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I think every one of us needs a cellphone. Cellphones have become part of daily life and I've always got mine with me.

I'd just like to know if replacing have become with became would still be grammatically acceptable? What changes could be done to make became somehow fit?

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    I think this is a very tricky case. After giving it a thought on it, I think both are acceptable, but with subtle differences. Imho, it depends almost entirely on the way you think how and when cellphones became (or have become) part of daily life. I'm a little too sleepy at the moment. Wait for others. ;) Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 19:30

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Saying “cellphones became part of daily life” is grammatically valid on its own, but in the given sentence it would seem at least a little strange.

Shifting the verb in this way leaves the listener wondering when exactly cellphones became a part of daily life. The sentence doesn't mention this, and it's not something the speaker seems to care about. The rest of the passage discusses the current state of the world. As of now, cellphones are a part of daily life. Many people can agree on this, even if they wouldn't know (or couldn't agree on) a specific timeframe.

With something like this, there's not a clearly defined point at which the transition in question occurred. It's a subjective evaluation, not a statement of fact, so it doesn't really work to use “became” the way one might legitimately say “In 2002, Steve Fossett became the first person to fly around the world alone.”

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It's have become.

That's because it occurred at an uncertain point, it's not finite, and it still has relevance to the present. And, to be honest, while it is technically OK to shift tenses in writing, the rest of the sentence in the simple present (have got is simple present tense).

Although present perfect usually describes an action that has already occurred, it's still one of the present tenses.

I'd just like to know if replacing have become with became would still be grammatically acceptable? What changes could be done to make became somehow fit?

Actually, when you replace have become with became, you drastically change it's meaning. When you use the simple past tense, you are signifying to your reader/listener that this event is over, and in this case, that the trend is no longer progressing.

I think [simple present] every one of us needs [simple present] a cellphone. Cellphones have become [present perfect] part of daily life and I've always [signals ongoing] got [simple present] mine with me.

I don't have a problem with tense shifts, but I've marked up the above sentences to demonstrate the other reason that present perfect is a better choice. In those two sentences, you have three other present tense verbs. The simple past would really stand out.

Now if we were talking about an event that's over, it'd be OK to use became. I can tell just from the context that that's not what you intended to say. You mean to say that the trend still has relevance (and you're not exactly sure when it started).

That's the difference.

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