Ghanaians don’t like ‘perfect’.
The missing perfect tense in Ghanaian English 1
There is a giant signpost on the way to my house that reads ‘Road Close’. It always took me some time to figure out if the road was nearby or if it was not open. The presence of construction work was what helped me to know that the road was not open and should therefore be ‘Road Closed’
Someone is added to a WhatsApp group and the first message he types is ‘I’m bless to be part of this family’. Now, this means the person’s name changed to ‘Bless’ once he joined the group and has nothing to do with a feeling of blessing. It should obviously read ‘Im blessed to be here’
The tense that is being referred to above is the perfect tense. It is a type of the past tense which indicates that an action is completed at the time of speaking. It is usually used with the verb ‘have/has’ and ‘be: is, am,are’ (which is also a type of this tense though in a passive form.)
Unfortunately, Ghanains are not too good at this tense because the final ‘d’ sound is difficult to detect when speaking and we tend to write what we hear.
There are certain things to note about the perfect tense and we will do that next week. In the meantime, try correcting these ‘imperfect’ sentences
1. We have just finish reading this article
2. Our lives are greatly influence by what we read
3. We are determine to buy the car
4. They have join another car to church
5. Your failure can be explain by your attitude.
We hope you learnt something this week. We are back next week.
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