Edited Is it correct to the say:

  1. It has been been attempted to deliver today.

    • My concern here is that I have mentioned “today “ so I think I have to use past simple always. Is it?
  2. It was attempted to deliver today morning; however, nobody has responded

    • I used past simple first. I know specifically when delivery was attempted. That’s today. While knowing that, is it correct to say nobody has responded?

Thank you and much appreciated for taking your time to read and respond.

  • Why would you say "the below" instead of "this", or even "the following"?
    – tchrist
    Oct 5, 2019 at 15:27
  • 2
    @tchrist I think we should explain the below grammatically.
    – David M
    Oct 5, 2019 at 15:38
  • It has been been attempted… is never correct, if it was a typo please fix it :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 5, 2019 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


No, it is completely false that you have to use the past simple when you use "today": it sounds as if somebody has tried to give you a simplified rule, which simply doesn't work.

You can use the present perfect when the event has some present relevance, but what that present relevance is can take different forms.

If you say it hasn't been delivered today then you are choosing to treat the period of time over which it might be delivered as continuing up to the present. This might imply that it still could be delivered (it doesn't necessarily have this implication, but it could have).

If you say it wasn't delivered today, then you are choosing to treat the period of time over which it might be delivered as having finished. This probably implies that it cannot still be delivered today.

But, as usual with perfect and continuous tenses, you have a choice of which form you use, depending on how you wish to present the temporal relationships between the events and the present.

On another subject, I find "It was attempted to deliver" extremely awkward, and possibly ungrammatical in my version of English: I would say either "they/someone tried to deliver" or "there was an attempt at delivery".

However, I have a suspicion that impersonal passives like that are more common in Indian English than my (British) English: certainly "today morning" is characteristic of Indian English, being unknown in British and American English.

  • Dear Colin, Thank you very much for the reply. You explanation above is really awesome. All this time, I have been assuming that I can’t use past perfect in this instance. As for my question, I meant to say that postman tried to deliver today morning but no has picked it up. As a result, the package is returned at the post office for collection. In this circumstance, can I say “the delivery has been attempted today” while knowing that it won’t be attempted again. My next question, is it collect to say: the post man attempted to delivery today;however nobody has picked it up.
    – user360189
    Oct 5, 2019 at 14:00
  • "The postman tried to deliver the parcel this morning, but nobody was there to receive it, so the parcel has been returned to the Post Office for collection."(natural to use simple part for the first, and perfect for the last, but these are not the only options). "The delivery was/has been attempted today" are both fine. In your last sentence, the perfect is odd, because the time when somebody might have received it is past.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 5, 2019 at 16:29

You must log in to answer this question.

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