I've often found online articles where corrections are made to signify a different tense where I think there's no need to. For example:

... he tells BBC Culture. “... I [have] always felt like they were just the same thing ...”

Why would they insert "have" here? Simple past was enough, one cannot asume the subject still feels like anything

Source: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20191015-how-todays-rappers-are-resurrecting-the-spirit-of-punk

1 Answer 1


We don't know the exact edit that the BBC have done here.

This is a direct quote. We don't know if the speaker still feels this, but the quote states that at the time of speaking he still did. That is why a present perfect tense is being used.

I guess that the speaker misspoke and actually said something like "I did always felt..." This is a common enough error in speech, it occurs when the speaker changes their mind while speaking. (The speaker started to use a past tense sentence, got as far as "I did", then changed their mind, but couldn't go back, so just carried on).

If this was the case, then it would be hard to understand when transcribed to written form. The BBC decided to edit the quote to fix the grammar to what can be assumed was intended.

It is also possible that a longer phrase was used, for example "I, and most of my associates, have always felt". The BBC could have decided to edit this down for clarity and to make it shorter.

In summary, the "[have]" might not be an insertion, it might be a substitution. The BBC claim that this is the intended meaning of the speaker.

  • Thanks for your answer James
    – hachesilva
    Oct 20, 2019 at 23:29

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