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Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Nts and Bolts: nonpast.

 All languages have ways of describing whether something has happened in the past, the present, or the future. Mostly this is done by using tenses.

Tenses are ways of changing action-words to let people know whether the action happened/is happening/will happen in the past, present, or future.

(There are other ways of describing when something is happening, though: it's not that some languages can't describe the passage of time.)

Anyway, the nonpast. The nonpast tense is one which isn't the past. That means it can be either present or future.

And what obscure language makes use of such a thing?

Well, English, for one.

Just think, when you say I hope we get the all-clear soon, the verb (get) is in what looks like a present tense, but it's being used for something that happens in the future.

There. You've been using the nonpast tense more or less all your life, and never known it.

Feel free to preen yourself.

Word To Use Today: nonpast. The Latin word nōn means not; the Latin passūs means step.

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