agreed vs has agreed

One Heart

Senior Member
Egyptian Arabic
Hi

I am not sure which one is correct.

A. I have talked to my supervisor, and he has agreed that I could write about English articles.

B. I have talked to my supervisor, and he agreed that I could write about English articles.

I incline towards saying that A is better because the talking and the agreement happen at the same time (present perfect).

What do you think?
 
  • MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    The Present Perfect, "I have talked to..." indicates that this 'talk with the supervisor' has some direct bearing on NOW, and what happens now/next.

    To follow this with a Past tense FACT - 'agreed' - is anomalous(=deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected) since it implies that something was true at some time in the past, but may not be true/relevant NOW. If it IS still true and relevant, then the reader would expect the use of the Present Tense - it was true when we were talking, it remains true, and will continue to remain true (=I don't foresee that he will change his mind and disagree); and so I can proceed with my intentions to write about English articles.

    If it ISN'T still true/relevant, why mention it?...unless the passage continues that, although he has now changed his mind, you are still going to push for your original idea of writing about articles.

    Otherwise, as you say, One Heart, that the 'agreeing' occurred over the same period of time that you 'talked to him' and explained your intentions.

    So:
    Either
    1. "I have talked to my supervisor, and he agrees that I could write about English articles."

    or
    2. "I have talked to my supervisor, and he has agreed that I could write about English articles."

    Which then raises the question, is there a difference in meaning?
    For me, (2) suggests more that you have sought his permission to proceed with your idea.
    (1) suggests that he supports your current idea, that you could write about articles (as one possibility for your assignment/thesis/paper).
     
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