May I please ask if the sentence below is correct.

On 20th December 2023 the company announced that the bargain has been completed.

If yes, I do not understand why does not the author use "had" (past perfect) instead of "have" (present perfect) in the end. As I thought, the perfect tense in that case should reflect the event which happened before some point in time. This point in time is already in the past. If this announcement was made on 20th December 2023, should not the author use past perfect instead?

  • 2
    Who wrote that sentence?
    – ColleenV
    Jan 2 at 16:37
  • 2
    Yes, here, it should be "had".
    – Lambie
    Jan 2 at 17:38
  • 1
    You wouldn't use the present perfect with a time phrase that relegates the action to the past, excluding the present, which that specific date in the past does. For example, these are unidiomatic: "I have seen him ten days ago"; "I have seen him last autumn"; "I have met them on New Years Day, 2015".
    – TimR
    Jan 2 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


"Had" would be normal backshifting of the reported speech.

Using "has" means that the speaker isn't backshifting. That's sometimes done when the reported statement would still be true in the present.

But "had" would be the normal choice.

  • 1
    backshifting is for reported speech. This is not reported speech so it's just not "past perfect".
    – Lambie
    Jan 2 at 17:38
  • 2
    "announced" is the quote verb, You could use direct "The company announced, "The bargain has been completed". This is the reported speech version of that.
    – James K
    Jan 2 at 17:40
  • 1
    It is still not reported speech, James. You can't imagine it is when we simply do not know that. Also, press releases announce things all the time with specific dates and not in statements from people at first.
    – Lambie
    Jan 2 at 17:44
  • @Lambie: ... and if something has been stated in a press release, and we're talking about it, we still treat it as reported speech, even though it hasn't been literally spoken out of a physical mouth (eg the rules for "say" apply equally to "write").
    – psmears
    Jan 3 at 11:19

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