Dormouse559 wrote:Unless you're still in the foreign coutry, in which case, change "I've been to" to "I am in"
I am back home now. But when I was asking that question I was still in a foreign country. So I thought that using the simple past would imply that I either got home or moved to any other country, which I didn't, while using the simple present would connotate just a neutral expression or a habitual.
A "neutral expression" is what you want here, isn't it?
See the second bullet point under "Simple present" here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uses_of_English_verb_forms#Simple_present
. Although be
can be made progressive, this is a marked form which only used in specific contexts. ?"I'm being to a foreign country" is unidiomatic.
It's not just the verb form in this case, it's also the preposition. "To" implies motions whereas "in" implies state. So:
"I'm going to
"I'm living in
So saying "I've been to a foreign country" implies "I've gone to a foreign country and come back". "I've been in
a foreign country" has a different implication. (See below.)
LifeDeath wrote:Well I know that I've been asking about these tenses a lot, but anyway, what is the difference between the simple present and the perfect in this particular example? (if you disagree with what I've written above.)
Using the perfect with be
in its usage as verb of location often implies that the relevant period lies in the past. If it continues into the present, that is generally indicated by means of a temporal expression, e.g.:
I've been in a foreign country..."
"I've been here before
"For two weeks now
I've been in France."
linguoboy wrote:There's plenty of room to put "THE" before "ALARM" and "DOOR". But there's no need--the sentence is entirely clear without these words. Including them adds nothing and actually makes the instructions sound less urgent and official.
I think I'm grasping it. I have much less experience in English but I also feel that without articles it becomes more instruction-like. But what was strange in my example
is that the word "please
" was used. I assume there can't be such thing in instructions aswith
" or "thank you
Are you confusing instructions with orders? Polite commands take "please":
"Please take your shoes off."
"Don't talk to me please."
LifeDeath wrote:Adding "please" there made it sound less formal and urgent which may allow using articles without caring about urgency and official-sounding official as such things had already been vanishedare irrelevant. That's the logic I consulted[*]followed when asking that question. I understand it now but this "please" issue is still a bit unclear.
This may be more of a cultural difference than a linguistic one. Anglo-Americans tend to use polite expressions like "please" more than people from elsewhere. Some of them (e.g. Canadians and Englishmen) are quite notorious for it.
LifeDeath wrote:I want to ask a question about phonetics. There are consonant sounds which are produced by the flow of air passing not through your mouth but through your nose, such as "m" or "n". They are called "nasal" if I'm not mistaken. Since they absolutely absent in Russian I have problems indicating them in English.
You may be confusing two different kinds of sounds.Nasal stops
, often simply called "nasals", are consonants with a flow of air through the nose while the flow of air through the mouth is blocked (or "stopped", hence the term "nasal stop").Nasal vowels
are vowels with a flow of air through both the nose and mouth rather than just the mouth. (The latter are distinguished as "oral vowels".)
Russian absolutely has nasal consonants. It may or may not have nasal vowels; I don't know enough about Russian phonetics. I know these aren't phonemic in Russian, but they're not phonemic in English either. What English does have, however, is an assimilatory process by which vowels proceeding (and sometimes following) nasal consonants are nasalised. Sometimes in rapid speech, the nasal consonant is reduced to a glottal stop
or dropped completely, leaving just the phonetic nasalisation to indicate the phonemic nasal consonant. That sounds like what you're describing below.
LifeDeath wrote:I've worked on my pronunciation for about two years and I've started noticing that I pronounce some syllables ending with "n" or "m" through my nose. The problem is I don't know if that's correct, so I want you to tell me about it in order for me to start fixing it or continuing to practice without changing it. The first case when it happens is when I say the word "on", especially followed by any pronoun. Like: "I work on my accent", "place it on it", etc. And I also notice it in words beginning with "un", especially in the word "uncle" where I think I pronounce the first syllable like the second syllable in the French word "enfant" (since almost everyone here learns French at a good level I decided it'd be a good example). What can you tell me about it? How do you pronounce it and how it should be in most American accents?
The first syllable of uncle
should sound more like vowel in brun
(assuming you distinguish brun
) than like the last syllable of enfant
. This sort of anticipatory nasalisation is considered ugly by some speakers, but it's common in American English all the same. It's pretty sharp of you to pick up on it.
LifeDeath wrote:And the last question I have for today. What's the difference between "demonstrate" and "manifest"? Can I define the latter as "to demonstrate unconsciously"?
You can, but be aware that "manifest" is a much less common word in spoken English than "demonstrate". It will sound very bookish to most people.
No two words in English are perfect synonyms. There's also some difference in usage, if not meaning.
LifeDeath wrote:I have specific context in mind: It like You want to say words of honor to your friend or a compliment to a person you like/love.
Like: "You've been demonstrating/manifesting the highest form of beauty[**] by mere existing among other people".
Which do you think is a better choice here? If both are possible. What's the difference?
"Manifesting" makes more sense, since "demonstrate" is a more active verb. You "demonstrate" something by performing certain actions, but "existing" isn't an action, it's a state.
LifeDeath wrote:** It's really an interesting question for me. Is there a literary synonym for "beauty" that sounds even more expressive and stronger? Something you wouldn't be surprised to see in a good poem. Probably "comeliness" will work? I think it's expressive but I'm not sure if it's stronger than "beauty" (showing or meaning as much of quality of being beautiful/attractive as "beauty" itself does). I guess that "beauty" has become kind of corny nowadays. What could you recommend?
Any word you use in this context is going to sound corny in ordinary speech, I'm afraid. "Comeliness" is not a stronger word than "beauty". "Gorgeousness" is, but that makes the sentiment sound even sillier. I'd stick with "beauty" here.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons