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Gud explanation, lykd it... thank u very much......... !! Emotion: embarrassed
Yes, there are only two tenses in English - past and present! There is nothing like future tense but future aspects. Verbs are the only tense carries not modals. I'll illustrate with examples:
"I slept yesterday" (the verb here is sleep and it carries past tense)
"I am sleeping" (still the verb is in present tense...ing)
"I will sleep tomorrow" (this is not future tense, because the verb sleep does not in anyway signal future. Tomorrow is an adverb and can't carry tense and will is a modal and also modals can't carry tense only verbs do. Therefore there is nothing like future tense but future aspect, signaled by the modal will and the adverb tomorrow.
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Anonymouswill is a modal and also modals can't carry tense only verbs do
Not true!

Two things: first, a modal is a verb. Second, syntactically, the modal auxiliary verb "will" has two tenses: present and preterite. Semantically it is most often used to make reference to future time.

"I will be going to the match on Saturday" is syntactically a present tense clause with "will" as the tensed verb.

BillJ
If 'tense' is equal to 'time' there is no need in this term at all. But you need a term to denote a verbal form which includes not only time, but also an aspect (Present Simple, for example). Since people are used to use the word 'tense' that would be a good thing to use it for such a verbal form. Otherwise you'll end up with 'aspect-vs.-time-verbal-form' which is awkward and stupid. Hence, yes, we have 12 tenses (or 16, if Future-in-the-Past is included). There is no need in including voices, because that would be the same 16 tenses but in two voices. Tenses' essence in Passive is the same except for Present Simple.
rinoceronteIf 'tense' is equal to 'time' there is no need in this term at all. But you need a term to denote a verbal form which includes not only time, but also an aspect (Present Simple, for example). Since people are used to use the word 'tense' that would be a good thing to use it for such a verbal form. Otherwise you'll end up with 'aspect-vs.-time-verbal-form' which is awkward and stupid. Hence, yes, we have 12 tenses (or 16, if Future-in-the-Past is included). There is no need in including voices, because that would be the same 16 tenses but in two voices. Tenses' essence in Passive is the same except for Present Simple.
Certainly tense is used to locate the situation in time, but English has no future tense, or future-in-the past tense, or any others like that. English has two tense systems: an inflectional system contrasting preterite (I went to work) and present (I go to work), and an independent analytic tense system contrasting perfect (I have eaten/I had eaten) and non-perfect, where non-perfect is not a tense but the absence of perfect tense. The perfect tense can combine with preterite and present tense but can also occur in clauses without inflectional tense.

Preterite and perfect are both instances of the more general tense 'past’. Preterite is the primary (inflectional) past tense, while perfect is the secondary (analytic) past tense.

Aspect has nothing to do with tense, but to do with how the speaker views the situation described in the clause with respect not to its location in time, but to its temporal structure or properties. In English, aspect is restricted to the "progressive aspect", e.g. "I am working", "I was working", etc.

BillJ
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English does have future tenses, like most world languages do. The fact that English future tense is not inflexional, doesn't mean it's not a tense. Many world languages have future tenses which ARE inflexional and, at the same time, identical to English future tenses. For example, Spanish.

And you don't give your definition of 'tense'. "Something that is used to locate the situation in time" is not a definition.
rinoceronteEnglish does have future tenses, like most world languages do. The fact that English future tense is not inflexional inflectional, doesn't mean it's not a tense. Many world languages have future tenses which ARE inflexional inflectional and, at the same time, identical to English future tenses. For example, Spanish. And you don't give your definition of 'tense'. "Something that is used to locate the situation in time" is not a definition.
Well, excuse me, but I think I have an adequate grasp of the grammar of my own language!

No serious grammarian or linguist today believes that English has a future tense. You may think it has because you've read it on some Mickey Mouse internet grammar website. But we're talking serious grammar here. It's a big topic; too big to go into detail here, but I suggest you read a scholarly grammar of English, then perhaps you'll understand.

Of course, we do have ways of talking about future time, the most basic one involving the use of the modal auxiliary "will" ("I will go tomorrow"), but "will" is not a tense marker; it's a marker of mood.

And my definition of tense: "A system marked by verb inflection or auxiliaries whose basic use is to locate the situation in time".

