Learn English with Mr. Duncan - Lesson 17 (Time)
The easiest way to describe time would be to say that it runs in the form of a straight line. That is the reason why we often describe time as being "Linear". There are some pretty strict rules when it comes to our understanding of time. For example… time can only go forwards. Time… cannot be slowed down and time cannot… be stopped.
Luckily for us we have a neat little system called "Stressing Tense". This allows us to use words to show when something has happened that it's happening now… or when it will happen. But how does this relate to learning English? I will tell you. In English Grammar we need to know when an event is happening and we need to be able to show it clearly by what we say.
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Sorry! It may seem a little strange to be linking the subject of time with learning English, but in fact there is a very strong connection between the use of English and it's relation to time. Needless to say everything happens at a certain time. So it is important for us to be able to say when a certain event happened. We have three basic points to consider, when talking about placing an event at a particular moment. We have the past… we have the present… and of course we have the future. It is also worth remembering that the only part of this that is moving forward is the present. The future always lies ahead. And the past is constantly trailing behind. However, the present is also constantly changing. It is a little bit like sitting in a moving car. The car represents now… and the road is time itself.
So when speaking English… you will need to know how to express words to clearly show the point of time to which it relates. A very simple example would be… Did… Doing… Do. I did it in the past. I have done it already. I'm doing it in the present. I'm doing it now. I will do it in the future. I will do it later. I did my home work. I did my homework in the past. I've done it already. It's already been done. I'm doing my homework. That means it is being done now. I will do my homework. That means it will be done later… in the future.
If I used the word "Walked" in a sentence would I be talking about something I did already in the past? Or would I be talking about something I will do later in the future? If you say it was something I did already… then you would be right… well done! Time is a very complicated thing to understand. It took Humans thousands of years to discover the relation between when and what. But we finally did manage to work it out… when a Scientist named Albert Einstein scratched his head one day and said… "It is all relative". It was at what precise moment… when the "Theory of relativity" was born. It is much easier nowadays to explain… when and what. But there is still one question we cannot answer… and that question is… Why?
There are some Idioms and proverbs which relate to time. For example… "Time waits for no man", "No time like the present", "All in the fullness of time", "just in the nick of time", "A stitch in time saves… nine", "Time marches on", "The sands of time". Well, it seems as if I have run out of time. I only have a few moments left. So… I will wrap up here.