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Please, explain the reason the following sentence is wrong.

We don't have any news about him until now.

3 Answers 3

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In the first part of the sentence, "We don't have any news about him", "don't" is used in the present tense meaning we currently don't have any news.

By adding "until now" to the sentence tells the reader that actually we do now have some news.

This is a contradiction. We can't currently have no news and have some news.

You could reword it as:

"We hadn't had any news about him until now."

The use of "hadn't had" in the past perfect tense tells the reader that that situation had existed but has now ended.

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  • Or, if there is still no news - "We don't have/haven't had any news about him so far." Mar 20, 2022 at 10:08
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We don't have any news about him until now.

Cambridge Dictionary explains the tense to use for Time up to now.

We use the present perfect to talk about time up to now, that is, events that took place in the past but which connect with the present. The present perfect is often used with time expressions which indicate time up to now:

I haven’t seen her since January 1995.

We could hence consider

We have not had any news about him until now.

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  • But, as mentioned above, until now means that now we have had some news (which may or may not be what the OP intended). Mar 20, 2022 at 10:18
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"Until now" refers to the past, but your sentence is in present tense. You could say something like

We haven't gotten any news about him until now.

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  • Thank you for your answer. Is the phrase 'Until now' an idiom?
    – bak1936
    Mar 20, 2022 at 10:05
  • @bak1936 I wouldn't consider it an idiom, my argument was mainly logical ;) "Until now" refers to the time, well, until now, meaning before now. So it can't refer to now, to the present tense. Mar 20, 2022 at 10:19
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    'haven't gotten' doesn't ring well for me. I know it's very much an Americanism, but it grates on a BrE ear. 'Have not had' or 'haven't had' would both work better internationally ['haven't got' wouldn't work either]. Mar 20, 2022 at 12:43

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