I'm sorry, rinoceronte, but your knowledge of the English tense systems is somewhat lacking. Putting out ill-informed statements about tense based on ancient thinking will not help the many learners who look to this site for informed guidance based on the current approach to English.

BillJ
Bill, please, don't correct my mistakes when they are not such:

"...But the inflexional information in particular NPs is restricted to them alone, and is not a general property of the sentence,..".
Understanding Language: An Introduction to Linguistics, Roger Fowler, 1974

...but feel free to correct them when they are. Thank you.

Well, excuse me, but I think I have an adequate grasp of the grammar of my own language!
Well, to be fair enough, an average English-native linguist doesn't have the grasp you are talking about because of the contradiction between claiming that English language is aspectless and actual being not so.

If you are 'serious grammarian', it's not about believing, it's about knowing and proving.

but "will" is not a tense marker; it's a marker of mood.
What mood is it a marker of?

"A system marked by verb inflection or auxiliaries whose basic use is to locate the situation in time".
Isn't 'will' an auxiliary? And time itself already locates the situation in time. Present time locates the situation in present, past time locates the situation in past, future time locates the situation in future. You don't need tenses to repeat this function. The definition of tense is different.

Regarding Mickey Mice, I have just written a book called English Grammar Untangled, you can find it on this forum and download for free. It's not in English for now. When it is, I will let you know and we will continue.
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rinoceronteBill, please, don't correct my mistakes when they are not such:"...But the inflexional information in particular NPs is restricted to them alone, and is not a general property of the sentence,..".Understanding Language: An Introduction to Linguistics, Roger Fowler, 1974
Perhaps Palmer did use it, but why would you want to use what is regarded today as the alternant spelling, when we have the perfectly good dictionary-standard spelling; "inflection"?
rinoceronteWell, to be fair enough, an average English-native linguist doesn't have the grasp you are talking about because of the contradiction between claiming that English language is aspectless and actual being not so.
So far as I'm aware, no contemporary grammarian claims that English does not have aspect within its verbal systems.
rinocerontebut "will" is not a tense marker; it's a marker of mood.What mood is it a marker of?
One modal use of "will" is to express volition, "Ed will not sign the form", or the stronger "I will solve this problem". Those are examples of 'dynamic' modality. It can also be used to express 'epistemic' modality, as in "They will have made the decision last week". And consider this pair:

[1] "England meets Germany in the World Cup final in July"
[2] "England will meet Germany in the World Cup final in July"

Both those examples locate the situation in future time, so the difference between them is one of modality, not time reference. [1] is more assured, and appropriate only in a context where the finalists have been determined, whereas [2] could be used to make a prediction earlier in the competition before it's known who will be knocked out of the tournament.
rinoceronte"A system marked by verb inflection or auxiliaries whose basic use is to locate the situation in time". Isn't 'will' an auxiliary? And time itself already locates the situation in time. Present time locates the situation in present, past time locates the situation in past, future time locates the situation in future. You don't need tenses to repeat this function. The definition of tense is different.
Yes, "will" is an auxiliary, a modal auxiliary to be precise. To locate the situation in time, either a tensed verb or some other indicator is required, otherwise how could one possibly know what time the writer or speaker was referring to? As far as future time is concerned, English notoriously uses present tense for future time reference all over the place:

Meg's mother arrives tomorrow.
If the phone rings, don't answer it.
My flight takes off at 8:30.
IBM is declaring its fourth-quarter profits tomorrow.
If it rains, the match will be cancelled.

All those examples are in the present tense, but they all refer to future time. Note that "will" is a present-tense verb.

So, why doesn't English have a three-term system: past ("took"), present ("takes") and future ("will take") in which "will" is a future tense auxiliary? One major argument against that system is that "would" is the preterite counterpart of "will". The relation between "would" and "will" is just the same as that between "could" and "can". Preterite "would" is found in past time, backshift, and modal remoteness. "Will take", therefore, does not belong in a one-dimensional system with "took" and "takes" any more than "has taken" does: the contrast between preterite and present is independent of the presence or absence of "will", just as it is independent of the presence or absence of "have". Even if we provisionally accept that "will" is a future tense auxiliary, the three-term system must be modified so as to allow for two dimensions of contrast:

Non-future: "took" (past), "takes" (present)
Future: "Would take" (past), "will take" (present)

That must be an unsustainable analysis of the present-day English tense system.

You see what I mean?

BillJ
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