At that time, the company has/had never made a profit

amren

Member
chinese
At that time, the company has/had never made a profit.



Since I'm putting myself in the past, I should use the present tense?
 
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The phrase 'at that time' is creating a past context: it is putting the situation in the past.

    We use the past perfect to show two points: (1) that A came before B and (2) that B is now in the past.

    In the topic sentence, the company's failure to make a profit came before the time referred to (point 1).
    The expression 'at that time' shows that the time referred to is now in the past (point 2).

    Therefore the past perfect is correct: 'At that time, the company had never made a profit'. :tick:

    To put the sentence into a present context, we say 'At this time, the company has not made a profit'. :tick:
     
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