0

I am intrigued by people using different tenses when talking about the future. I heard native speakers use tenses differently. I will try to give an example using an example sentence:

"The good thing about Spotify is that you get to know a lot of new music because the program starts playing music which is like the one you chose and you get to know music that you never heard!" "The good thing about Spotify is that you will get to know a lot of new music because the program starts playing music which is like the one you chose and you will get to know music that you have never heard!

First, there is no usage of the will future in the first sentence. Shouldn´t it be used here? Can you really use the simple present only?

In the second version, the "because sentence" doesn´t use "will" as well as the "that sentence" in the next sentence that follows. I was told you shouldn´t use "will" in a dependent sentence when it has already been used in the independent one that comes before or after the dependent one? Is that right?

Second, the first sentence uses the simple past at the very end: "...you have never heard!" while the second one uses the present perfect.

It should be the present perfect, shouldn´t it? Music that one has never heard until that point in time.

Or is the future perfect ("...will have never heard before!"?

I am bit confused about this!

  • 1
    Anglophones in general don't care as much about "verb tense" as speakersa of many other languages. In fact, it's often pointed out that English only has two basic tenses (Present, and "Not Present"). We can get much more creatively interested in modal forms (should, could, would, etc.), because choices made there can genuinely affect intended and/or received meaning. But if the only reason for using a given "tense" is that it's syntactically / logically required, the choice probably doesn't actually mean anything, so people will tend to ignore it as "semantically irrelevant". – FumbleFingers Aug 18 '18 at 16:21
  • Well, I still need to know on a formal level because I will have to teach grammar in the future. – Marcin Nowak Aug 18 '18 at 16:26
  • ...anyway, I don't know if it's something to do with how your language works in such contexts, but for your cited example I can't see any good reason for claiming it should involve future tense. The guy is talking about something which is a good thing about Spotify, Note that his use of you is potentially ambiguous, since it might refer to people in general (who may indeed be currently experiencing the benefit) or the specific person(s) being addressed (who again may already be Spotify users or not; we just don't know). – FumbleFingers Aug 18 '18 at 16:28
  • I see. That makes sense to me because it describes a fact that is true in general. But what about using the simple past or present perfect? – Marcin Nowak Aug 18 '18 at 16:31
  • Also note that.even if the speaker were actually trying to persuade someone to start using Spotify (so by implication, he's talking about benefits the other person will experience), he might choose to use modal would or could, both of which can carry subtly different implications. As would the simpler will, but these are subtle nuances, not really matters of "grammatical rules". – FumbleFingers Aug 18 '18 at 16:32
1

When stating a general truth or state of affairs the present tense is often used. So the statement about Spotify that uses the present is not about a future experience but about the Spotify experience in general.

When the periphrastic future with will is used, the speaker's emphasis is on what can be expected by someone who tries Spotify.

Language expresses thought.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.