In the following sentences, determine what temporal factor the speaker uses in choosing the italicized verb in each.Also comment on the difference in meaning in the choice of different verbs with...

In the following sentences, determine what temporal factor the speaker uses in choosing the italicized verb in each.

Also comment on the difference in meaning in the choice of different verbs with respect to the speaker's perspective on the scene.

a. I just called to see if you will be coming to see me tomorrow.
b. I just called to see if you will be going to see me tomorrow.
c. She asked me to come to her party, but I didn't go.
d. Please come in.
e. Please go in.
f. Don't bring any food with you.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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The tense, or time, factor being considered in the first two sentences is that of future events being referred to in an encounter in present time (present tense):

a. I just called to see if you will be coming to see me tomorrow.
b. I just called to see if you will be going to see me tomorrow.

In both sentences, "I just called to see..." represents the encounter in present time. In both, the following if-clauses, "if you will be coming/going to see me tomorrow" are events that are expected to occur in the near-range future, i.e., tomorrow. These sentences adroitly combine two different temporal factors, or factors of tense.

The third sentence is more complex in that it combines three temporal factors, or tenses:

c. She asked me to come to her party, but I didn't go.

The sentence is spoken in the present. "She asked me" occurs sometime in the past. The to-infinitive clause of the first part of the compound sentence expresses the temporal factor of a future event that is in fixed relationship to the past event of "She asked me": the party is not any future event; it is in the future from the temporal moment during which "She asked." The second part of the compound sentence, "but I didn't go," also refers to a past temporal occurrence: the occurrence of not going to the party.

However, this past event is also in a fixed relationship but fixed to the time of the party; "but I didn't go" is a present reference to a past event the speaker did not attend. The speaker in a present temporal moment refers to a distant-past occurrence when invited to a party still in the future. The speaker then refers to the mid-range past event of the party's occurrence and says from the present that during the mid-range past, he did not go to the party.

This temporally complicated sentence presents three time frames, the distant past, the mid-range past, and the present, and from the present the speaker tells of an event in the mid-range past related to the distant past when the event was still unrealized in the future.

What a relief: The fourth and fifth sentences are simply in a present time:

d. Please come in. [present tense]
e. Please go in. [present tense]

The temporal factor is in the present while someone is politely invited indoors. The last sentence gives an admonition about a future time.

f. Don't bring any food with you.

It may be near-range future, as in: Don't bring any food with you when you step into the theater. Or it may be in the mid-range or even distant future, as in: Don't bring any food with you when you come on holiday to my house.

"Coming" and "going" represent the location of the speaker or of the possessor of the destination referred to, as in "Go to the Principal's office" (spoken by a teacher) and "Come to the Principal's office" (spoken by a secretary...or a principal).

In regard to the speaker's perspective on the scene, in sentence (a), the speaker is referring their designated location and may be physically there or may be away. In sentence (b), the speaker is away from and referring their designated location. In (c), "she" was asking about a party to be held at her designated location while the speaker was referencing the party as being held somewhere other than his designated location. In (d), the speaker is in their designated location while the listener is outside of it, while in (e) both speaker and listener are outside the speaker's designated location. In (e), an authoritative figure is in their designated location.

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