Community Web Version Now Available
''We need to get there soon to hear her play her song'' why do we use the present simple tense here?
Aug 18, 2019 11:54 AM
Answers · 6
Presumably, you are asking why " see her PLAY her song" instead of "... to see her PLAYING her song." " see her PLAY her song" means to see her play the whole song: beginning, middle, and ending. " see her PLAYING her song" means to see her playing (after she has started). Practical English Usage 3rd edition by Swan, section 242. Hear, see, watch, notice and simlar verbs of perception can be followed by object + infinitive (without to) or object + -ing form. I heard him go down the stairs. I heard him going down the stairs. There is often a difference of meaning. After these verbs, an infinitive suggests that we hear or see the whole of an action or event; an -ing form suggests we hear or see something in progress, going on. Compare: - I saw her cross the road. (= I saw her cross it from one side to the other) - I saw her crossing the road. (= I saw her in the middle, on her way across) If you are asking about "We NEED ..." and "We are NEEDING," the verb "need" is normally used statively in Britain and North America. However, "stative" verbs often have multiple meanings, static and dynamic. Here is an excellent explanation by Su.Ki. Also, stative (non-progressive) verbs sometimes take a progressive form. Practical English Usage 3rd edition by Swan, section 471-3. "Occasionally 'non-progressive' verbs are used in progressive forms in order to emphasise the idea of change or development. These days, more and more people prefer / are preferring to take early retirement."
August 18, 2019
For which part? I am assuming you are referring to "to see her play" and not the "we need". "We need" is used rather than "we are needing" because the present continuous or present progressive is used for active verbs, such as writing, reading, swimming, etc., which would actually end at some point. If we need to do something, that need is not going to stop like coming to the end of a book or getting out of the water. "To see her play" is used because she might not be playing at the moment when I tell you to hurry up. • I want to go to Hawaii, to see the whales jump. • I'm so glad to be in Hawaii. Look—I see the whales jumping! It's a bit more complex than that but my example might give you the idea.
August 18, 2019
Because the 'need' is a happing in the present.
August 18, 2019
Language Skills
English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Persian (Farsi), Russian, Spanish
Learning Language
English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish