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"hit" or "has hit" Options
raymondaliasapollyon
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 11:48:29 AM
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Joined: 7/14/2020
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Hi,

The following two paragraphs are taken from a news story. I'm wondering if the past-tense form "hit" and the present-perfect "has hit" should have been swithced around.

At least 189 people are dead and hundreds more remain missing after catastrophic flooding hit large swaths of western Europe, with tens of thousands unable to return to their homes and many still left without access to power and drinking water.

The flooding, caused by unprecedented rainfall, has hit parts of western Germany before shifting to neighboring Belgium and the Netherlands.

I'd appreciate your help.
PlanetOfGiants
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 12:47:26 PM

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They look OK to me, the second, "has hit", is referring to a previous event an unspecified period of time ago.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 1:01:00 PM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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But it feels to me if it happened before some other event, that is the past. It doesn't feel quite right with "has hit.... before moving on to....".

The flooding has hit Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

It hit Germany before moving on to Belgium and the Netherlands.



To hit is a dynamic, violent verb so it feels better suited to describe the initial blow as a single event.
Parts of Germany were hit by flooding this week. The floods have left scores dead and thousands homeless.

You normally care more about the present result, so the present perfect is a common tense.
But news reports tend to use the present perfect even more that normal, because they are about what is happening now. News in the past tense sounds less current, less topical.
Even though they are reporting "what happened" , news outlets phrase it as "what has happened" .
So be careful when reading news reports - they have their own style of language. That is fine if you want to write in the style of a news report, but be aware of the source when analysing the language.



I notice I changed 'shifted' to moved on'.
The flooding didn't shift.
The flooding did not exit Germany and go to Belgium. Of course the water flowed, but the flooding occurred everywhere. It didn't shift. The flooding occurred in one place, then another. But that doesn't mean Germany stopped being flooded - 'shifted' suggests it stopped.
The One And Only Emily
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 2:16:37 PM

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Location: College Station, Texas, United States
For an easier explanation, has hit is past tense, while hit is in the present tense. Dancing Dancing Dancing
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 3:15:55 PM

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Wrong guessed, Emily.
Back to school again.

Changing font colours won't help.
Audiendus
Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2021 2:34:20 AM
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The One And Only Emily wrote:
while hit is in the present tense

No, it is in the past tense here.
The One And Only Emily
Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2021 12:24:44 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/20/2021
Posts: 51
Neurons: 41,031
Location: College Station, Texas, United States
Audiendus wrote:
The One And Only Emily wrote:
while hit is in the present tense

No, it is in the past tense here.


Oh, thanks!
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