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    • Join Date: Jul 2005
    • Posts: 928
    #1

    correct expression

    Hi,

    could you please tell me whether it is possible to say:

    Company X records a debt of USD 12,000 due to company Y. (it is a document entitled "acknowledgement of debt"; "record" should mean that the debt is entered in its accounting books).

    Or are there any better alternatives?

    Thanks a lot!

    Hanka


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: correct expression

    Shouldn't it be:
    Company X recorded a debt of USD 12,000 due to company Y.
    Why the Historical Present?

    Using the past tense form of the verb avoids confusion with the plural noun 'records', which is what people will initially read, and have to re-think. I know I expected a verb after 'records':

    Company X records are....


    • Join Date: Jul 2005
    • Posts: 928
    #3

    Re: correct expression

    But it is a current situation, the company has the debt now


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #4

    Re: correct expression

    Yes, and the company records will have that registered.
    I'm sure it has been recorded by the company accountants.
    For which financial year was it recorded?
    If unpaid, then the company still has the debt.

    It is not that "the company records a debt of..." is incorrect, but that the reader is so used to seeing 'the company records (show a net profit of...)" so that 'the company records(verb) debts of..." takes a moment to figure out that you ARE using the verb; and that that situation can be avoided. The company has a debt; the company's accountants recorded that when they did the books and then announced, 'the company has a debt of..." The actual 'recording' is more likely to be a Past tense fact.
    Last edited by David L.; 30-Mar-2009 at 18:24.

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