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What is the best/correct way to write the following sentence?

He has changed his attitude towards his colleagues since he was promoted or has been promoted.

Or:

He changed his attitude towards his colleagues since he was promoted.

Thanks

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Everything in past simple to me denotes an entirely finished event. So your second option could easily be followed by something like this:

... since he was promoted, but now he's restored his friendships and everything's fine.

If that's roughly what you want, great! However, if you're commenting on a current change in attitude which is still affecting him and his colleagues, your former example in present perfect fits better.

He has changed his attitude towards his colleagues since his promotion, which is really having an effect on the office environment.

Notice how I've avoided choosing between "he was promoted" and "he has been promoted"? Well, that's you for you to choose according to what you want to say. Are you commenting on past, finished events? Or more recent events which are still having an effect now?

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  • Actually, it was from a test, so there is context about this sentence, which makes things hard to understand :/
    – user63598
    Jan 30 '14 at 13:06
  • Test can be tough, where only one specific answer is correct. You have to look for clues! What were the options exactly?
    – JMB
    Jan 30 '14 at 14:28
  • The options are : A) Changed/was promoted B) Is changing/has been promoted C) Has changed/has been promoted D) Has changed/was promoted
    – user63598
    Jan 31 '14 at 10:10
  • D is the correct answer in my opinion. Use the answers below to understand why.
    – JMB
    Jan 31 '14 at 10:46
  • @JMB "Notice how I've avoided choosing between "he was promoted" and "he has been promoted"?" - what about the event wherein he was elected as the president? How to avoid it then?
    – Maulik V
    Feb 20 '14 at 5:12
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"Since he was promoted" suggests that he changed his attitude at the time that he was promoted. "Since he has been promoted" makes no sense in this context, because the word since means from the time of, and "has been promoted" has the meaning of being promoted at an unspecified time in the past.

Now, "since" can also mean "because". If this is taken as the meaning of the word since, then "since he has been promoted, his attitude has changed" means that the fact of his promotion is the cause of his change in attitude.

This ambiguity of meaning of the word "since" was probably overlooked by the test preparer, since the different meanings change the correct answer.

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It depends on which variety of English the test is testing you on.

In the American variety of English, commonly called American English (AE or AmE), the simple past would be an acceptable answer. From the perspective of the speaker, the actions (change and promote) are finished actions in the past, and that requires the past simple.

He changed his attitude towards his colleagues since he was promoted.

In British English (BE or BrE), one of the "rules" for the present perfect is that it is used for something that happened in the past and that still has an affect at the time of speaking.

He has changed his attitude towards his colleagues since he (was promoted) or has been promoted.

In the above sentence, the speaker thinks that the changed attitude since the promotion is having an affect on someone or something, most likely the people who work with him, his co-workers (AmE) / colleagues (BrE) and, therefore, uses the present perfect.

Now, with regard to was promoted or has been promoted I would say:

  1. was promoted if I was thinking of this as a finished or completed action in the past, or
  2. has been promoted if I was thinking of this action as just recently finished (one of the rules for the present perfect (more BrE usage).
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  • "He changed his attitude after he was promoted", but "he has changed his attitude since he was promoted". Even in AmE. Jan 31 '14 at 4:19
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He has changed his attitude towards his colleagues since he was promoted. - That would be my formulation. "He has changed his attidude" (Perfect for a fact that is important for now). he was promoted (Past, because the promotion is an event in the past).

The Present Perfect (Pf) has three main uses: 1 something that began in the past and continues up to now or even longer), mostly Pf progressive. - 2 Pf for news: things of the recent past that are new for others. You want to give your information importance and use the longer Pf.
- 3. Perfect for fact: It is not important when something happened in the past, important is the fact. Here also you give importance by choosing the longer Pf. -- By the way I don't understand the headline of the post: Present continuous / simple present. - I don't see any Present Tense in your sentence.

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