Grammarrrrr

Discussion in 'Offtopic (English)' started by pille322, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. pille322

    pille322 Active Member

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    Hey all

    I've been in a discussion with andyness about the following:

    "I did not eat today"


    What would you say? Is that correct grammar or not? "Today" does not refer to the whole day but to the day so far.
    So far its him and Chimera saying its incorrect, and 6 people backing me up!
     
  2. Mad

    Mad i eat penguins Moderator

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    propre grammer that is.

    It would probably flow a little better as a sentence if you said didn't.
     
  3. SS-Doomtrooper

    SS-Doomtrooper UK sockets suck

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    yes it is correct.
     

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  4. andyness

    andyness Dr. Awesome

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    My only argument was that "did not" implies past tense, while "today" implies present tense.

    You CAN say "I did not eat yesterday" because you are talking about the past. The correct (proper) way of saying the sentence mentioned in the OP is "I have not eaten today". There's a distinctive difference between HAVE not and DID not.
     
  5. pille322

    pille322 Active Member

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    Ok

    21/08/12 21:53:12 (Strawberries) im hungry
    21/08/12 21:53:16 (Strawberries) i didnt eat today
    21/08/12 21:53:38 [eMoAnDy] haven't eaten*
    21/08/12 21:53:46 • You have been marked as being away as gone on QuakeNet.
    21/08/12 21:53:59 [eMoAnDy] "didn't eat today" is a logical impossibility
    21/08/12 21:56:16 [eMoAnDy] "did not" and "today" (present tense) do not fit together
    21/08/12 21:56:41 [eMoAnDy] But you cannot say "I did not eat today" because that is the present

    21/08/12 22:43:57 [SS-Doomtrooper] Note that use of the preterite forms does not necessarily refer to past time

    no lying here plz
     
  6. FireMail

    FireMail <marquee><font color="#FF00FF"><b>Hot stuff coming

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    I back it up, it's correct. Today doesnt imply the whole day, it implies the current day and therefore also the parts that have already been. So the argument past tense can't go with today is invalid
     
  7. andyness

    andyness Dr. Awesome

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    Today also means the parts that have not been. i.e. future tense. If it is noon, there is still 12 hours left in that day.

    Think about it. "Did not" implies something in the past, something that is over. "I did not fail any classes in high school" would be correct, because I'm done with high school, and I did not fail any classes. However, by definition, "today" is never over because it changes every day. "today" is never entirely past tense. Even in the last micro second of the day, it is still present. Once it passes 12, the day we were talking about is yesterday.

    Therefore, by definition, you can never refer to "today" as entirely past tense.
     
  8. SS-Doomtrooper

    SS-Doomtrooper UK sockets suck

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    You can once you include "did not", indicating to the reader what meaning should be given to "today". Boom, biatch.
     
  9. andyness

    andyness Dr. Awesome

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    Let me give you a similar example:

    "I did not fail a class in high school." Can you say that while you're still in high school? No. Because you're not finished with high school.
     
  10. SS-Doomtrooper

    SS-Doomtrooper UK sockets suck

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    You are missing the whole point of the inclusion of the word 'today'.
     
  11. andyness

    andyness Dr. Awesome

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    And are you saying there are some specific rules that only apply to that word? "Today" and "High school" are both words that can refer to the future, present and past. However, the difference is "high school" can be over and referred to as entirely in the past. "Today" does not have this property, due to the nature of the word - once it's over, there's a new "today".

    My example is therefore perfectly valid, and illustrates why the original phrase is an illogical impossibility.
     
  12. SS-Doomtrooper

    SS-Doomtrooper UK sockets suck

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    "Time expressions that refer to the present, such as this morning/ morning/week/month and today, can be used with either past simple or present perfect verbs. If we think of this morning (etc.) as a past completed time period, then we use the past simple; if we think of this morning (etc), as a time period which includes the present moment, then we use the present perfect."

