SAYING SOMETHING ‘PERFECTLY’

Man can think only in the present. Neither can he think in the past or in the future. ‘The Present’ is not today; It is this moment or the fraction of moment. The Past is before this moment and the Future is after it. In grammar, we are not talking about this ‘time’. It is too philosophical for grammarians and linguists to accept.

In grammar or linguistics, or, in general, we discuss ‘patterns of expressions’ or ‘patterns of sentences’. These ‘patterns’ are necessary to express a variety of human feelings, thoughts, concepts etc. A human being that can hear and speak thinks in these patterns. He or she articulates or ‘lives’ by using these patterns. Many a time in the ‘live’ use of a language, we cross the limit of traditional ‘Tense-based sentence patterns’. And it is necessary, too. Language has evolved or grown, or keeps evolving and growing in these transgressions.

What we call in grammar the ‘Perfect Tense’ might be’ a later addition to human expression. Of the three Perfect Tenses (Past, Present and Future) , Past Perfect is linked to an action in the past and Future Perfect is linked to an action in the future. Present Perfect is the only Tense form that is linked to this moment. In other words it is not restricted by ‘Live Time’. The Present Tense that is used to talk about ‘all time truths’ is different from this. There are two types of ‘all time truths’ though philosophically ‘truth’ cannot remain the same all the time all over the planet.

 Example for all time truths:

(1) Free: The earth is round

(2) Quotation: Shakespeare said, “Frailty thy name is woman.”

Shakespeare says, “Frailty thy name is woman.”

Note: Sentences quoted from plays, stories and novels are actually mouthed by characters. They are erroneously alluded to authors. No doubt, it is not really ‘just’.

30.1. Talking about what had happened

Past Perfect is linked to the time of action fixed by a Verb in the Past Tense

 ಪೊಲೀಸರು
the police

ಬಂದು ಮುಟ್ಟಿದಾಗ
arrived+when

ಪೊಲೀಸರುಬಂದು ಮುಟ್ಟಿದಾಗ

When the police arrived,

ನಾನು ಮನೆ ಸೇರಿದ್ದೆ

I had reached home.

ನಾವು ಬಸ್ ಹತ್ತಿದ್ದೆವು.

we had boarded th bus.

ನೀನು ಕಾರು ಹೊರಡಿಸಿದ್ದೆ.

you had started the car.

ನೀವು ಕಾಫಿ ಕುಡಿದಿದ್ದಿರಿ

you had drunk the coffee.

ಕಳ್ಳ ಓಡಿಹೋಗಿದ್ದ

the thief had run away.

ಹೆಂಗಸು ಕಾಣೆಯಗಿದ್ದಳು.

the woman had disappeared.

ತುಂಬಾ ಜನರು ಸೇರಿದ್ದರು.

a lot of people had assembled.

ಕಾರು ನದಿಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದಿತ್ತು

the car had fallen into the river.

ಬೈಕುಗಳು ಹೋಗಿದ್ದವು (ದ್ದುವು)

the bikes had gone.

 

30.2. Talking about the effect or result of an action.

Present Perfect is linked to this moment. ‘This moment’ is ever changing. We use this form not to talk about an action but to express a thought, concept or experience.

ನಾನು ಲಂಡನ್ ನೋಡಿದ್ದೇನೆ.

I have seen London.

ನಾವು ಕಾಫಿ ಕುಡಿದಿದ್ದೇವೆ.

We have drunk coffee.

ನೀವು ಹ್ಯಾಮ್ಲೆಟ್ ಓದಿದ್ದೀರಾ?

Have you read ‘Hamlet’?

ನೀವು ಆಮ್ಲೆಟ್ ತಿಂದಿದ್ದೀರಿ.

You have eaten omelette.

ಅವನು ಟ್ರಕ್ ಓಡಿಸಿದಾನೆ.

He has driven a truck.

ಅವಳು ಕಾರು ಮಾರಿದ್ದಾಳೆ.

She has sold the car.

ಅವರು ಕೇಕ್ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ,

They have made a cake.

ಬಕೆಟ್ ಬಾವಿಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದಿದೆ.

The bucket has fallen into the well.

ಬಲ್ಬುಗಳು ಕಳವಾಗಿವೆ

The bulbs have been stolen.