have tried and have died; why Pr.Perfect

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URSULA_MY_LOVE

Member
Belarusian
I found this example on the Internet.
I cannot find any explanation why it is Present Perfect in the examples in bold.
Can you explain each example separately, giving reasons or explanations.

I do understand why the first one (has never been climbed before) has Pr. Perfect but
I cannot think of anything for the rest examples.

This mountain (be, never) has never been climbed by anyone.
Several mountaineers (try) have tried to reach the top, but nobody (succeed, ever) has ever succeeded. The climb is extremely difficult and many people (die) have died trying to reach the summit.

Much obliged.
 
  • Dryan

    Senior Member
    English - Northeastern U.S.
    The key to this is the word several.
    We are talking about more than one attempt that took place over a period of time.

    Several have tried indicates that there was more than one attempt to reach the top by multiple people.
    nobody has ever succeeded indicates that none of the several attempts were successful.
    many people have died indicates that more than one of the several people who have tried ultimately died.

    For the sake of comparison, you can reframe this as a single person's first attempt to see how it affects the verb tenses.
    e.g.
    This mountain has never been climbed by anyone. He tried to reach the top but he didn't succeed. The climb is extremely difficult and he died trying to reach the summit.

    This scenario played out more than once over time which makes the preterite inappropriate here.
     

    yoshi_s_island

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Several have tried indicates that there was more than one attempt to reach the top by multiple people.
    nobody has ever succeeded indicates that none of the several attempts were successful.
    many people have died indicates that more than one of the several people who have tried ultimately died.
    I think the two last verbs could be used in the present simple, as an alternative choice to the present perfect. Does this miss the mark altogether?
     

    Dryan

    Senior Member
    English - Northeastern U.S.
    I think the two last verbs could be used in the present simple, as an alternative choice to the present perfect. Does this miss the mark altogether?
    This is possible but it loses the nuance of the fact that this has been an ongoing occurrence that's been taking place for a while and almost definitely happened more than once on multiple occasions.

    "The climb is extremely difficult and many people died trying to reach the summit." could be interpreted to mean that a bunch of people all died together in a single accident like an avalanche or something.
    It's definitely not grammatically incorrect to use the simple past here but it changes how I interpret the deaths occurred and insinuates they might have happened all at once.
     
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