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Can someone help me with understanding the "Perfect Indefinite tense"?

Thank you

JAY
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It is the same as the present or past perfect: that tense which denotes action which began in the past and is still in progress, or which began earlier in the past up till a time later in the past.
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JAY
The first modern instance of the term "perfect indefinite tense" occurs in the Jehovah's Witnesses 1950 New World Translation of the Bible in the footnotes of John 8:58. Once it was pointed out that there is no such Greek tense, the Watchtower leadership states that it refers to an English tense. This is to be able to support their variant translation of "ego eimi" as "I have been" in opposition to the normative Greek translation of "I am". In 1970 the Watchtower changed the term to "perfect tense indicative" for clarification purposes.

There are only 2 known references to the term "perfect indefinite tense" outside of Watchtower publications, the first being A New English Grammar Logical and Historical, by Henry Sweet, published in 1900. However, the phrase "I have been" would actually be "Perfect Definite" according to Sweet's definitions.

The perfect definite uses have or has; the indefinite does not. I have been sledding=perf. def.; I sledded=perf. indefinite.

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anonymous

The perfect definite uses have or has; the indefinite does not. I have been sledding=perf. def.; I sledded=perf. indefinite.

A mention of time not being permitted with the present perfect tense (I have said), it's hard to see how this tense got associated with the the term 'definite'. Conversely, the simple past (I said) allows the mention of a definite time, so it's a mystery how the association with 'indefinite' ever came about.

Thank goodness nobody uses these misnomers anymore.

CJ

The Jw's New World Translation footnote showing why the Greek present has been translated by a perfect tense can not be understood to be anything but an English tense because of the verb "rendered." It was the ineptness of the likes of a one Walter Martin who wrongly thought the "perfect indefinite tense" was a Greek tense. You seemingly have been misinformed by he rather that the WTS changing the tense from a Greek one to an English!

Re John 8:58 and the "I AM" or "I have been" the Jehovah's Witnesses do not say that it is in the "perfect indefinite tense" suggesting that this tense refers to the Greek. They said that it is "rendered in the perfect indefinite tense". Rendered means translated. So it is translated into the English in the perfect indefinite tense. They did not say "from" the perfect indefinite tense which would refer to the Greek language, but they said "in" (or into) which refers to the target language i.e. English.

Walter Martin did not understand this until it was pointed out to him and since then the place he was associated with have stopped repeating this error.

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