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Hello, everyone: I don't understand the following paragraph, cited from a grammar book, could you help me please?
"there is an idiomatic exception to the rule that the simple past tense indicates definite meaning: this is the construction with "always" illustrated by "I always said he would end up in jail; Timothy always was a man of peace". it is simply a colloquial variant of the present perfect with 'state verbs', and can always be replaced by the equivalent present perfect form. there are equivalent question and negative forms with "ever" and "never": "Did you ever see such a mess? I never met such an important person before."
what's the point here? And what would be the equivalent present perfect form of "I always said he would end up in jail; Timothy always was a man of peace"?
thank you.
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guzhao67Hello, everyone: I don't understand the following paragraph, cited from a grammar book, could you help me please?
"there is an idiomatic exception to the rule that the simple past tense indicates definite meaning: this is the construction with "always" illustrated by
"I always said he would end up in jail; Timothy always was a man of peace".
it is simply a colloquial variant of the present perfect with 'state verbs', and can always be replaced by the equivalent present perfect form. there are equivalent question and negative forms with "ever" and "never": "Did you ever see such a mess? I never met such an important person before."
what's the point here? And what would be the equivalent present perfect form of
"I always said he would end up in jail; (he's in jail now)
I've always said he ends up in jail. (I keep on repeating this because it's likely for him to be jailed and I'm sure of that)

Timothy always was a man of peace"? (Now he isn't. He might be die change his mind)
thank you.

The differense between them happens to be interchangeable in some informal way or in narratives. We use Past Simple along with Present Perfect when we're talking about events happened in the past, but Present Perfect points that event may occur in the present again.

He has written three novels (He perhaps will write another one)
He wrote three novels. (He won't write, because he is gone).

If the situation has changed we use Past Simple.

I have owned three restaraunts. ( I own now )
I owned three restaraunts now (Now I don't, because I've sold them).


Sometimes in papers and news we can see Past Simple is used along with Perfect Tense without changing the gist. The event is introduced by Present Perfect and another background is described by Past Simple.

The famous artist John Cramp has died of cancer. He was 50 and had two children. (the children are alive)
thank you, Fandorin.
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Nice!
The sentence "I have owned three restaurants" is used in indefinite past of the present perfect.  Due to this, we, as the audience, do not rightly know that said subject still owns them. Without more information from sentences preceding or following said statement we can not be sure. Typically it is assumed that said subject continues to own them, yet it is also reasonable to assume that he does not, yet he may own some in the future.
Sorry, I don't have time to read through this whole discussion, but 'I have owned 3 restaurants' indicates distinctly that he no longer does so: if he still owned them, he would say 'I own 3 restaurants'. The present perfect merely relates the past situation to the present in some way: perhaps, for instance, the listener has said that the speaker has a lot of knowledge– or no knowledge whatsoever!– of the food service industry.
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guzhao67Hello, everyone: I don't understand the following paragraph, cited from a grammar book, could you help me please?"there is an idiomatic exception to the rule that the simple past tense indicates definite meaning: this is the construction with "always" illustrated by "I always said he would end up in jail; Timothy always was a man of peace". it is simply a colloquial variant of the present perfect with 'state verbs', and can always be replaced by the equivalent present perfect form. there are equivalent question and negative forms with "ever" and "never": "Did you ever see such a mess? I never met such an important person before."what's the point here? And what would be the equivalent present perfect form of "I always said he would end up in jail; Timothy always was a man of peace"? thank you.
The first part of the quoted paragraph is very cool, since it regards the word "always" as an attribute of Simple tenses (quite a rare thing). The second part sucks since it implies that the word "always" can also be used with Perfect tenses (which is quite wide-spread in "common usage": "I have always said, I have always thought, etc."). The truth is that the word "always" belongs EXCLUSIVELY to imperfect aspect and hence can be used in Simple tenses, but never in Perfect tenses.
guzhao67"there is an idiomatic exception to the rule that the simple past tense indicates definite meaning
This part claims that there is a rule that the simple past tense always indicates that an event occurred at a certain point in time or a situation existed only for a certain limited amount of time. Further, it claims that there is an exception to this rule.
guzhao67this is the construction with "always" illustrated by "I always said he would end up in jail; Timothy always was a man of peace".
The exception to the rule, they claim, is shown in the two sentences given. (I always said ...; Timothy always was ...)
guzhao67it is simply a colloquial variant of the present perfect with 'state verbs', and can always be replaced by the equivalent present perfect form.
This part claims that these exceptions in the simple past (shown above) are typically used in ordinary casual conversation, and are merely variations on the corresponding statements in the present perfect tense. Thus, according to the text, the following are less colloquial (conversational), though they are equivalent to the examples above in the simple past.

I have always said that he would end up in jail.
Timothy has always been a man of peace.

(The text also mentions 'state verbs', but in these examples, only be is such a verb. say is not a 'state verb', so I don't see why they mentioned 'state verbs'.)
guzhao67there are equivalent question and negative forms with "ever" and "never": "Did you ever see such a mess? I never met such an important person before.
Here, two further exceptions are mentioned and illustrated where it is claimed that the following pairs are equivalent:

Did you ever see such a mess? =~ Have you ever seen such a mess?
I never met such an important person before. =~ I have never met such an important person before.
guzhao67what would be the equivalent present perfect form of "I always said he would end up in jail; Timothy always was a man of peace"?
See above.
_________

In short, the text is telling us that in everyday conversations, the simple past sometimes replaces the "more correct" or "more expected" present perfect, specifically, when always, ever, or never are used.

CJ
In short, the text is telling us that in everyday conversations, the simple past sometimes replaces the "more correct" or "more expected" present perfect, specifically, when always, ever, or never are used.

CJ

Dear CJ,

Did you mean that "Were you always so smart and handsome?" can sometimes mean "Have you always been so smart and handsome?"
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