1

definition of “aspect”:
A grammatical quality of a verb which determines the relationship of the speaker to the internal temporal flow of the event the verb describes, or whether the speaker views the event from outside as a whole (A), or from within as it is unfolding (B). [from 19th c.] (Wiktionary)

It seems (A) and (B) clauses are of’s complements of ‘a grammatical quality of’. Is it right? And then ‘aspect’ means an internal, partial view of a whole, or a view for the whole from outside. But I don’t guess what situation could be as (B). What can be?

2

The A and B clauses are adjuncts modifying the clause headed by views:

A ... quality ... which determines

1 the relationship of the speaker to the internal temporal flow of the event the verb describes,
OR (meaning 'or to put it in other words'—2 is an alternative complement to 'determines' and means the same thing as 1)
2 whether the speaker views the event

A from outside, as a whole,
OR
B from within, as it is unfolding.

If the speaker views the event from the outside, the verb is in perfective aspect; if the speaker views it from within, the verb is in imperfective aspect. See our tag-wiki article on aspect, the section on Viewpoint Aspect.

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  • I had a misunderstanding about ‘aspect’ that it means only the progressive aspect. So aspect is how or on where we look at an event or situation, whatever they may are: look at the event in or out of it, look at it as perfective or imperfective. Am I saying all right? – Listenever Oct 13 '13 at 0:37
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    @Listenever That's about as far as Viewpoint Aspect goes in English. There's habitual ('used to') and inceptive ('start to') and others, but these are expressed lexically. Other languages express these aspects, and many others, morphologically. – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 13 '13 at 2:40

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