"My parcel is at last in France!!! unbelievable!" did I say today.

I did not expect to receive it any more, since it was sent 2 months ago. I have thought "It is lost for ever". However, I have checked on my computer at least once a day the state of it, hoping it has changed but unfortunatly it has not. Until today!

I could not believe my eyes when I read on my computer that the parcel was in France.

I am not sure about the choice made for these 2 verbs (think and check). I chose present perfect because my thinking of loosing the parcel and checking my computer began at the same time in the past and lasted untill today and occured more than once . So I think it is a good choice . I am less sure about "has changed" and "has not"but the change happened only today so

  • Small note - we do not use a space before ! ? etc in English writing/typing thus Hello! and not hello ! Jul 26, 2020 at 9:34

2 Answers 2


"I have thought" is awkward. Just "I thought" is fine.

"I have checked" is slightly wrong in meaning. Just "I checked" conveys that you have been using the computer, and "at least once a day" that you have checked it multiple times over the course of some period.

"I checked ... once a day the state of it" is awkward. It moves what you checked (the state of it) too far from the verb (checked). This is smoother as "I checked the state of it at least once a day."

"... hoping it has changed but unfortunately it has not." is not consistent with the fact that the package has now arrived. What you want is to state that you were hoping it had changed but it had not, all in the past. You could say "... hoping it had changed, but unfortunately it had not.", but even this is a little wordy - if you were hoping it had changed, we assume it had not until it's stated otherwise.

So I think the final edit is "I checked the state of it on my computer at least once a day, hoping it had changed, but it had not.", assuming you really want to use the final phrase.

The word you actually want is "losing", to mean that you do not know where it is; "loosing" would mean that you had been holding it, and had lost your grip (in other words, "let it loose").

Also, "did I say today" is an unnatural phrase in English. "Did" rather implies a question, and the reader starts off by wondering what question he missed. You can just use "I said today."

  • but what I don't understand is that I ve seen many examples using present perfect with until today. Here is one : until today the volcano has been dormant, but this morning it erupted.. Why is it not had been? For me it is the same logic: erupted is past has been dormant should be past of the past . I really dont understand the logic
    – Yves Lefol
    Jul 26, 2020 at 16:33
  • I think I have understood in the volcano case we can use the present perfect because the volcano is still in eruption and in my case the parcel has already arrived the action is completed and now belongs to the past even if this past is very very recent
    – Yves Lefol
    Jul 26, 2020 at 17:02
  • You are right, I have seen examples with present perfect and until now as well. I think it is because until now can be interpreted as just including this very moment or just excluding this very moment. I have also seen examples using past perfect and to me personally that makes it clear that whatever happend before is no longer happening.
    – anouk
    Jul 26, 2020 at 17:48
  • don't you think if I wote "had been checking" it would put the event before I did not expect and that is not true . I began checking regurlarly my computer after I did not expect. "Checked" is may be better or "was checking"(but it would mean that the action of checking was not finished or took a long time each day )
    – Yves Lefol
    Jul 27, 2020 at 4:46

I have some suggestions:

"My parcel has arrived in France, at last!" I said today. "I did say" sounds like you want to convince someone who claims you didn't, that you did say something. That is not necessary here.

I thought it was lost forever. past tense.

If you say "until today", to me it means something has changed as of today, so whatever came before that moment today, is past time. Earlier today ( past time) you found out your parcel has arrived in France. It is in France now. Before that moment, you had been checking its status daily (= repeated action happening over a period of time) hoping it had changed, but it hadn't. Because this happened before a period already in the past( the moment earlier today when you saw the parcel has arrived), you use the past perfect tense.

  • I don't see anything wrong with "I thought 'It is lost forever'." - the present tense in the quoted portion is consistent with the thought, which occurred in the past. You could also say "I thought it was lost forever", which describes the past thought; in the first form of the sentence, you are quoting the thought you had in the past, which was, at that time, correctly stated in present tense. Also, we speak of 'tense' in English (past tense, present tense), not 'time' when referring to the grammatical constructs.
    – rcook
    Jul 26, 2020 at 11:53

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