Friday, 25 November 2011

About the tenses (2)

This article will be dedicated to the use of tenses, with a view to the Present Tense Simple.
This tense, as I explained in a previous article here, is not difficult in English because it has a rule to apply. So the affirmative form is clear and easy to understand.
Students usually enter dangerous territory when they have to use the interrogative form or the questions. From our Romanian perspective, the problem is about the use of the auxiliary verbs in questions, which is a general rule in English. Why is that a problem for Romanian natives, French and other Romance languages speakers? Mainly because in these languages we do not use an auxiliary in questions. In the Romanian language we use inversion or intonation to ask a question. In the French language the situation is similar. What is more, we can use a phrase at the beginning of the question (est-ce que..). So we do not use an auxiliary to ask questions, that is why the general trend is not to use it in English.
We say: “Do you speak French?” but in Romanian we say: “Vorbiți/ Știți franceză?” or “Tu știi franceză? “, while in French we have: “Parlez-vous Francais?”.  We cannot associate the auxiliary “to do” with a word in Romanian or French, or we cannot translate it, which is the source of mistakes.

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