Ms. Smith reported staff has no objection to the request.


Ms. Smith reported staff had no objection to the request.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Jason Bassford, choster, Skooba, jimm101, J. Taylor Dec 23 '18 at 22:26

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    The word staff should be regarded as plural, so in your first example "have" should be used, other than that both are perfectly acceptable usage. – Duckisaduckisaduck Dec 19 '18 at 20:31
  • "Have" is present tense and indicates the staff's view is current/ongoing, whereas "had" is past tense and simply describes their view at that previous time, without reference to the present. Past tense is probably safer for minuting what was said in the report; use present tense ("have") only if Ms Smith was describing their existing and ongoing view at the time she was reporting it. – Chappo Dec 19 '18 at 23:08
  • They could potentially mean two different things, especially in a legal or technical sense. So better be more specific as to what is meant. – Kris Dec 20 '18 at 7:43
  • @Duckisaduckisaduck (and one up voter) That is a moot point. See related posts right here on ELU. – Kris Dec 20 '18 at 7:43
  • @Chappo No. Note the OP's reference to reported speech. Such pitfalls exist in pragmatics! – Kris Dec 20 '18 at 7:44