have caused/causes (simple present tense)

flyingcat2008

Senior Member
china,chino
Illegal mining is the No. 2 cause of deforestation in Peru, after clear-cutting for agriculture, Environmental Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said on the eve of the Dec. 1-12 U.N. climate conference that his nation is hosting.

"It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it causes to the forest," he said.

From New York Times:Illegal Gold Mining's Wasteland

Hi, everyone:
I really want to know why not use "it has caused"? I have read the grammar book that present perfect tense reflects an outcome till today. I really want to know why it use "causes" here. I think present perfect is more suitable here.

Can you give me an useful thread about the distinction of simple present/present perfect ?
Thanks
 
Last edited:
  • stez

    Senior Member
    english - australia
    The present is used because it is still happening. It is the No. 2 cause of deforestation...
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    It's because the Minister is viewing the problem as still current, now, in the present.

    "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it has caused to the forest" would imply that the damage has been done: "...it causes..." carries the inference that the damage is still taking place.
     

    flyingcat2008

    Senior Member
    china,chino
    If I say "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it has been causingto the forest"

    "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it is causing to the forest"?

    Can you give me more explaination about this two? Thanks very much! Please be more clear.

    Thanks
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    The continuous tense there emphasizes the length of time that the damage to the forest is/has been lasting for.

    The present continous "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it is causing to the forest" relates to the situation now.

    The perfect continuous "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it has been causing to the forest" describes a situation which has existed for some time already.
     

    flyingcat2008

    Senior Member
    china,chino
    I am still confused:
    Can you tell me the difference between this two:
    "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it causes to the forest," he said.
    "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it is causing to the forest"

    It's my big problem right now.

    Thanks very much!!
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Can you tell me the difference between this two:
    "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it causes to the forest," he said.
    "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it is causing to the forest"
    Either would fit the original context: the difference is really very slight. :)

    The present continuous "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it is causing to the forest" emphasizes the fact that the damage is a continuous, ongoing process.

    The simple present "It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it causes to the forest" conveys more the sense of a series of repeated actions which are still happening.
     
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