I have seen the following sentence in some article:

Frankly, I think the point it makes is rather obvious, but to my surprise the publication was followed by a further flood of objections that - more surprisingly - continues to the present day.

The context is that the author stated a controversial point in his/her article in 1980, and the publisher had received many objections.

Regarding the adverb of time "to the present day" and the fact that the objections existed before the time of speaking, I wonder whether it is not better to use the present perfect form of the verb "continue", namely, "has continued" instead.

1 Answer 1


"Has continued" could be an acceptable alternative, but when saying "it has continued to the present day" it could sound like it stopped today - that the present day is when it continued until.

Saying "it continues" shows that it continues on, with no fixed end in view.

You could express the same by saying "it has continued into the present day".

  • Thanks for your answer. However, I think the simple present "continues" cannot semantically fit the context of the sentence due to presence of the proposition to; the proposition indicates (emphasizes) that there occurred an action in the past continuing to the time of speaking, which implies that the present perfect form of the verb must be used. In my opinion, we cannot semantically have sentences like "[subject] + [simple present] + to + [present day/now]." Am I right?
    – Later
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 15:03
  • @Astralbee, pls reply to his comment. Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 2:00
  • @Later In other contexts you might be correct, but this is perfectly idiomatic. This is because 'the present day' is not a fixed time - it means the ongoing present.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 9:21
  • @Astralbee Thanks. It seems that the author wanted to convert the compound phrase "has continued to the present day, and continues" into the briefer phrase "continues to the present day"; the former seems more grammatical while the latter is idiomatic. However, if I were the author, I would simply say "still continues", without "to the present day", in such a situation.
    – Later
    Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 10:25

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