I am writing a software description in which I am explaining the actions the end user can take with regard to his/her assumed previous actions.

Is it grammatically correct to use present perfect for the previous actions (has replied ) (has posted) in two sentences below ?

  1. The user can make further replies to any message he/she has already replied to.
  2. The user can delete any message he/she has posted.
  • When I read, delete any messages s/he has posted, then I assume that the user may not be able to delete any messages s/he had posted (say in the previous login session or a month ago). Using the past perfect tense here would remove the ambiguity. – musically_ut Apr 13 '15 at 7:56
  • Tangential to your actual question, but a better way to phrase this would be: 1. The user can make further replies to any message to which he/she has already replied. – K - Apr 13 '15 at 8:03
  • This is known as the (fallacious) "rule" Don't end a sentence with a preposition. – Brian Hitchcock Apr 13 '15 at 8:43
  • Your title is currently completely generic! Please edit your title to make it something more specific. – curiousdannii Apr 13 '15 at 12:28
  • Also, don't write he/she, just write they! – curiousdannii Apr 13 '15 at 12:29

Yes, both sentences use the present perfect tense correctly.


As you can see, there are questions as to the appropriateness of the present perfect. I see a way to totally bypass the issue here:

The user can make further replies to any message already replied to [by him/her].

The user can delete any of his/her already-posted messages

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