+0
Hi,

1. I saw two pictures of Mr. George Bush with Queen Elizabeth II in the first page of the May 9th issue of the Korea Herald and the pictures were titled "SLIP OF THE TONGUE" and the rest of the writing went like this:

The two picture combo shows President Bush and Queen Elizabeth II, before (left) and after the president stumbled on a line during his speech at the state arrival ceremony for the Queen, Monday, at the House. The president said that the Queen had dined with 10 U.S. presidents and had helped the United States "cerebrate its bicentennial in 17 ... ." Bush caught himself and corrected the date to 1976.

Why it has to be 'had help' when I think Queen is quite healthy? Preceding what event or time is it based on? Possibly Mr. Bush is thinking Queen's dining with former presidents occurred 'before today' and that is the reason for the use of the past perfect?
Comments  
Hi,

1. I saw two pictures of Mr. George Bush with Queen Elizabeth II in the first page of the May 9th issue of the Korea Herald and the pictures were titled "SLIP OF THE TONGUE" and the rest of the writing went like this:

The two picture combo shows President Bush and Queen Elizabeth II, before (left) and after the president stumbled on a line during his speech at the state arrival ceremony for the Queen, Monday, at the House. The president said that the Queen had dined with 10 U.S. presidents and had helped the United States "cerebrate its bicentennial in 17 ... ." Bush caught himself and corrected the date to 1976.

Why it has to be 'had help' when I think Queen is quite healthy? Preceding what event or time is it based on? Possibly Mr. Bush is thinking Queen's dining with former presidents occurred 'before today' and that is the reason for the use of the past perfect? Yes, before the time that he spoke.

Bush's direct words were probably 'The Queen has helped . . . ', and these are now being reported indirectly in the newspaper in the form of 'The president said that the Queen had helped . . . '.

Best wishes, Clive
Past perfect is a double past.

The Queen dined (and helped). Then the President said so. Then the newspaper reporter said that the President said so.

The Queen gave help; she did not receive help; so it has nothing to do with anybody's health.

CJ
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Hi,

Why it has to be 'had help' when I think Queen is quite healthy?

Anonymous, are you saying that the Queen is 'not dead'? eg Tom died yesterday. He had dined with many presidents. No, that's not the reason the Past Perfect was used. It's as we have explained.

Please ask again if you still don't understand.

Best wishes, Clive
Thank you, Clive.

Yes, that was what I had in mind when I used the phrase "quite healthy." Of course, she is doing wonderfully.

Anyway, I looked at your response and thought about it. I didn't quite got to the 'reporting speech' aspect of it but after reading your response, it kind of dawned on me that could and should be the case and the correct justification for the use of the past perfect.

The knowledge was there but when it came to it, it didn't come up. Do you know what I mean? But you seem to have the necessary knowledge (in possession) all the time (well, you are a human being too and it is likely that you make a mistake in answering questions once in a long time, I think), unlike me who sometimes unable to tap into the pool of intact knowledge. What should I do to make fast recovery of my intact (or dormant) knowledge? Should I keep read more? Do you feel a person would most likely not write well if he wasn't in possession of this kind of grammar knowledge? I don't want to put you in a spot but want to have your honest expert opinion, if you wish.
CliveHi,

1. I saw two pictures of Mr. George Bush with Queen Elizabeth II in the first page of the May 9th issue of the Korea Herald and the pictures were titled "SLIP OF THE TONGUE" and the rest of the writing went like this:

The two picture combo shows President Bush and Queen Elizabeth II, before (left) and after the president stumbled on a line during his speech at the state arrival ceremony for the Queen, Monday, at the House. The president said that the Queen had dined with 10 U.S. presidents and had helped the United States "cerebrate its bicentennial in 17 ... ." Bush caught himself and corrected the date to 1976.

Why it has to be 'had help' when I think Queen is quite healthy? Preceding what event or time is it based on? Possibly Mr. Bush is thinking Queen's dining with former presidents occurred 'before today' and that is the reason for the use of the past perfect? Yes, before the time that he spoke.

Thank you, Clive. I forgot to ask you this question: Doing things this way, that is using the past perfect in a rather casual fashion (or way) as to make a time reference to before he/she speaks, is this done often?

A: Did you go shopping?

B: Yes, I had gone shopping before now.

Now, the implication is that "now" implies the present time of their conversation and B went shopping before the time of the conversation. Is this correct and in normal use?

Bush's direct words were probably 'The Queen has helped . . . ', and these are now being reported indirectly in the newspaper in the form of 'The president said that the Queen had helped . . . '.

Best wishes, Clive
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
What should I do to make fast recovery of my intact (or dormant) knowledge? Should I keep read more? Do you feel a person would most likely not write well if he wasn't in possession of this kind of grammar knowledge?Hi,

What should I do to make fast recovery of my intact (or dormant) knowledge? Should I keep read more? Yes, definitely, definitely.

Do you feel a person would most likely not write well if he wasn't in possession of this kind of grammar knowledge? Well, I think you need an understanding of basic grammar. I wouldn't say you have to have more than that to write well. Other things, like common sense, originality, a clear mind, etc. are also important.

Clive
Hi,

Thank you, Clive. I forgot to ask you this question: Doing things this way, that is using the past perfect in a rather casual fashion (or way) as to make a time reference to before he/she speaks, is this done often? It's not at all unusual, although people with poor educatuion tend not to it. It's one of various indicators of reasonably educated speech.

A: Did you go shopping?

B: Yes, I had gone shopping before now. The normal response would be 'Yes, I did'.

Now, the implication is that "now" implies the present time of their conversation and B went shopping before the time of the conversation. Is this correct and in normal use? You need to improve your understanding of Past Perfect. A key point is that it is not normally used when the sequence of events is clear from the context, eg the use of time words like 'before/after'.

I had gone shopping before now. Here, say something like 'I went shopping already' or 'I have gone shopping'. You are talking about the past up until the time of speaking, which for the speaker is 'now'. The Past Perfect is not appropriate here, when the reference point is 'now'.

Best wishes, Clive