Types of tenses have always been a problem of research work, as time of completed action and character of the course of this action must be somehow reflected.
Grammar phenomenon, known as «sequence of time» is typical for the system of verbal tense in the English language. Essence of this phenomenon lies in functioning of times in compound subordinate structures. Tenses are used in definite types of subordinate sentences relatively i. e. tense form relates action neither to present nor past, or future, but also points to simultaneity, precedence or following action in subordinate sentence relatively with the action in the principal sentence.
According to Kaushanskaya V. L. «Sequence of time is phenomenon typical for the English language. Sequence of time means dependence of tense of predicate in the subordinate clause». [1:7] For example:
Helen implied them where they lived and they answered they were living in New York.
Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous forms show that indicated time had taken place before the action expressed by the predicate of the principal sentence. For example, action of the verb «marry» took place before the action of the verb «say» in the sentence:
We said that Helen and John had married two days before.
Field of sequence of time has been studied in two directions: The first group of authors is based on conception of relatively using tenses and their correspondence within the framework of predicate combination of principal and subordinate sentences (O’Esperson, A.Tompson, O’Neil, M.Hewings, R.Kwerk, I. P. Ivanova, V.L,Kaushanskaya, K.N.Kachalova)
The second group of researchers consider tense meanings in a set of linguistic usage, applying the concept of texts (L.Alexander, Z.Efimova, I.Krilova, E.Gordon).
Z.Efimova considers impact of tense forms of principal sentence at option of forms of subordinate sentence to be a particular case of coordinating tense forms in a full text, which, in its turn, appears on basis of coordinating linguistic and grammar agents. [2:12]
Works of foreign, Russian, Uzbek and Karakalpak scientists, who contributed to elaboration of studying sequence of time in the English language, have been analyzed by us. We determined very interesting versions and estimations, concerning sequence of time of the English language in the subordinate sentences.
T.Givon [3:16] supposes that a change of tense forms leads to semantic alteration, i.e. subordinate lies in a single semantic frame with verb in compound coordinate sentences, which is both notional and simultaneous center of principal sentences that allow this verb to exert additional influence on temporal and semantic center.
I. P. Ivanova [4:185] also considers temporal center to be important viewed in sequence of times. To our opinion, formation of unified tense of frames for all sentences contributes to speech development.
Many scientists disagree with matters of using sequence of time.
We have marked that there exist different ideas about using various tenses in different conjunctions. Some scientists suggest that present tense can not be used in subordinate clauses in case of past simple in the principal sentence.
So, L. Alexander concludes the next rule of tense consequences: «Present tense in the principal sentence usually affects the employment of present tense in the subordinate sentence»:
Steve tells me Helen is aforeigner.
Past tense in the principal sentence usually affects the usage of one of the forms of usage of past tense:
Steve told me Helen was a foreigner.
According to famous Uzbek scientists J.Buranova and U.Yusupova [5:203], the category of tense referrals exists only in the English language. During studying English due to absence of tense category reference in the Uzbek and Russian languages happens interlinguistic reference. For example, Uzbek and Russian students are in a habit of using imperfect forms in terms of previous action. Instead of “ He said that he had seen her”, they use “He said that he saw her” or instead of “He said that he had been waiting for her for two hours”, they say “He said he was waiting for her for two hours”.
Karakalpak scientist A.Kurbanbaev [6:103] marks that in Karakalpak subordinate sentences tense can be simultaneous, precedent and following action of principal sentences. It is transferred with the help of conjunctions and conjunctive words.
Thus, having looked through teaching sequence of tenses matters of the English language in the linguistic and methodical literature, we concluded that there exist two directions studying this grammar rule. One of them plays an important role in the conception of relational employment of tenses and their correspondence with traditional syntax, i.e. in the frames of combinations in predicates of the principal and subordinate clauses, and the other — tense meanings in all complex of language usage, including text’s idea. During teaching sequence of tenses to students we mainly keep to scientists’ opinion of the first direction, as in most cases basic rules of sequence of tenses are directed with the conception of the first direction in the textbooks and educational aids on the English language.
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