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economics professor has said English speakers may be poorer because of English grammar. Dr Keith Chen of Yale University suggested that differences in tenses of world's languages may explain why people in some countries save more money than people in other countries. He told people at presentation that future tense in English could actually make people believe future is not important now. He said English speakers might think future is separate from present, and that this may make people not think about their future. He explained this could stop people saving money for their retirement. He also suggested future tenses may make people smoke more and exercise less.

Professor Chen divided grammar of countries into two – those with "strong future-time reference" and those with weak reference. He explained: "If I wanted to explain to English-speaking colleague why I can't attend meeting later today, I could not say 'I go to seminar'. English grammar would [require] me to say 'I will go, am going, or have to go to seminar'". He contrasted this with "weak future-time reference" languages" that can express same meaning without future words like "will". Chen says speakers of these languages are those who save more money. He believes this could be because they do not separate present time and future in their grammar or in real life.

 


 
 

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