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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Confusion about the nature of the verb "find"    

Confusion about the nature of the verb "find"



grzincic
Serbia

Confusion about the nature of the verb "find"
 
Hello dear teachers. I need your help on something. A few days ago I came across a grammar exercise in ProFile Intermediate on Present Simple vs Present Continuous. There was a text with blanks and verbs in brackets and students were supposed to choose between the two tenses. But one particular sentence confused me. Here it is : One day she _________ (study) some figures and she________ (find) something wrong. The sentence should be like this: One day she is studying some figures and she finds something wrong. The problem is that I couldn t explain to my son why it is wrong to say : she is finding something wrong. I know that -find-
isn t a stative verb. Therefore it can t be the reason. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your replies.

9 Oct 2011      



Tere-arg
Argentina

I think it has to be with the correct use of tenses:

1st action (is studying) = action in progress. I mean you focus  on the action without caring/knowing about when it begins or ends.

2nd action (finds) =  finding something takes just a little fragment of time. You see/find it. Complete action (as different from the previous situation).





9 Oct 2011     



grzincic
Serbia

Yes, I think that s the key. I m sure that it has something to do with the momentary kind of action. But I wonder if there is a specific rule for such verbs in terms of continuous tenses. Is there a sort of a list with that type of action ? I mean a rule like the one that says that stative verbs can t be in progressive tenses.

9 Oct 2011     



nazo82
Turkey

dear friend,
I think it is also connected with the type of the sentence. This sentence depicts smo else s experience about an event therefore it creats a story-like context. It starts with one day like one day she sees a wolf on the way... . So it is not directly connected with the present time that we are in. That s why we can t use the progressive form.

9 Oct 2011     



crisholm
Spain

I think it comes from the use of the historical present - normally you would tell the story in the past simple :
One day she was studying some.... and she found.... .(perfectly according to rules!)
Please notice that the use of the present perfect in such cases does not conform with normal rules either.
I hope this helps.
Best regards,
Cristina

9 Oct 2011     



grzincic
Serbia

Actually, I understand that it is not connected with the present time that we re in, but the confusion was about putting the first verb into Present Continuous - she is studying-, and the second one - finds- into Present Simple. That is how it was done in the Teacher s book that accompanies the course book. Somehow, my understanding of the issue is closest to Tere-arg s opinion. Anyway, thank you all for your help and have a nice evening (or any other part of the day).

9 Oct 2011     



MyEnglishClassInCarros
France

Hi everybody...
 
Putting a verbe into Present continuous or not has nothing to do whith what kind of verb it is. Actually any verb can be put into present continuous.
It just depends on what the locutor wants to say, and what s his point of view...
 
Using the Present continuous puts the locutor and co-locutor into the process of the action : they look into it, seeing the very development of it.
Using a Simple present with it  just means that at one point, this process interrupts the previous one which served as a basis for the history to develop...
 
One day she _________ (study) some figures...  : this is the action wich serves as a frame for the story to develop.
 
and she________ (find) something wrong. : this is NOT a frame action. That one is just a point on the time line.
 
Actually it is kinda weird to be using that sentence in the present tense. As Crisholm said, I would find it a lot more natural in the past tense....
 
Is that clear ... ?  :-)

10 Oct 2011     



MoodyMoody
United States

"One day" implies that the time is not now. It s used with the past or with the future, but not the present. I d say, "One day she was studying some figures and she found something wrong," as Cristina stated above. In the future, "one day" is used to describe nebulous future plans, as in, "One day I will lose 10 kilos." Who knows when that will be? LOL

10 Oct 2011     



grzincic
Serbia

I m really grateful for your replies. All your answers were helpful. Now it seems logical when you think of the relation between these two actions - one in progress, and another one which interrupts it.
Thanks once again

10 Oct 2011