NauenThen

English as a second language

May 19, 2015

Why do use the past tense in “I went to the beach this morning”? Surely this morning is not the past! Merce explained to her class (Spanish speakers learning English, taught in Barcelona) that you do so many things on vacation that even this morning feels like long ago, hence the past tense.

The nuances of past, present & future:
"Are you going to Seville today" (yes!) is different from "Is it today you are going to Seville?"

"See you later" often suggests nearer in time than "see you soon," which is a general wish while the former can refer to a specfic time that will occur maybe this afternoon or tomorrow.

But it could be the other way round.

Native speakers may not be able to explain thiese distinctions but we understand them & use them correctly, almost without exception.