As far as I know, it is an absolute rule that present perfect is not used with specific date. However, I saw this sentence in the beginning of a video in this TIME article:

11 people have died in a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, authorities said.

I have two reasons for this usage:

  • It is a custom in news/journalism.
  • The shooting occurred on Oct. 27, but 11 people have died so far.

Am I correct?

  • On a specific date but not at a specific time.
    – user3169
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 1:03

1 Answer 1


The shooting occurred at a specific time, but the action described by the present perfect is not limited to that specific time. The people may have died after the shooting from their injuries. Also, some people may die days or weeks after the violent event, so the use of present perfect indicates that the number of people who have died is the current total. Use of the simple past tense would imply that the number was a final total.

So the present perfect expresses both that the people who have died may not have died exactly at the time of the event and that more people may end up dying.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .