Sergei Nekhamkin, a columnist for the newspaper “Argumenty Nedely”, wrote that Grigory Petrov was more popular around St. Petersburg not only than Lenin but also than all of Lenin's supporters.

I want to understand which one is right.

  1. Sergei Nekhamkin wrote that ...
  2. Sergei Nekhamkin has written that ...

According to Englishpage.com:

  • We use the present perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now.

And the time of "writing" is not important and is not specified.

But I'm confused. Which one do I have to use?

  • 1
    If it was present perfect it would be 'has written', not 'have wrote'. Nov 25, 2021 at 17:43
  • oh thanks @MichaelHarvey
    – 1amroff
    Nov 25, 2021 at 17:46
  • 2
    That We use the present perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now is potentially misleading. Simple Past can refer to a past action that happened at any time in the past - 10 seconds ago, or 10 billion years ago, with no particular implications for how relevant that past action is to the present. But Present Perfect always implies a recent action (often, continuing right up until time of utterance) that has significant relevance to the present time of speaking. Nov 25, 2021 at 17:48
  • 1
    Note that it's entirely a stylistic choice whether to use Simple Past or Present Perfect in your cited context. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me though. Why should Lenin's supporters be particularly "popular"? When John Lennon suggested the Beatles were more popular than Christ, would it have made any sense for him to add ...and our fans are more popular than Christ too? Nov 25, 2021 at 17:51
  • 2
    As he is dead, he wrote, for pete's sake.
    – Lambie
    Nov 25, 2021 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, we use present perfect to describe a present situation in terms of some past event. So using present perfect here means you're actually talking about something in the present.

In this case, since all those people are dead, including the author, I can't see what present situation it could refer to, so simple past is the only way to go.

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