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They have taken her for someone worse so they called her stupid. They haven’t even had to say it, because I have seen their attitudes (towards her) after their behavior.

"haven’t even had to say that" - is that good in this context? If no, how can I write it in other words?

"They have taken" - or maybe "They have been taking"? I mean they used to do it many times in school times but also I mean situation in which maybe they do it now. Can we express it in one sentence?

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"They have taken her for ..." indicates an ongoing state of things. "They take her for ..." indicates that this is the current state of things, and says nothing about the past. Either could work well. "They have been taking her ..." in my view does not work as well, and surely is not as commonly used, but would not be incorrect.

"They haven’t even had to say it" is not incorrect, but it took me a moment to understand the intended meaning.

The sentence could be rephrased as:

Even though they didn't say it, it was clear because I have seen their attitudes towards her by their behavior.

or if they did in fact say it as :

Even if I hadn't heard them say it, it was clear because I have seen their attitudes towards her by their behavior.

"after their behavior" would not be correct unless it is referring to some specific behavior that happened previously, and that was mentioned earlier in the statement. "in their behavior" could by used instead of "by their behavior".

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  • Thanks a lot! :) Is "They didn't even have to say it" more common and understandable? Maybe you "English" guys just don't use such phrase in present perfect ;) – Melissa Dec 6 '20 at 14:10
  • @Melissa Using "didn't" instead of haven't is surely an acceptable alternative, with much the same meaning. I don';t think it is particularly more or less common. – David Siegel Dec 6 '20 at 15:29
  • ok, thanks Dav :)) – Melissa Dec 6 '20 at 16:13
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I don't know of an elegant, brief way to combine both those sentences into one. In fact, the two seem to be making a contradiction. The first sentence says they verbalized their beliefs ("called her stupid") and the second one suggests they have not ("haven't even had to say it"). Which is it? Did they say it, or not?

If you're trying to express the latter idea, the word "unspoken" might be of use here. Something like "Their unspoken attitude appears to be that she is stupid."

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  • Yes, they did it sometimes, but they didn't have to do it every time, because their behavior was speaking for itself many times. That's why I used word "even" – Melissa Dec 6 '20 at 13:59

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