An accident <has> happened

Subhajit12

Senior Member
Hindi
I have been searching on the Internet about which tense is perfect with the word today. I have found this thread on this site which is very helpful. But my question is with a mentioned time frame which tense should I use. Suppose, today is May 12th and I want to say may 12th instead of today. Then, which tense is correct?

  • A deadly accident has happened on May 12th in our locality which causes death of three people.

  • A deadly accident happened on May 12th in our locality which caused death of three people.
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I wouldn't use version (1) with the perfect tense to refer to an event which happened on a specified date in the past like that. :(
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "There has been an accident" is more idiomatic than "An accident has happened".

    There has been a terrible accident today. Three people are dead.
     

    Subhajit12

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    "There has been an accident" is more idiomatic than "An accident has happened".

    There has been a terrible accident today. Three people are dead.
    Thank you. Suppose toady is May 12. Can I say "There has been a terrible accident May 12. Three people are dead."?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Thank you. Suppose toady is May 12. Can I say "There has been a terrible accident May 12. Three people are dead."?
    I wouldn't use the perfect tense there for the same reason I gave in post #2.

    By the way, in BE you need a preposition with the date in that sentence, so we'd say "... an accident on May 12th". ;)
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I have been searching on the Internet about which tense is perfect with the word today. I have found this thread on this site which is very helpful. But my question is with a mentioned time frame which tense should I use. Suppose, today is May 12th and I want to say may 12th instead of today. Then, which tense is correct?

    • A deadly accident has happened on May 12th in our locality which causes death of three people.

    • A deadly accident happened on May 12th in our locality which caused death of three people.
    The trouble with your example (and the one you link to) is that they are not very idiomatic. These are not the sort of things people say. It's hard to give meaningful comment on things that are not idiomatic or "native" sounding. Plus, we do not need to state the actual date if we are just talking about this day. It's totally unnecessary and adds extra strangeness to your sample sentences.

    The real answer is: There is not "a perfect tense" to use with "today". Your basic notion is WRONG. We use the tense that suits the meaning.

    Someone in the thread you link to has pointed out that "today" is a timeframe in which something could have happened, even though the time frame is still ongoing.

    1. I got up late today. Comment: I need a past tense here because I completed that action even though the rest of the day stretches before us.
    2. I am resting today. Comment: This covers what I am doing now and future plans.
    3. My wife is coming home today. Comment: She isn't here yet but she will be here in the future.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top