    In the case of 'today' this is not clear. As one might refer to a 'working day' indicating that after 16.30 that day is over. Or waiting for a delivery, which obviously will not arive at 20:00 anymore, ending that 'day'. Or a phrasing indicating that for someone the day is over when going to sleep.

    The words itself refer to nothing in the future, present, past. It's the words surrounding them which indicate the exact meaning.


    I did not eat today, which I might use after a dinner I did not participate in, should indicate to the observant reader that I will not eat anymore and see the day as a completed time period for me.
     
  13. SS-Doomtrooper

    SS-Doomtrooper UK sockets suck

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    Too late for edit, sorry:

    Before you go mental about my free interpretation of 'today':

    day (d)
    n.
    1. The period of light between dawn and nightfall; the interval from sunrise to sunset.
    2.
    a. The 24-hour period during which the earth completes one rotation on its axis.
    b. The period during which a celestial body makes a similar rotation.
    3. Abbr. D One of the numbered 24-hour periods into which a week, month, or year is divided.
    4. The portion of a 24-hour period that is devoted to work, school, or business: an eight-hour day; a sale that lasted for three days.
    5. A 24-hour period or a portion of it that is reserved for a certain activity: a day of rest.
    6.
    a. A specific, characteristic period in one's lifetime: In Grandmother's day, skirts were long.
    b. A period of opportunity or prominence: Every defendant is entitled to a day in court. That child will have her day.
    7. A period of time in history; an era: We studied the tactics used in Napoleon's day. The day of computer science is well upon us.
    8. days Period of life or activity: The sick cat's days will soon be over.
    adj.
    1. Of or relating to the day.
    2. Working during the day: the day nurse.
    3. Occurring before nightfall: a day hike.



    Edit: high school is not a time expression.
     
  14. andyness

    andyness Dr. Awesome

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    A day is not the same as TODAY. Yes, it is true that "a day" can be the opposite of "a night", but that is not the same as "today". Read my post again.
     
  15. SS-Doomtrooper

    SS-Doomtrooper UK sockets suck

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    to·day
       [tuh-dey] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    this present day: Today is beautiful.
    2.
    this present time or age: the world of today.


    As referred to by to-day. To this day. Day. Do not search for tiny holes in my arguments on which you can hammer, as you have not given any clear argument as to why my argument does not hold. As for your comeback indicating that today is not the same as a day, note that that wasn't even my main argument.
     
  16. SS-Doomtrooper

    SS-Doomtrooper UK sockets suck

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    For clarity (andyness didn't get it in irc): I have not stated a day to be the same as today.

    A day: this present day

    day: option 1,2abc,3,4,5,6ab.
     
  17. andyness

    andyness Dr. Awesome

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    This is what you wrote. Basically what that says is that if we think of "today" as the period of time between dawn and sunset, you can use the past tense.

    If we think of "today" as the 24hr period, then you use present perfect.

    Therefore, this entire discussion boils down to the definition of "today" - whether it refers to a day (which is the opposite of night) or a 24hr period of time.

    With this in mind, I'll say that I did not "hammer a tiny hole in your argument". That exact argument is the only relevant argument, and that is why I replied only to that.
     
  18. SS-Doomtrooper

    SS-Doomtrooper UK sockets suck

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    Finally, you got it.

    I was referring to:

    Which makes absolutely no sense if you read what I wrote correctly.

    But yes, you got the overall picture now.
     
  19. andyness

    andyness Dr. Awesome

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    I was referring to your copypaste of the definition of the word "day", which was irrelevant because a day is not the same as today.

    I never said you said it was the same, I just pointed it out because you posted the definition of day and not the definition of today.
     
  20. SS-Doomtrooper

    SS-Doomtrooper UK sockets suck

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    today: this present day.

    It's called recursion. Not irrelevance.

    Anyway, this discussion is done for me if you don't mind. I stick to my arguments as I have not seen convincing counter arguments. It should by now be clear that context dictates if said sentence is correct.
     

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