English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Post by Lone » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:18 am

Dear Alan,

I found the following paragraph in today's newspaper.

"The alert over a mysterious SARS-like virus should be extended to travelers from Britain, an infectious diseases doctor says."

Why the last word of the above sentence was "says" but not "said"? I think the simple past tense should be used instead as the action of saying had already been completed.

Thanks and I look forward to your explanation.


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Re: tense

Post by Alan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:22 am

As when recounting the narrative of a book or film, the present tense is quite normal when reporting the views of writers, newspapers or other "authorities".