'Didn't happen' or 'haven't happened' before

subhajit123

Banned
Joined
May 27, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Hindi
Home Country
India
Current Location
India
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.
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
Yesterday a tragic incident happened near Delhi. At least 50 people died in [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] a rail accident. The government and railway officials took [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] responsibility [STRIKE]of[/STRIKE] for the accident. It is not that incidents like that haven't happened before but the number of deaths [STRIKE]never rose[/STRIKE] have never risen to that point.
That's how I would write it.
 
Last edited:

Roman55

Key Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Italy
Current Location
France
I would say, "...but the number of deaths has never risen to that point."
 

GoesStation

No Longer With Us
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
The number of deaths has never risen to that point. "Number" is singular, and the verb has to agree.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
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. ;-)
 

GoesStation

No Longer With Us
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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".
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
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.
 
Top