I'm trying to write a sentence but can't decide which is the correct form:

  1. For anyone who didn't notice, he is tall.

  2. For anyone who hasn't noticed, he is tall.

  3. For anyone who hadn't noticed, he is tall.

I think the third one is incorrect because there aren't 2 actions happening the paat one after the other.

I am doubting between the first two. There is no specific time so "hasn't" should be correct, but I can't see why "didn't" isn't correct either.

Truly, I have no clue how to decide.

More Context:

If it matters, the context is a friend wants to post a pic in twitter of a group of friends, and jokingly say on one of the friends "For anyone who didn't notice, he is tall".

  • 2
    Welcome to Ell. Would you please add more context and your takes on this question? You can improve this question by adding your thoughts. You can click on the "edit" icon and add your opinions.
    – Cardinal
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 8:46
  • 2
    For Instance, you can say why you think the third one is incorrect.
    – Cardinal
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 8:49
  • 4
    If it helps, Naftali, I think what Cardinal also means is that all three choices are possible. But we need to know what you want to say exactly and the context in which you want to say this. Commented May 9, 2017 at 8:53
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    In the meantime, my choices in order of preference would be Two, Three and One. And I can't say that I think One is 100% correct, but a lot of (American) native speakers, myself included when I don't pay attention, do use simple past in places where present perfect might be a more grammatical choice. Commented May 9, 2017 at 8:55
  • 1
    I think it would be better to add the context in the question (instead of in a comment).
    – None
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 9:02

1 Answer 1


Out of the three given choices, the first choice is the most suitable. The usage of didn't tells us that there is an aura of completion of the task, while hasn't / haven't tells us that the task may still be ongoing. I'll try to illustrate this better with an example.

  • I haven't received my pizza.
  • I didn't receive my pizza.

Think of it, you would use the first sentence while you're still at the store and you want to complain to the cashier, "I haven't received my pizza, can you please hurry up?". The second statement would be better suited when you want to report this incident to a friend, "I went to that pizzeria yesterday but I didn't receive my pizza with everything as a topping."

If you really want to use the second statement, it can be better modified as:

For anyone who hasn't noticed yet, he is tall.

Both the sentences then would have fairly similar meanings with respect to the time-frame in which they took place.

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