We got into a grammar discussion at the office.

  • Given I have write-access to a page and I selected an option

  • Given I have write-access to a page and I have selected an option

  1. Are both grammatically correct?
  2. Is one is better than the other?
  • Either is fine, but present tense would sound a little more natural: "Given I have write access to a page and I select an option."
    – Robusto
    Oct 11, 2017 at 23:46
  • I think we need more context, especially since this isn't even an entire sentence. Can you explain the context?
    – stangdon
    Oct 12, 2017 at 0:20
  • @stangdon: It's not a sentence, it's pretty obviously a clause.
    – Robusto
    Oct 12, 2017 at 4:16
  • My apologies, we are writing "Gherkin" requirements for a web application. They are clauses in the format of "Given, When, Then" with Given being in the past tense. Oct 12, 2017 at 15:15
  • @Robusto - Sure, but that's exactly what makes it harder to say whether it's "correct" - it depends on what else is around it.
    – stangdon
    Oct 12, 2017 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Both are grammatically correct, except 'have selected' is present perfect tense. If it was a one time write access and occured in the distant past, then I would use 'I selected'.

However, 'have selected' is more appropriate if it is:

  • an action which is still continuing onto the present (do you have to keep repeatedly doing this?) e.g. I have been living in this house since..
  • a very recent action e.g. I have just eaten...

The present perfect tense is normally used for the above reasons. For example, 'have' is an auxiliary (helping) verb as it adds more information to the main verb 'selected'.

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