has spots

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Senior Member
Hi Forum,

Say I saw a giraffe at the zoo. I want to describe the skin of the giraffe. So do I use past tense or present tense. I am still confused.

Can I say: The giraffe has spots on its body? or should it be: The giraffe had spots on its body?

  • Since a spotted hide is part of the normal appearance of certain giraffe species, and since you may presume that the giraffe still has the same appearance, you may say "The giraffes at the zoo have spots." If you are speaking of the appearance at that time only, and are making no presumption about their current appearance, then you might say "The giraffe I saw had spots, but I don't know if the zoo still has a spotted giraffe."
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