whereas I have been at the beach involves more action such as playing in the sand etc., etc.. I think the plates being broken example above might explain this better. Saying the plates broke does not explain how they broke whilst were broken suggests there was an active agent or action involved in them being broken despite the tense still being 'past'.

    Hope this explains it.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    (...)
    Hope this explains it.
    Hope so too. If I do that right, 'have been' can be substituted with 'was' even for travelling, if it was a short trip and nothing special. Examples:

    If I went on holidays and have so much fun (played on the beach, went out for eating, went to events...), I can say that I have been in Rio de Janeiro.

    If I was just on a business trip for some hours or a day, I can say that I was in Rio de Janeiro.

    So it is just a matter of activities and time span, right?
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    This may seem really simple but I just wanted to clarify: is 'throb' a verb or a noun in this sentence:
    'There was the throb and stamp of a single organism'
    Any help would be much appreciated, as I need to know this by tomorrow morning
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    Hi,
    I'm writing an English Lit essay, and I'm not sure if I can use the word "Hugonian" as an adjective from the surname Hugo (i.e. Victor Hugo)
    Is there another word that is correct or should I just stick to "Hugo's"?


    Posted from TSR Mobile
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    (Original post by nikkka)
    Hi,
    I'm writing an English Lit essay, and I'm not sure if I can use the word "Hugonian" as an adjective from the surname Hugo (i.e. Victor Hugo)
    Is there another word that is correct or should I just stick to "Hugo's"?


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I'd stick to "of Hugo" or "Hugo's" but I did once see Hugorian used, and I do know that "Hugonian" is used to describe the inhabitants of towns called Hugo.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    I'd stick to "of Hugo" or "Hugo's" but I did once see Hugorian used, and I do know that "Hugonian" is used to describe the inhabitants of towns called Hugo.
    Thanks

    Posted from TSR Mobile

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