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Hi - I am struggling to comprehend the following:

Why do we use the simple present tense with the two verbs in bold? I thought the simple present could only be used with certain verbs, and I don't believe ('hand, in particular) classifies.

It is with great sadness that I wish to hand in my resignation

It is with great sadness that I announce my resignation.

It is with great sadness that I hand in my resignation

Please can you clear this up
Thanks
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English 1b3Why do we use the simple present tense with the two verbs in bold? I thought the simple present could only be used with certain verbs, and I don't believe these ('hand', in particular) classifies qualify.
I don't know of any verbs for which the simple present is forbidden. Maybe you could come up with an example of what sort of thing you're thinking of.

If I'm not mistaken, all performatives take the simple present tense. A performative is a statement that does what it says it does just by saying it. In other words, the act of saying it is the action of the verb itself.

When you say, "I announce my resignation", you are announcing your resignation by saying it.
When a government official says, "I name this ship 'Intrepid'", he is naming the ship 'Intrepid' by saying it.

You can always add "hereby" in these cases.

I hereby announce my resignation.
I hereby name this ship 'Intrepid'.

'announce' is definitely performative, and 'hand in' is sufficiently close to a performative to put it in this group. In the case of 'hand in' I imagine that the statement is written and 'handed in' to the boss. The fact that it's written instead of spoken doesn't affect the grammar.

CJ
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Sorry, I didn't make myself clear. This is what I read:

We use the present simple tense when:
  • the action is general
  • the action happens all the time, or habitually, in the past, present and future
  • the action is not only happening now
  • the statement is always true
And my question is why can the verbs in the sentences I provided be used not in one of the above ways and instead be used to show something happening now?

And I believe your answer has answered my actual question. It's because they are performative verbs. Correct?

Your answer is so interesting and very clear.
English 1b3I believe your answer has answered my actual question. It's because they are performative verbs. Correct?
Correct.

Note that when you see a list that gives examples of when a certain tense is used, it is not necessarily an exhaustive list (an absolutely complete list). There may be other uses that are not listed.

This is not surprising. It seems there is always one more way to use any given tense that is not usually listed in the grammar books! Emotion: smile

CJ
Is using performative verbs (in the simple present) quite a formal way of speaking/writing?

I mean we could just say

'I regret to announce I am resiging'
'It is with great sadness that I am telling you I am resigning'
I am writing (this letter) to say/tell you I am resigning

And what about these examples?
Is the former another example of the performative verb?

With a great deal of sadness, we advise members that Russell and Dara Smith's son Warwick passed away suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday.

Our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies are extended to the Carthew family
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English 1b3Is using performative verbs (in the simple present) quite a formal way of speaking/writing?
Yes.
English 1b3I mean we could just say ... 'It is with great sadness that I am telling you I am resigning'
We could, but take my word for it, the example above sounds wrong to me. These performatives don't sound idiomatic in the progressive tense.
English 1b3 ... performative verb? With a great deal of sadness, we advise ...
Yes. Here 'advise' has a meaning equivalent to 'announce' or 'inform'.

CJ
Thank you. Last questions Emotion: smile

1) What do you make of the tenses in this sentence? Maybe it is not the tense that makes this sentence odd to me.

Our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies are extended to the Carthew family

2) And I suppose we could make 'are extended' into a performative verb here too, correct?

We extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the Carthew family
I had the same reaction that you did. Your active voice version is better, and yes, that's also a performative.

CJ
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