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  1. #1
    angliholic's Avatar
    angliholic is offline Key Member
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    Smile in the past century/for the last century

    Because of the rapid growth of population in the past century, large areas of natural forest were cleared for agriculture, timber, and human habitation.

    For me, I assume that the above statement should take the simple past tense because of the temporal phrase "in the past century." If "in the past century" is replaced with "for the last century," then I would use the present perfect tense as follows:

    Because of the rapid growth of population for the last century, large areas of natural forest have been cleared for agriculture, timber, and human habitation.

    Is my premature opinion justifiable? Your advice? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: in the past century/for the last century

    If you remove the temporal phrase, you will find that either tense works equally well. I don't think changing "in" to "for" makes any difference.

    By the way, I like your avatar

  3. #3
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: in the past century/for the last century

    I would have said, "Because of the rapid growth of population in the past century, large areas of natural forest had been cleared for agriculture, timber, and human habitation."

    I would use the past perfect because the clearing began at an unspecified time and continued for an unspecified time period.

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