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    #1

    Senator Kennedy Has Been an Ardent Supportor of ObamaCare.

    Senator Kennedy has been an ardent supportor of Obama's health care program now under heated debate in the United States.

    I heard a Chinese English news anchor say the sentence like the above in a special program to mark the death of Edward Kennedy.

    My question is: was he right in using present perfect tense to describe a deseased person's conduct in his lifetime?

    Thank you.


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    #2

    Re: Senator Kennedy Has Been an Ardent Supportor of ObamaCare.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiaruchan View Post
    Senator Kennedy has been an ardent supportor of Obama's health care program now under heated debate in the United States.

    I heard a Chinese English news anchor say the sentence like the above in a special program to mark the death of Edward Kennedy.

    My question is: was he right in using present perfect tense to describe a deseased person's conduct in his lifetime?

    Thank you.
    Yes, it's correct because the senator's death was, and as of this date, is still considered recent. We can use the present perfect for recent events or actions that are finished, but are still relevant now. It's psychological.

    Because this senator was so well-known and so important, and because his death is still seen as recent, some people will still speak of him with a present time reference. Of course, present perfect does connect the past to the present; however, I strongly doubt we would hear the simple present or present progressive now when someone speaks of this particular senator.

    Just the same, I heard radio shows in which people were talking about the senator, and sometimes they used the present simple to speak about him even though he is now dead. So there's a psychological attachment, probably tied in with a state of disbelief, when speaking of a recently deceased person using the present tense - even the present perfect, which connects the past to the present.

    I would expect, and suspect, that no one will speak of this senator with any kind of present time reference at all within a few days to two weeks at the latest.
    Last edited by PROESL; 01-Sep-2009 at 15:57. Reason: extra t typo

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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    #3

    Re: Senator Kennedy Has Been an Ardent Supportor of ObamaCare.

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Yes, it's correct because the senator's death was, and as of this date, is still considered recent. We can use the present perfect for recent events or actions that are finished, but are still relevant now. It's psychological.

    Because this senator was so well-known and so important, and because his death is still seen as recent, some people will still speak of him with a present time reference. Of course, present perfect does conntect the past to the present; however, I strongly doubt we would hear the simple present or present progressive now when someone speaks of this particular senator.

    Just the same, I heard radio shows in which people were talking about the senator, and sometimes they used the present simple to speak about him even though he is now dead. So there's a psychological attachment, probably tied in with a state of disbelief, when speaking of a recently deceased person using the present tense - even the present perfect, which connects the past to the present.

    I would expect, and suspect, that no one will speak of this senator with any kind of present time reference at all within a few days to two weeks at the latest.
    Thank you. Would it be alright just to say ' he was an ardent supportor of Obama's health care reform bill' without any disrespectful connotation?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #4

    Re: Senator Kennedy Has Been an Ardent Supportor of ObamaCare.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiaruchan View Post
    Thank you. Would it be alright just to say ' he was an ardent supportor of Obama's health care reform bill' without any disrespectful connotation?
    Yes, it would be okay. I would not understand this to be disrespectul.

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