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Hi I am so confused by the English tenses when I try to describe, for example a status change, something happened in the past, just at a point in time, but is still true until now.

Please list those that are grammatically correct and state the meaning you get from these sentences:

  1. Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 is closed on 02/02/2014
  2. Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 was closed on 02/02/2014
  3. Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 has closed on 02/02/2014
  4. Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 has been closed on 02/02/2014
  5. Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 had closed on 02/02/2014
  6. Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 had been closed on 02/02/2014

My personal feeling to these sentences is like

  1. The ticket is now closed, but adding "on ..." makes it sound wrong
  2. The ticket changed to closed status on 02/02/2014, but not sure the current status
  3. I think this is grammatically incorrect
  4. Same as 3.
  5. I think this is the correct saying
  6. Same as 5., but with the additional piece of information telling me that the ticket did not close by itself, someone closed it.

Please correct me.

  • My initial problem with this question is that I don't see how a ticket can be opened or closed. – tunny Nov 7 '14 at 9:10
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    @tunny It's probably a support ticket in customer service. – Ronan Nov 7 '14 at 10:02
  • Yeah thanks Ronan, I should have used something more common as example, but that just came to my mind for no reason. May be I was haunted by these customer supports! – user1589188 Nov 8 '14 at 2:09
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Part of your confusion here, I suspect, has to do with the fact that tickets are sometimes spoken of as things that get closed by people ("the ticket was closed" or "the ticket has been closed") and sometimes as things that close of their own accord ("The ticket has closed").

Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 is closed on 02/02/2014

"narrative style|historical present". Two people are looking through data forensically, following the trail of information, and speaking of the past using the present tense, as if they were there, "reenacting" the events as they happen.

Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 was closed on 02/02/2014

Simple past. A discrete action in the past.

Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 has closed on 02/02/2014

Ungrammatical, IMO. It should be either "was closed on 2/2/2014" OR "has (been) closed" (without the date).

Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 has been closed on 02/02/2014

Ungrammatical. "on 02/02/2014" should not be present.

Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 had closed on 02/02/2014

Makes sense only if the ticket was reopened.

Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 had been closed on 02/02/2014

Makes sense only if the ticket had been reopened.

ADDENDUM:

Why is this statement ungrammatical? Ticket #123 opened on 01/01/2014 has closed on 02/02/2014

The time-element in a present perfect statement (e.g. "has closed") must be indefinite, that is, it must be a form (implicit or explicit) that is analogous to either "recently" or "occasionally|on occasion".

Are you hungry?

CORRECT: --No, thanks, I've eaten (I have eaten).

INCORRECT: No, thanks, I've eaten this morning. (I ate this morning).

In the US, we have these shops where you can order coffee prepared in many different ways.

CORRECT: -- Do you think I'm from Mars? I know what a coffee-shop is! I've been to coffee shops before.

INCORRECT: I have been to a coffee shop on 02/02/2014.

  • Thank you so much for tackling each of my example. Yes, the use of passive voice or not confuse me a lot, but it seems both are acceptable, I shall not pay too much attention to it then. – user1589188 Nov 8 '14 at 2:04
  • Also, IMO even thought a date is added for "has closed", we can make it correct by saying "has closed since 02/02/2014", right? – user1589188 Nov 8 '14 at 2:35
  • Has been closed since 02/02/2014. – TRomano Nov 8 '14 at 2:44
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As someone who works in a support ticket environment and provides support for usage of a ticketing system, the only sentence that makes sense in context is 2. And all of the sentences are incorrect because the ticket was opened.

This is the normal way that would be stated and understood:

Ticket #123 was opened on 01/01/2014 and was closed on 02/02/2014.

Even if one doesn't know what the current status is, in a ticketing system, if the status was closed, it's still closed. It will always be understood as closed unless explicitly stated as re-opened or opened again. Further, it will be assumed that the person making the statement will be reporting the current state of the ticket and the date of state change unless asked for a specifically different state:

When was the last time the state was changed to Awaiting Customer?

All recorded ticket state changes are in the past tense.

  • I love how you relate my imaginary example to real world ticketing system. It is really useful to learn how stuff works from the field people. My thanks to you. – user1589188 Nov 8 '14 at 2:07

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