Huston [Houston], we have had a problem

Hi, people!
Would you be so kind to explain what is the difference between these two sentences:
"Huston, we have had a problem here",
"Huston, we have a problem"
.​
I do understand they have basically the same meaning, but is there some nuance?
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "Huston, we have had a problem here" means that the problem existed at some time in the past, but no longer exists.

    "Huston, we have a problem" means that we are experiencing a problem here and now. Which of course they were.
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Huston, we have had a problem here" means that the problem existed at some time in the past, but no longer exists.

    I wonder where this sentence comes from? Was it what was actually said?

    I agree with Haypresto, but I suspect that the astronauts might have said this, meaning "Houston, we have had something happen and it's a problem." The thing that happened was in the past, but the problem still exists. This is not quite flawless grammar, but I think the astronauts can be excused under the circumstances. If this was the original, it was surely changed for the movie to "Houston, we have a problem" which is more correct and also more dynamic.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    According to Wikipedia, (so it must be true ;)) the original message was in fact changed to 'Houston we have a problem'. 'Jack' Swigert actually said "Houston, we've had a problem."
     
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