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Which one is preferable in following sentence?

  • His hopes of getting through the I.A.S. had not materialized till today's date.
  • His hopes of getting through the I.A.S. have not materialized till today's date.
  • His hopes of getting through the I.A.S. have not been materialized till today's date.
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"Had not been materialised" doesn't make sense. The choice between "had" and "have" depends on the context of that sentence. –  Billy Sep 18 '12 at 15:56
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There is not enough information to know which is better; it depends on when the events occur in relation to the time of the sentence. "Have not been materialized" is not a good way to put it, though. –  Mark Beadles Sep 18 '12 at 16:02
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Have not been materialized is in the form of the passive, but materialize is normally an intransitive verb and intransitive verbs do not form passive constructions. The choice between had not materialized and have not materialized depends on the timeframe of the context.

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The sentence "His hopes of getting through the I.A.S had not materialized / have not materialized / have not been materialized till today's date." has a bigger problem than tense. It seems to mean that he wanted to "get through the I.A.S." [either include the final period or delete the first two ("IAS")] but was unsuccessful until today. The last three words seem to me to be inappropriate and perhaps even grammatically incorrect for the tense/aspect choices presented in the question.

Because he finally did get through the I.A.S. today, I think the the sentence should be:

"His hopes of getting through the I.A.S. did not materialize {till/until [a style choice]} today" -- but I would use were not realized instead of did not materialize because his hopes "materialized" when he began to hope (but they were still hopes and not reality until today), and until today's date is verbose and should be replaced by until today.

If you say "His hopes of getting through the I.A.S. had not been realized until today", the sentence needs another past tense event (explicit or implied by context), e.g., when the I.A.S. director called to tell him that he'd succeeded (or something like that).

If you say "His hopes of getting through the I.A.S have not been realized", then until today is probably ungrammatical because those hopes are still hopes and not reality. I don't think that, for example, "The guests have not arrived until just now" is normally idiomatic English anywhere. Using the present perfect implies, in this context, that the guests are coming but are not yet here, and, in your sentence, that he expects to get through the I.A.S., but still hasn't been told that he's succeeded.

"Have not been materialized" is not idiomatic here for the reasons given in other answers.

I would suggest either of these two:

  1. "His hopes of getting through the I.A.S. were not realized until today."

  2. "He did not get through the I.A.S. until today." ("Brevity is the soul of wit" and the savior of the reader or listener). [NB: Explanations are always exempt from this rule because they're like legs and must be long enough to reach the ground. If they dangle from the chair, they don't take you anywhere.]

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