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  1. #1
    subhajit123 is offline Banned
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    Red face 'Didn't happen' or 'haven't happened' before

    Hi everyone, Should I use 'haven't happened' or 'didn't happen' in the context?

    Yesterday a tragic incident happened near Delhi. At least 50 people died in the rail accident. The government and railway officials took the responsibility of the accident. It is not that incidents like that didn't happen/haven't happened before but the number of deaths never rose to that point.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: 'Didn't happen' or 'haven't happened' before

    Quote Originally Posted by subhajit123 View Post
    Yesterday a tragic incident happened near Delhi. At least 50 people died in the a rail accident. The government and railway officials took the responsibility of for the accident. It is not that incidents like that haven't happened before but the number of deaths never rose have never risen to that point.
    That's how I would write it.
    Last edited by Raymott; 18-Aug-2017 at 12:29.

  3. #3
    Roman55's Avatar
    Roman55 is offline Key Member
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    Re: 'Didn't happen' or 'haven't happened' before

    I would say, "...but the number of deaths has never risen to that point."
    I am not a teacher

  4. #4
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: 'Didn't happen' or 'haven't happened' before

    The number of deaths has never risen to that point. "Number" is singular, and the verb has to agree.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: 'Didn't happen' or 'haven't happened' before

    In BrE we tend to use the number has risen, but a plural after a number of. It keeps learners on their toes and gives them something to complain about.

  6. #6
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: 'Didn't happen' or 'haven't happened' before

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    In BrE we tend to use the number has risen, but a plural after a number of. It keeps learners on their toes and gives them something to complain about.
    In the number has risen, "number" is the subject and requires a singular verb. In a number of them have risen, the subject is the plural "a number of them".
    I am not a teacher.

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: 'Didn't happen' or 'haven't happened' before

    PS: Thanks for the suggestions of "has never risen". I'll leave the original so the following posts are understandable. Indeed, if I was thinking about that part of the grammar, I would have used 'has'. I was focussed primarily on changing the tense, and overlooked this point.

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