English has no means of morphologically distinguishing a gnomic aspect; however, a generic reference is generally understood to convey an equivalent meaning. Use of the definite article the or a demonstrative determiner usually implies specific individuals, as in "the car he owns is fast", "the cars he owns are fast", or "those rabbits are fast", whereas omitting the definite article or other determiner in the plural creates a generic reference: "rabbits are fast" describes rabbits in general. However, the definite article may also be used in the singular for classes of nouns, as in "The giraffe is the tallest land mammal living today", which does not refer to any specific giraffe, but to giraffes in general.
English generally uses the simple present tense as the equivalent of a gnomic aspect, as in "rabbits are fast" and "water boils at 212 °F", though the past tense ("Curiosity killed the cat") is sometimes used. The auxiliary "will" can also be used to indicate gnomic aspect ("boys will be boys"). The simple present is used with specific references for the equivalent of a habitual aspect, as in "I run every day"; likewise, the auxiliary "will" is used with specific references for the habitual aspect, as in "he will make that mistake all the time, won't he?". Thus in English the gnomic aspect takes the same form as the habitual aspect.
Read more about this topic: Gnomic Aspect
Other articles related to "english":
... The English Theatre of Hamburg near U3 Mundsburg station was established in 1976 and is the oldest professional English-speaking theatre in Germany, and has exclusively English ...
... It is estimated that English loanwords, which are becoming more commonplace, make up 20% of the Maltese vocabulary, although other sources claim amounts ... discrepancy is due to the fact that a number of new English loanwords are sometimes not officially considered part of the Maltese vocabulary hence, they are not included in ... English loanwords are generally transliterated, although standard English pronunciation is virtually always retained ...
... English (surname), people with the family name English English (programming language) English (film), an upcoming film English, a chiefly American expression for side spin of ...
1466) 1584 – Steven Borough, English explorer (b. 1620) 1693 – John Ashby, English admiral (b. 1640) 1712 – Richard Cromwell, English son of Oliver Cromwell (b ...
... Old English literature (or Anglo-Saxon literature) encompasses literature written in Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon) in Anglo-Saxon England, in ... to study of the era, preserving a chronology of early English history, while the poem Cædmon's Hymn from the 7th century survives as the oldest extant work ... and early 20th centuries the focus was on the Germanic roots of English, later the literary merits were emphasised, and today the focus is upon paleography and the physical manuscripts themselves more generally ...
Famous quotes containing the word english:
“The English are a nation of consummate cant.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“You should study the Peerage, Gerald. It is the one book a young man about town should know thoroughly, and it is the best thing in fiction the English have ever done.”
—Oscar Wilde (18541900)
“The Tragi-Comedy, which is the Product of the English Theatre, is one of the most monstrous Inventions that ever entered into a Poets Thoughts. An Author might as well think of weaving the Adventures of Aeneas and Hudibras into one Poem, as of writing such a motly [sic] Piece of Mirth and Sorrow.”
—Joseph Addison (16721719)