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My friend wrote me this sentence and got me really confused.

"Attached is the file you've requested."

Is this sentence grammatically correct? Why isn't it "attached is the file you requested"? I thought phrases like "ever since you sent it", "the time I went there", and "the person I talked to" always used past simple. Am I wrong?

Is it because the full sentence she meant to say is "The copy attached is the copy you've requested"?

Then is it possible to say "I attached the copy you've requested"?

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you've requested is a relative clause in which the relative pronoun has been omitted (or, if you feel fancy, has been replaced by the null relativizer), which is permitted because it represents the object of the clause's verb. It is equivalent to that you've requested or which you've requested.

Simple past you requested is more usual, but the present perfect is unexceptionable: although it is true that you made the request in the past, it is obviously still relevant today, and there is no time marker such as requested last week which would require use of the simple past.

No distinctive meaning is apparent in this use of the present perfect. I think it is innocent pomposity.

  • 'Attached is the file you've requested last week' is wrong? – NS.X. May 21 '13 at 2:07
  • Yes. A perfect construction is marked as occurring before an explicit or implicit 'Reference Time': the point in time to which the event the construction describes is related. With a present perfect construction Reference Time must be the same as 'Utterance Time': the 'present' in which the sentence is spoken or written; but in your latest example the Reference Time is last week, in the past. Consequently, the time relationships are contradictory, and the sentence is ungrammatical. – StoneyB on hiatus May 21 '13 at 2:15

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