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Is the following sentence correct?

The client can see the problem which hadn't been resolved in the following link: ...

Or is changing the word "hadn't" to "hasn't" absolutely necessary to make it grammatically correct?

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  • What is the text before that? Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 18:44
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    We really need to see this sentence in context to tell whether hasn't or hadn't is the right verb. Is the problem currently resolved or not? Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 19:12

1 Answer 1

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Referencing this article

Has and had are forms of the verb to have. Their use as helping verbs is to form perfect tenses.

Present Perfect

Have or has is used with a past participle to form the present perfect tense. This tense designates action which began in the past but continues into the present, or the effect of the action continues into the present.

Past Perfect

This past perfect (also called the pluperfect) is formed with had and a past participle. The past perfect indicates an action that was completed in the past before another action took place.

In this case, either hadn't or hasn't could be grammatically correct.

For example, consider Peter Shor's sentence from the comments:

We have now resolved all four problems that were brought to our attention two weeks ago. Last week, we had only resolved three of them. The client can see the problem that hadn't been resolved in the following link.

Similarly, consider the following sentence:

We have only managed to resolve three of the four problems. The client can see the problem that hasn't been resolved in the following link.

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  • If you are down voting my answer, please tell me why or leave a comment so I know what I can improve on. Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 18:59
  • I'm not the downvoter, but the tense hadn't could be perfectly grammatical in the OP's sentence. Using hadn't could indicate that the the problem had not been resolved before some event that was mentioned in the previous sentence. Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 19:04
  • @PeterShor can you explain why? Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 19:05
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    For example: We have now resolved all four problems that were brought to our attention two weeks ago. Last week, we had only resolved three of them. The client can see the problem that hadn't been resolved in the following link. It's a somewhat contrived paragraph, but you should be able to see why you need to use hadn't there. Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 19:09
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    Thank you for clearing that up for me, I have edited my answer. Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 19:12

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