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  1. Odessa Dawn's Avatar
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    #1

    "... has said ... had found ..."



    But a Swiss doctor has said that investigators had found high levels of toxic polonium-210 on some of Arafat's belongings.

    Francois Bochud, director of the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, said his researchers had tested Arafat's toothbrush, clothing and keffiyeh, the distinctive black-and-white headscarf he often wore.
    More: Workers exhuming Yasser Arafat's body in probe of death - CNN.com


    Donít we need past simple (said) and past perfect(had found) in the given text, first context? In the second text we have past simple followed by past perfect. Help me with this. Thanks in advance.


  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "... has said ... had found ..."

    I would use the simple past but it may be that the writer used "has said" for emphasis.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    #3

    Re: "... has said ... had found ..."

    "But a Swiss doctor has said that investigators had found high levels of toxic polonium-210 on some of Arafat's belongings."

    I do not understand why Past Perfect is used in this sentence. Would it be grammatically incorrect or would it change the meaning of the sentence if Simple Past was used instead of Past Perfect?

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "... has said ... had found ..."

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    "But a Swiss doctor has said that investigators had found high levels of toxic polonium-210 on some of Arafat's belongings."

    I do not understand why Past Perfect is used in this sentence. Would it be grammatically incorrect or would it change the meaning of the sentence if Simple Past was used instead of Past Perfect?
    Did you read my answer in post #2?
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    #5

    Re: "... has said ... had found ..."

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Did you read my answer in post #2?
    Yes, I did, but I believe your answer in post #2 related to the first underscoring. My question in post #3 is regarding the second underscoring.

    While I have no problem with, "But a Swiss doctor said that investigators had found high levels of toxic polonium-210 on some of Arafat's belongings.", this sentence, "But a Swiss doctor has said that investigators had found high levels of toxic polonium-210 on some of Arafat's belongings." rather bothers me.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "... has said ... had found ..."

    Apologies. I misread the original question and I was referring to the first underscoring. I meant that "said" would be fine but that "has said" might be being used for emphasis. I failed to notice that the query was to do with "had found" which I have no problem with at all.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 13-Nov-2012 at 20:02. Reason: Hit send too soon!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "... has said ... had found ..."

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    Yes, I did, but I believe your answer in post #2 related to the first underscoring. My question in post #3 is regarding the second underscoring.

    While I have no problem with, "But a Swiss doctor said that investigators had found high levels of toxic polonium-210 on some of Arafat's belongings.", this sentence, "But a Swiss doctor has said that investigators had found high levels of toxic polonium-210 on some of Arafat's belongings." rather bothers me.
    What bothers you about "had found"?

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    #8

    Re: "... has said ... had found ..."

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    "But a Swiss doctor has said that investigators had found high levels of toxic polonium-210 on some of Arafat's belongings."

    I do not understand why Past Perfect is used in this sentence. Would it be grammatically incorrect or would it change the meaning of the sentence if Simple Past was used instead of Past Perfect?
    Have a look at this: Direct | indirect speech exercises, grammar, examples

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    #9

    Re: "... has said ... had found ..."

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    What bothers you about "had found"?
    Well, I consulted the link which Carla Guaraldi suggested and found this: The reported speech is typically introduced by verbs such as say, tell, admit, complain, explain, remind, reply, think, hope, offer, refuse etc. in the past tense. and sure enough, none of the examples "introduced" the reported speech by means of "Present Perfect". This link does not solve my problem which is following.
    To my perception Present Perfect is sort of ... Present, and therefore Simple Past should be implemented in the reporting part of the sentence (as one immediately preceding). In other words, the introduction, "has said", to me sounds more like, "says" rather than, "said". Since neither emsr2d2 nor you yourself are bothered by Past Perfect being used, I am beginning to uderstand that my interpretation of Present Perfect as more akin to Present Simple is wrong.

    I hope what I have just written makes sense .

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: "... has said ... had found ..."

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    To my perception Present Perfect is sort of ... Present, and therefore Simple Past should be implemented in the reporting part of the sentence (as one immediately preceding). In other words, the introduction, "has said", to me sounds more like, "says" rather than, "said". Since neither emsr2d2 nor you yourself are bothered by Past Perfect being used, I am beginning to uderstand that my interpretation of Present Perfect as more akin to Present Simple is wrong.
    You are not wrong. The present perfect is indeed a present tense; normally there will be no backshifting if the indirect speech is introduced by a speech word in the present perfect.

    Ems and bhai were not bothered by the backshifting; I am not either. There are occasions, mainly in speech, but sometimes in writing, when the 'incorrect' form can appear natural enough. In the context of the rest of the section the backshifting seems correct. I suppose we feel, as ems suggested, that the present perfect 'has said' gives it more emphasis, makes it more vivid; we just don't notice that the shift to the present perfect removes the need for backshifting.

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