Does "bake" really mean "to be a baker"? Do "write", etc, mean "to be a writer", etc? — Paul G 13:38, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Yes, they do. If someone says "I write." the implication is that they are an author. Likewise with "I bake." though some qualification is necessary if you want to be sure that it is taken to be your profession, rather than just a common occurence. —This unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) at 01:08, 24 August 2005.
- That's not because of any property of the words ‘bake’ and ‘write’, but because the most ordinary conversational use of the so-called ‘simple present’ (‘He writes/bakes/etc.’ as opposed to the ordinary ‘He is writing/baking/etc.’) is to indicate habitual aspect† (and the question that invites ‘I write/bake’ as a response, What do you do [for a living]?, invites an answer in the habitual aspect — that they are an author or baker follows from the definitions of author and baker).
- † [Payne in Describing Morphosyntax: “The simple “present tense” verb forms in English do not indicate present tense, as defined here, for dynamic verbs. That is, the present tense forms in English do not anchor dynamic events (events that involve change over time) as occurring at he same time as the time of speaking (“now”). A clause such as He walks to school either means (a) habitual (“he walks to school every day”), (b) “historical present” (So he gets out of bed, gets dressed, and has breakfast. Then he walks to school, see?), which actually anchors the event at some point in the past, or (c) “future” (Tomorrow he walks to school; I refuse to take him anymore).” etc.] —Muke Tever 16:48, 21 September 2005 (UTC)