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Today I got into argument with my colleague about the answer of below question.

She claims both are possible but choice 2 is the better one saying that "economics is a branch of science and if we are talking about its description, Present Simple is the answer".

It is such an easy question that I didn't put it on English Language & Usage stack. The question is below.

There have been economies since the dawn of civilization, but as a field of study, economics [...] only recently.

1) has developed

2) develops

Can someone explain why her logic is wrong? I tried but it was futile. Maybe if she can see others then she might learn something. (Answer sheet is also saying 1).

If somebody says "I am busy recently/lately" it feels like saying "I am busy two days ago". It just does not makes sense. Recently/lately means near past. I am busy these days is fine however.

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  • It is not clear what the question is. Does answer (1) give two choices for the first "..." and answer (2) give two choices for the second "..." ? Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 0:23
  • My apologies. This is just a fill in the blanks question. The first blank "..." is "have been" for both choices. The second blank however either "has developed" or "develops".
    – Grizzly
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 0:25
  • 1
    In that case, option 1 is the answer. "There have been economies since the dawn of civilization, but as a field of study, economics has developed only recently." Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 0:27
  • If you can explain your thought process to that question, and why her logic is wrong, I would really appreciate.
    – Grizzly
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 0:29
  • 1
    The "recently" is in the past, but "develops" is in the present - wrong tense. Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 0:30

1 Answer 1

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Economics as a field of study, is young but not new. Therefore it is plain wrong to speak of its development in the present tense.

Therefore, the only good variant is:

There have been economies since the dawn of civilization, but as a field of study, economics has developed only recently.

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  • Thank you. She insists that it is talking about its general description and I think she is missing a few screws in the head.
    – Grizzly
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 6:48
  • I am not a mechanical repair man, so I know nothing about screws - in the head or anywhere else :D
    – virolino
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 6:49
  • or omit the 'has' There have been economies since the dawn of civilization, but as a field of study, economics developed only recently
    – Smock
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 11:25

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