David got a message telling him that he has/had won the prize.

Here which is to be used ? Has or had ?


"Had" in this instance. He'd already won it and being notified after that fact had occurred made it past-tense.

  • I agree that 'had' to be used but why do I often see people like newspaper editor, noted authors using 'has' is such cases. They simoly don't back shift the tense.So can I say that 'has' is also grammatical ? – iamRR Aug 7 '15 at 20:49
  • Have you followed modern journalism? Their English is bordering on atrocious. But, yes, I've seen that too. – Bob Stout Aug 7 '15 at 20:52
  • So are they using it incorrectly or the use of 'has' is also acceptable ? – iamRR Aug 7 '15 at 20:56
  • They are using "has" incorrectly. – Bob Stout Aug 7 '15 at 21:14

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