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I'm developing a mobile app about family tree that the user can put information whether someone in their family tree is already passed away or not. If a user open a profile of another user where that user was reported dead, which one is the correct one to use:

  • He has passed away at March 3, 2017.

  • He had passed away at March 3, 2017.

I'm conflicted between the past tense and past perfect tense here (and even with perfect tense), because he is/was indeed has already passed away (perfect tense), but he also passed away in the past as information (past tense). Sometimes whether to use past and perfect tense is blurry, because both was referring to something in the past / already happened.

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Don't use a definite time expression with the present/past perfect — at least in this context. Use the simple past tense with the preposition on:

He passed away on March 3, 2017.


Sometimes whether to use past and perfect tense is blurry, because both was referring to something in the past / already happened.

Look at this thread: What is the perfect, and how should I use it?

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Present perfect and past perfect tenses can't be used with definite time expression. Use the simple past tense instead.

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